The wine and jazz appreciation society news, vol 5, no 1, 1/2/99

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What happened in history on the 9th September?

1754 William Bligh, nasty ship's captain (HMS Bounty)

1828 Leo Tolstoy, novelist (War & Peace, Anna Karenina)

1941 Otis Redding, rocker (Sitting on the Dock of the Bay)

1951 Michael Keaton, actor (Gung Ho, Batman)

1890 Colonel Sanders Business-person, Kentucky Fried Chicken founder


Mao Tse-Tung Chinese communist party chairman (1949-76),

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: 1901 (aged 36) Painter, French, he recorded and drew with great insight characters from Parisian cabaret and nightlife.
On this day ... 1513 Battle of Flodden Fields: English defeat James IV of Scotland

1776 Continental Congress renames "United Colonies," "United States"

1839 John Herschel takes the 1st glass plate photograph

1908 Orville Wright makes 1st 1-hr aeroplane flight,

1911 1st airmail service (British Post Office)

1943 Italy surrenders to the Allies

1945 Japanese in S Korea, Taiwan, China, Indochina surrender to Allies

1948 People's Democratic Republic of Korea proclaimed

1965 Tibet is made an autonomous region of China

1966 John Lennon meets Yoko Ono at an avant-garde art exposition

1967 1st successful test flight of a Saturn V

1968 1st US Open, held as an "open" (Arthur Ashe-wins)

1979 John McEnroe beats Vitas Gerulaitis, for the US Open Tennis title

1984 John McEnroe beats Ivan Lendl, for the US Open Tennis title

National Holidays: Bulgaria, Luxembourg: Liberation Day (1944)

California: Admission Day (joined the United States) (1850)

Italy: Salerno Day-Allied landing (1943)

North Korea: National Day US : National Grandparents' Day ( Sunday )

Afghanistan: National Assembly Foundation Day (1964)

Scotland: Fisherman's Walk Day

Music events on September 9th In 1967, R.C., "Little Ole Wine Drinker, Me" by Dean Martin peaked at #38 on the pop singles chart. [appropriate for a wine dinner!]

Why else is Nine so special?
There are nine major planets in the solar system, Beethoven wrote nine symphonies, and a cat is said to have nine lives.
A polygon with nine angles and nine sides is called a nonagon.
In a number of languages, the word for "nine" is also the word for "new". The French word neuf has both these meanings.
Rounders and baseball are all played with teams of nine players.
A game of squash is won by scoring nine points.
Golf courses often have nine holes or multiples thereof.
The expression to the nines means to the highest degree. It is not required that one be dressed to the Nines at the Wine Exhibition - casual is fine.
The game of skittles or nine-pin bowling is many hundreds of years old. The pins are set up in a diamond formation and players throw the ball (or `cheese') at them. In the nineteenth century, some American states passed laws banning the game because bets were often placed on it. But these laws were evaded by the simple ruse of adding a tenth pin. As a result, tenpin bowling is now the far more popular game.
A nine days' wonder is something that creates a short-lived sensation.
“Redivider” with nine letters is the longest palindromic word in the English language. A palindromic word has the same sequence of letters backwards or forwards.
On cloud nine means happy, euphoric or high. The phrase came into use in the 1950s from a term used by the US Weather Bureau. For the meteorologists Cloud Nine is cumulo-nimbus cloud at a height of 10 km, which is high even by the standard of clouds.
Only about one ninth of the mass of an iceberg is visible above the water. Nearly all its bulk remains hidden beneath the surface.
It is easy to work out whether a number is exactly divisible by 9. This is the same as asking whether a number is in the 9 times table. All you have to do is add up its digits. If the answer is more than one digit long, you add up the digits again, and go on doing this, until you are left with a single digit. If this single digit is 9 then the original number was divisible by 9. For example, is 781236 divisible by 9? Adding up its digits - 7 + 8 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 6 = 27 - and adding again - 2 + 7 = 9 and because the answer is 9, the original number must be divisible by 9 [and by default, also divisible by 3]
Thanks to Vince from Liquorlink for this invaluable collection of probably useless information. Vince's past articles are available from
Today’s humour:

An out of work actor gets a call from his agent one day. "I've got you a job" says his agent. "That's great" says the actor, “what is it?" "Well" says his agent "it's a one-liner" "That's okay" replies the actor, "I've been out of work for so long I'll take anything; What's the line?" "Hark I hear the cannons roar" says the agent. "I love it" says the actor "When's the audition?" "Wednesday" says the agent.

Wednesday comes and the actor arrives at the audition. He marches on stage and shouts: "Hark I hear the cannons roar". "Brilliant" says the director, "you've got the job, be here 9 o'clock Saturday evening".
The actor is so chuffed he got the job that he goes on a major bender. He wakes up 8:30 Saturday evening and runs to the theatre continually repeating his line: "Hark I hear the cannons roar, hark I hear the cannons roar, hark I hear the cannons roar".
He arrives at the stage entrance, out of breath and is stopped by the bouncer. "Who the hell are you?" asks the bouncer. "I'm "hark I hear the cannons roar"". "You're "hark I hear the cannons roar", you're late, get up to make-up straight away”.
So he runs up to make up. "Who the hell are you" asks the make-up girl. "I'm "hark I hear the cannons roar"". "You're "hark I hear the cannons roar", you're late, sit down here", and she applies the make-up. "Now quick, get down to the stage, you're about to go on"
So, he dashes down to the stage. "Who the hell are you?" asks the stage manager. "I'm "hark I hear the cannons roar"”. "You're "hark I hear the cannons roar", get on there, the curtain’s about to go up"
So, he tears onto the stage. The curtains rise, the house is full. Suddenly there is an almighty bang behind him, and the actor shouts "WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?".
James Halliday's latest tasting notes...
This week's wines:

Value special: Turkey Flat Cabernet Sauvignon 1997

Up to you: Tollana Eden Valley Chardonnay 1996

Worth having: Bremerton Old Adam Shiraz 1997

Off the beaten track: Elsewhere Vineyard Riesling 1998

Simply the best: Lenswood Vineyards Pinot Noir 1997

Value special

Turkey Flat Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 Rating: 90 Best drinking: 2000–2010 Price: $22.50 Drink with: Roast leg of lamb

Background Joins the very good Turkey Flat Shiraz, and indeed in 1997 outpointed its better-known stablemate. Made in the generously proportioned and fruity style which has gained Turkey Flat such a loyal band of followers.

Tasting note Medium red-purple; the bouquet is quite powerful, with clean berry, earthy fruit and subtle oak. Attractive cassis berry fruit supported by sweet, ripe tannins and good oak combine to produce an extremely attractive wine.
Tollana Eden Valley Chardonnay 1996 Rating: 86 Best drinking: 1998–2001 Price: $14 Drink with: Pasta

Background The wine is barrel fermented in a temperature-controlled fermentation area and matured in new and used French oak for seven months. The majority undergoes malolactic fermentation prior to final blending and bottling.

Tasting note Glowing yellow-green; the bouquet is quite solid and smooth with good oak balance and integration, the palate likewise showing smooth melon and fig fruit. One of those wines which has neither highlights nor lowlights.
Bremerton Old Adam Shiraz 1997 Rating: 91 Best drinking: 2002–2012 Price: $28.99 Drink with: Parmesan cheese

Background The flagship wine for Bremerton, made from the very best grapes coming from the estate vineyards. A fruit-driven style with highly restrained use of oak.

Tasting note Tasting note Medium to full purple-red; dark plum, prune and blackberry fruit aromas introduce a wine with sweet, rich dark berry fruit flavours flooding the palate. Oak and tannins are undoubtedly there, but you barely notice them.
Off the beaten track

Elsewhere Vineyard Riesling 1998 Rating: 86 Best drinking: 2002–2008 Price: $18 Drink with: Prawn salad

Background A typical Tasmanian Riesling, fragrant and with wild herb overtones.

Tasting note Light yellow-green; a fragrant, floral bouquet with a mix of lime, herb and thyme aromas; the palate is crisp and spicy, with more of those floral lime characters, followed by typical Tasmanian acidity on the finish.
Simply the best

Lenswood Vineyards Pinot Noir 1997 Rating: 97 Best drinking: 1999–2004 Price: $38 Drink with: Quail, hare

Background Since a stellar debut in 1990, has been quite outstanding, significantly outperforming other producers in the region, and leaving no doubt that the Lenswood area will in time become a most important producer of Pinot Noir. As Tim Knappstein himself observes, the style is fuller, riper and more robust than that of the Yarra Valley. It has found much favour, and the Lenswood Pinots have established themselves as leading examples of the fuller style of Australian Pinot Noir. The 96 won a number of major awards and gold medals in 1997, and the 97 is an even better wine.

Tasting note

Light to medium red-purple; the bouquet opens up with moderately intense plum, forest floor and spice aromas; it is the intense and lingering palate which lifts the wine into the highest class.

In addition to the wines for which full tasting notes are provided, I inevitably taste a large number of additional wines which are either not of the same quality or of the same interest. For the sake of completeness, I list these (and publish the points) under the heading 'Also tasted'. Typically, these will be wines which receive 80 points or less, but there is no hard and fast rule about this. Lower-pointed wines that are inexpensive may well get reviewed; conversely, more expensive wines that just scrape past 80 points may not be reviewed.

Vintage Wine Rating

1998 Liquorland – Lachlan Ridge Merlot 79

1998 Ashwood Grove Merlot 76

1997 Ashwood Grove Cabernet Petit Verdot Malbec 80

1998 Brangayne of Orange Sauvignon Blanc 78

1998 Casella Yenda Vale Chardonnay Merlot 77

1997 Cassegrain Reserve Francoise Pinot Noir 78

1998 Cowra Estate Classic Bat Cabernet Merlot 76

1998 Delegat's Wine Estate Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 80

1997 Dromana Estate Garry Crittenden i Nebbiolo 80

1998 Dromana Estate Garry Crittenden i Sangiovese 79

1997 Eyton-on-Yarra NDC Reserve Merlot 77

1997 Eyton-on-Yarra NDC Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 83

1998 Felton Road Wines Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 79

1998 Grey Sands Pinot Gris 81

1998 Grey Sands Merlot 79

1996 Highland Heritage Estate Mount Canobolas Pinot Noir 76

1987 Highland Heritage Estate Wellwood Estate Shiraz 73

1998 Lowe Family Wines Unwooded Semillon 82

1998 Lowe Family Wines Hunter Valley Merlot 83

1998 Lowe Family Wines Orange Label 79

1998 Main Ridge Estate Chardonnay 81

1998 McPherson Semillon Chardonnay 76

1998 McPherson Chardonnay 78

1998 McPherson Shiraz 80

1998 Miceli Unwooded Chardonnay 83

1998 Miceli Olivia's Pinot Noir 76

1996 Miceli Lucy's Choice Pinot Noir 80

1995 Miceli Pinot Noir 75

1998 Miranda High Country Riesling 78

1997 Miranda High Country Shiraz 76

1997 Miranda High Country Dark Horse Cabernet Franc Malbec 75

1997 Miranda High Country Cabernet Sauvignon 79

1996 Miranda Rovalley Estate Rovalley Ridge Grey Series Chardonnay 80

1998 Phillip Island Vineyard Chardonnay 83

1998 Potters Clay Chardonnay 76

1998 Potters Clay Merlot Cab Franc 74

1998 Preston Peak Chardonnay 82

1997 Preston Peak Shiraz 77

1998 Rosemount Estate (Hunter Valley) Traminer Riesling 79

1998 Sarsfield Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 78

1998 Tatachilla Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 82

Please note: All wines are rated out of 100 points, corked wines are marked accordingly and have not been rated. Copyright © 1999 HarperCollinsPublishers / James Halliday

Dinner Menu - 9th July, 1999. (Friends with taste are to be cultivated)
1990 Pol Roger.
Lime and chilli prawns with steamed rice -

1996 Goundrey Reserve riesling.

Carrot and orange soup -

Seppelt DP.116 Show Amontillado.

Red wine beef shank with potato/parsnip mash and onion chutney -

1982 Grange Hermitage and 1986 John Riddoch Cabernet

Polenta cake with vanilla bean and orange syrup with King Island cream

And vanilla ice cream - 1987 Mount Horricks Cordon Cut Riesling.

Cheese and coffee - King Island smoked cheddar and brie.

Dried fruit and nuts - Chocolate. 1981 Chateau Reynella Vintage Port.

All in all terrific wine/food combinations.


Today’s humour: Autocratic Dads and Eligible Daughters

When I was in high school I used to be terrified of my girlfriend's father, who I believe suspected me of wanting to place my hands on his daughter's chest. He would open the door and immediately affect a good-naturedly murderous expression, holding out a handshake that, when gripped, felt like it could squeeze carbon into diamonds.
Now, years later, it is my turn to be the dad. Remembering how unfairly persecuted I felt when I would pick up my girlfriends, I do my best to make my daughter's suitors feel even worse. My motto: wilt them in the living room and they'll stay wilted all night. "So," I'll call out jovially. "I see you have your nose pierced. Is that because you're stupid, or did you merely want to APPEAR stupid?" As a dad, I have some basic rules, which I have carved into two stone tablets that I have on display in my living room.
Rule One: If you pull into my driveway and honk you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure as heck not picking anything up.
Rule Two: You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off my daughter's body, I will remove them.
Rule Three: I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don't take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, In order to assure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric staple gun and fasten your trousers securely in place around your waist.
Rule Four: I'm sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without utilizing a "barrier method" of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate: when it comes to sex , I am the barrier, and I WILL kill you.
Rule Five: In order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is "early."
Rule Six: I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make YOU cry.
Rule Seven: As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her make-up, a process that can take longer than painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don't you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?
Rule Eight: The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which feature chainsaws are okay. Footy matches are okay.
My daughter claims it embarrasses her to come downstairs and find me attempting to get her date to recite these eight simple rules from memory. I'd be embarrassed too--there are only eight of them, for Christ’s sake! And, for the record, I did NOT suggest to one of these cretins that I'd have these rules tattooed on his arm if he couldn't remember them. (I checked into it and the cost is prohibitive.) I merely told him that I thought writing the rules on his arm with a ball point might be inadequate--ink washes off--and that my wood burning tools were probably a better alternative.
One time, when my wife caught me having one of my daughter's would-be suitors practise pulling into the driveway, get out of the car, and go up to knock on the front door (he had violated rule number one, so I figured he needed to run through the drill a few dozen times) she asked me why I was being so hard on the boy. "Don't you remember being that age?" she challenged. Of course I remember. Why do you think I came up with the eight simple rules?
At the Western Australian Fine Wine Exhibition (Le Meridien, Rialto):

on Thursday were more than 250 wines available for tasting. Being conservative by nature and applying the strictest self-control my associate and I were able to restrict our aesthetic exploration of the fruits of the vine to a mere 35 different tipples. Focussing mainly upon Margaret River, Mt Barker and Pemberton regions a diverse range of styles was evident. Terrific riesling, shiraz (and pinot, I guess) from down south in the Great Southern area around Albany; wonderful cabernets, chardonnays, verdelho, and semillon from Margaret River; and some chardonnay and pinot of promise from the new Pemberton area. The new area called Geographe, north of Margaret River produced a couple of good shiraz too.Prices in Margaret River and Pemberton put them out of my range, but there are still some excellent value wines in Mt Barker, though they are on the rise. Wines of the night for me were the incomparable Pierro 1997 chardonnay (see a review further on); cabernets from Devil’s Lair 1997, Chateau Xanadu Reserve 1996, Howard Park 1997, Leeuwin Art Series 1997, Fermoy 1998; shiraz from Evans and Tate 1997, Killerby 1997, Capel Vale Kinnaird 1997, Plantagenet 1997; pinot from Plantagenet 1998, Goundrey Reserve 1998, rieslings from Alkoomi 1999, Howard Park 1999.

A rapid stumble down Collins St, some yummy and much needed congee with prawns and scallops at The Oriental, and to Bennetts in time to hear The Anton Delecca Quartet. The Anton Delecca Quartet - bassist (Matt Clohessy), piano (Mark Fitzgibbon), Anton (tenor and soprano sax), drums (Dave Beck). Mark has long been recognised by his peers as a fine pianist, but until recently he has avoided the exposure of his own trio format. When I last saw Anton’s band in February (with Tony Floyd on drums), I commented that “Mark is understated and musically self-effacing - a characteristic that always leaves me wishing he would extend his solos somewhat”. Perhaps it is related to the release of his trio CD (very tasty, too - called “24 Hour Blues”), but I got my wish. Mark cut loose with some seriously intense and exploratory solos of decent length. It was a joy to watch and listen, and the audience was appreciative too.
Anton led the band through a varied and well constructed playlist of his own numbers, but beginning with Dexter Gordon’s “No. 4”. The first set was dominated by bop style playing giving plenty of space for some rapid-fire solo runs and a generally high energy set. After the break, some contemplative numbers were included and the playlist intermixed with funk and Latin influences. The original pieces included Unification, Inverse Outverse, The Drowned And The Saved, Catalyst, No Boundary, Harvest Song, Petrolhead, and Look How Round He Is. His writing is interesting, and the band well suited to the styles he obviously favours.
Billy Cobham, a famous drummer, once suggested that the reason bands have drummers is because horn players can’t keep time. If that were true, how would the horn playing leader know how to select a good drummer? Anton seems to have gotten it right with Dave Beck. His playing has become much more assured over the last 2 years, and was always of interest without ever descending into the sort of flashiness musos abhor and I love.
A terrific night, and a band to follow further; as one can do this month on the 16th, 23rd, and 30th at Bennetts of course.
James Halliday's latest tasting notes...

Pierro Chardonnay 1997 Rating: 89 Best drinking: 2000-2005 Price: $48.00 Drink with: Seafood pasta Background: One of the most distinguished of a band of striking wines from the Margaret River region, this Chardonnay achieved great acclaim during the second half of the 1980s. The style is invariably complex, concentrated and powerful, with the emphasis on secondary rather than primary fruit characters. Tasting note: Excellent full yellow-green; the bouquet is quite rich and solid, with figgy/nutty aromas which are followed by a comparably rich and mouthfilling palate. The 14.5 degrees alcohol is just a little over the top.
Campbells Rutherglen Muscat NV Rating: 90 Best drinking: 1999-2000 Price: $18.25 Drink with: Fruit cake Background: Again the second tier of Campbells fortifieds, like the Tokay showing largely unmodified varietal character. Tasting note: Light tawny red; very youthful raisiny fruit aromas, with the spirit fractionally jumpy -quite why, I am not sure. High-toned fruit on the palate adds a haunting edge to the flavour, almost floral. Intriguing and delicious.
David Traeger Shiraz 1997 Rating: 88 Best drinking: 2002-2007 Price: $22.50 Drink with: Wild duck Background: Produced from three vineyards in the Nagambie area, with a total of 10 hectares under vine. The American oak handling has been sensibly restrained. Tasting note: Medium to full red-purple; mint, briar and red berry fruit aromas are followed by a palate with plenty of concentration of ripe, cherry fruit. The oak handling is subtle but good throughout; the best from David Traeger for some years.
Maglieri Merlot 1997 Rating: 87 Best drinking: 2002-2007 Price: $18 Drink with: Roast veal Background: I cannot remember previously tasting a Maglieri Merlot; if this is indeed the first, it's a more than creditable start. Tasting note: Medium to full red-purple; solid, clean ripe berry fruit with some earth and green leaf overtones attesting to the variety. The palate offers sweet berry fruit in a legitimate varietal manifestation; good texture, fine tannins and a silky finish.
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