Recently, I visited my local Bowling Club. Don’t judge me. Yes I know where my local club is, yes I’m a member.
I ordered a glass of Chardonnay absent mindedly. Then I realised this could be fatal and sharply added *From a Bottle!* as a stipulation to my order.
Until this moment, I had no idea how high my standards were -and how judgemental I was. (Despite being at a Bowling Club…) Now, my $4 glass of Stony Peak Chardonnay *From a Bottle!* was worth every cent… depending on which way you look at it.
For a brief moment, I was bothered by my realisations of panic about my crappy Chardonnay. My brain momentarily convinced itself that it would be the end of the world if I forgot to mention *From a Bottle!* But would there be much difference between the quality of two vessels at a Bowling Club?
Ashamedly, even I can drink a posturised glass beaker of oak chipped, highly sulphured and questionable* Chardy. (*Questionable because I wonder what proportion of Muscatel juice is used in supermarket wines to sweeten us up – likely the legal dose without needing to legally mention on the label. I don’t usually like my Chardonnay Unleaded E10).
So standing in line with my Chardonnay, I remembered a fantastic evening I had once spent dining at the then-new Hunter Valley Crowne Plaza. Amongst the group was Hunter Valley legend, Karl Stockhausen (a winemaker in the Hunter Valley for over 50 years). He probably wouldn’t even remember me, but I recall the huge honour I believed it was to be in his company. After all – hes a bit of a Hunter Valley Celebrity.
On this night, I ordered my favourite Peacock Hill Chardonnay, *From a Bottle!* and everyone in the group had a wine of some sort. Karl asked for a glass of Sparkling Wine. Naively, the young girl behind the bar offered this huge wineo the “house” sparkling. It was some tragic, energetic, blushing, barely Charmat styled sweety. Gasps and horror from the crowd. Crickets sang.
There was also a Methode Champenoise Bubbles on the wine list, more appropriate for a figure like Karl. It was luxuriously dressed in black and gold, the Bentley of wine.
Surprisingly, Karl accepted the cheap bubbly. He took it for a test drive, and I had to take a step back and put on my seat-belt. He began to engage the flute in serious appraisal. He looked at the colour, questioned the mode of Sparkling Production, described the bouquet and made a judgement on which varietals might comprise to give the flowery, candied flavours. He even ate the *Shudder* strawberry that was precariously positioned on the lip of the glass. (Don’t put fruit in your wine unless you’re making Sangrea, it interferes with the wine).
Karl took it all with a pinch of salt. I had to pinch myself. Karl was truely a good sport. Living Legend. Literally.
So here I am, back at the daggy local bowling club. I’m in line paying for my $4 Chardonnay *From a Bottle!* that is fit for a Blue Rinse and a game of Bingo, and I’m thinking to myself – I hope I’m insured in case I crash. Here goes… Colour = good, golden hues.
Bouquet = who knows in this glass?
Palate = saturated in residual sugar without being “sweet”, but satisfyingly sound – stone fruits and something reminicent of oak in there.
Price Point = competitive.
Great Mileage, quiet engine, not a Rolls Royce, not even a Corolla… but passes the REVs Check, (Now you’ll love this one… REVs = Rhiannon’s Everyday Vino.. LOL) and not quite a bomb.
Yes, its hard not to be happy with a $4 glass of wine *From a Bottle!*.
At this point I was waiting for my change, distracted by my Chardonnay and almost didn’t notice the elderly man next to me who was placing his order. He excused his way past me as he ordered “Two Glasses of Dry Red”, then sharply added *From the Fridge* as his stipulation. “Cask ok?”, She queried. “What else is there?” he revelled.
Tempting to shudder, but instead I shrugged. Although – I wasn’t game to ask what kind of car he drove. It’s probably not even registered… because he’s definately unlicenced.