In the air again

August 13, 2009

I left the vineyard last Sunday, a beautiful sunny winter’s day. It was a sad moment; in fact it always is. We drove down Two Hills road; Margit, Lucy, Charlotte and me. I drove our old pick-up truck. We were all able to control our emotions somehow. it was just such a good time we had together. They dropped me, a quick hug, a kiss, and they were gone.

At Melbourne airport I checked the wine section. Everywhere was the campaign “Put Victoria on your table”. In the wine from Victoria section I even found some wines from our region, the Upper Goulburn Wine Region. But most wines cam from the Yarra Valley.

While browsing through the bookshop, I picked up a copy of the biography of Led Zeppelin (by Mick Wall, titled “When giants walked the earth”), a genre of books which I usually do not buy. I felt a bit nostalgic, I guess and I bought it: reading material for the nine hours flight back to Bangkok and already “Stairways to heaven” in my mind.

The tune of “Stairways to heaven” was in my mind. I had just left heaven (we Adams are used to leave paradise). There is nothing better in life than fond memories and a good tune.

And ever since I have not produced a singel blog entry. Until today. I must have arrived somewhere.

Sunday slow food: a roast

January 19, 2009

After spending Friday night and the whole of Saturday at the basketball court watching Lucy and Charlotte playing their first inter-school tournament in Bangkok (their team, the British Patana School came second), and a lot of fast plays and fast food, we were in for “slow food” on Sunday.

A traditional Sunday roast of sirloin beef, Yorkshire pudding, green vegetables and some roast potatoes was just the right stuff to make everybody happy.


Potatoes and the roast


The yummy Yorkshire pudding


Assorted green vegetables “vignole”


The red: a bottle of ‘2004 Two Hills Merlot’


Charlotte, the young and successful cook (with hat) and her sister Lucy

The Yorkshire pudding was prepared by my daughter Charlotte. She succeeded with this delicate undertaking; the pudding was delicious. Actually, it was the first Yorkshire pudding I ever tasted in my life.

Needless to say that the wine matched the food perfectly. I just love our own Merlot, especially the 2004 vintage. It’s such an elegant wine, with balanced acids and lots of red fruit character. Fortunately, we discovered some more bottles when inventorying our stocks in January.

Red Wine Obsession in China

April 25, 2008

Recently when I was on a stop over in Singapore, I bought some portwine at one of the DSF duty free shops in the airport. The woman behind the counter was very friendly and we chatted along. I asked her which wines were her best sellers. She answered that they were grand cru wines from Bordeaux up 1000 S$ per bottle and that they were a much sought after commodity by tourist from Mainland China.

So it came as no surprise when I read the recent news about a sale of 27 bottles of French red wine by an anonymous Beijing based billionaire for the record price of about US$ 500.000 by the London based Antique Wine Company. The wines were various vintages of reds from Romanee Conti in Burgundy. According to the Antique Wine Company it was not bought for investment but to be drank. This sale is lauded for it’s indication that wine tastes in China are becoming more complex. The time of simply buying Bordeaux wines seems to be over. The broadening of wine education and appreciation is a good thing also for Australian wine producers. The recent large sale of Shiraz wines by Hanging Rock Winery is a good example for that.

A wine bar in a hotel in Beijing

During a recent trip to China I learned that red wine can be drank in new, “innovative” ways some might call it. Next time you are in China order “Red wine set menue” and you will be served with a good bottle of red Bordeaux wine, a large glass with ice and two cans of Sprite. You mix it together and you are right.

Many wine drinkers heart may sink at the prospects of being invited by a Chinese friend to this type of “blending” red wine. If the cheap mass wines are being mercerized by this technique that might be a good thing. For boutique wine producers like myself it is a rather shocking prospect that my elegant Two Hills Merlot could be treated that way.

“Gan bei” (cheers) as the Chinese say.