“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





16 February 2015


From the vast archive:
Merrill in Melbourne,
launching his posh Shiraz

As I sort through a lifetime of notebooks, papers, photographs and diaries in the hope of building a decently researchable archive, I'm finding some true morsels. Like this account of a tasting Geoff Merrill staged to promote his spendy new 1996 McLaren Vale Shiraz. 

It caught my eye as Merrill currently has his business on the market, complete with rondavel. And the cricket's on. But the big mo is gone.

With alarming generosity, in 2001 Merrill flew the hackpack into Melbourne and poured his wine, blind, along with the most buzzy, extravagent Shiraz bottles of the day. Wines he obviously imagined he could match. After we'd all done our notes, he pulled the bags off the bottles and we added their names to our appraisals.

To help you through my note system, the figure top right is the alcohol; bottom right is my score and estimation of the wine's cellaring life. Like 93++ points in the case of the Tahbilk, with a drinking window N-15 indicating a good drink now or through the next fifteen years. The plus signs are a vague indicator of how many more points I might award the wine if it was ideally cellared and matured.

Being a foolhardy sort of a bloke, Merrill didn't seem to contemplate the chance that we'd prefer other more famous wines over his own. Which we did. I reckon there were about a dozen wine scribes in attendance.

Click on the images to blow my tiny spidery writing up a tad. Forgive the intimacy, but I reckon it's time a lot of this stuff I have emerges from the storage trunks. 


BITCH said...


R2 said...

Jesus Whitey. You've started something now. When will you get round to the Brian File?