Old Friends and Good Wine

According to Plato “only philosophers have what it takes to venture outside of the cave into the sunlight”. And what do they do there (apart from eating as we know from my last blog entry)?

They drink good wine of course!

When our friend Alan Wall came over from Canberra they other day, he brought with him, as usual, some bottles of good wine. Alan is one of these people who has forgotten more about wine then many of us will ever learn. He has a fine collection of about 3,000 bottles which are stored in his insulated garage.

We started with a single vineyard wine, a Mount Pleasant 2000 Lovedale, Hunter Valley Semillion. The bottle was decorated with five trophies of gold and top gold medal signs. What a wine this was. It displayed honeyed toast and hay aromas but it also showed some lemon and grapefruit character as many young wines do. It could have easily be cellared for much longer but when old friends meet, good wine has to flow. Of course we had food with it, a delicious seafood pasta.

The Hunter Valley, one of the oldest wine regions in Australia, is famous for its Semillions and its Shiraz. Whoever plans to visit Sydney should also include into their program a trip to the Hunter Valley just a 2 hours drive north of cosmopolitan Sydney.

The main dish was grilled beef (on my Weber) and with it we drank a Coonawarra Rymill Shiraz of 1996, a very well aged and harmonious wine of great depth and with a long finish. What a delight this was with it’s spicy peppery character and the blackcurrant flavours.

After the desert we continued with a wine from Sonoma County, a Chateau St. Jean Merlot of 2004 which displayed all the good Merlot charactereristics which we are looking for, deep cherry and plum aromas, with good texture, some weight in the mid-pallate and a long finish.

Of course the company was what really counted. Drinking wine we discussed about electoral systems, political party and democracy development and the future of the young Indonesian democracy. Life is just too short to drink bad wine.

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The Yarra Valley in Victoria

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