“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)





10 April 2016


Ch. Compost Compote Le Gloriation du Merle 1598 

As Merlot is the grape which ripens first in Aquitaine, it is also the grape devoured first by the Merle, or blackbird (Turdus merula).  In mounting its revenge with some humour,  Ch. Compost aims this stewy distinction directly at consumption accompanying the great pie devised by its consultant de cuisine Giovanni de’ Rosselli, the artifice of which is achieved thus: “Make the coffin of a great Pie or pasty, in the bottome whereof make a hole as big as your fist, or bigger if you will, let the sides of the coffin be some what higher than ordinary Pies, which done, put it full of flower and bake it, and being baked, open the hole in the bottome, and take out the flower.  Then, having a Pie of the bignesse of the hole in the bottome of the coffin aforesaid, you shal put it into the coffin, withal put into the said coffin round about the aforesaid Pie as many small live birds as the empty coffin will hold, besides the pie aforesaid.  And this is to be done at such time as you send the Pie to the table, and set before the guests: where the uncovering or cutting up the lid of the great Pie, all the Birds will flie out, which is to delight and pleasure shew to the company.  And because they shall not bee altogether mocked, you shall cut open the small Pie, and in this sort tart you may make many others, the like you may do with a Tart.” Use the Merlot with the cooked blackbirds in your inner pies, make too a topping gravy of it, also serve it fresh from jugs for toast raising as the living birdies are released through the crust. To provide a fine opportunity for wagers whilst protecting your unpicked grapes, close the windows and pass the .410 round the table with the port. 

Steelojex Taxi Spackasity Gonas Glosav Blanco 2099 

You know the lick of a clean urinal?  Clean, I mean, with the big lollies down the trough at the bottom.  That lovely reassuring whiff of clean?  Take your taxi cab.  Before the hyper-normal-smelling Punjabis took over the cabs and made them clean, most taxis smelt like a dirty public toilet, even though we don’t smoke ’em up anymore on account of the law replacing the lure and the lore.  Then you got one that smelt like a clean toilet, usually because of that little blotting paper Christmas tree swinging by its neck from the rear view mirror, exuding the overwhelming stink of clean.  Whatter you gonna do?  Which taxi are you gonna drink?  I’ll never forget the floral bouquet of the cab the Hon. Tom Koutsantonis MP drove for Bill Gonas’s Adelaide Independent when he’d shuttle me between the Exeter Thirst Emporium and the square named after the first bloke in South Australia to get a knighthood, where I sometimes slept.  Tom sweated a lot in his neat poly uniform in the summer, and in the winter, too, for that matter, but you could depend on him getting you there quick.  He was a man on the make. When he became the Minister for Road Safety a bit later on, and somebody advised the electorate of some 58 traffic offences and over $10,000 of unpaid fines, they fired him from Road Safety and put him in charge of everything radioactive, like the world’s biggest uranium mine. So bugger this wine.  Tom’s clean now, he's doing a really good job, and I wanna drink the uranium mine. I was in that business.  It’ll have a longer finish. 

This fledgeling blackbird came from a nest in the rafters outside my kitchen door. I photographed it on the back of the ute after it had taken its first flight. That involved about six metres of flopping leading it to crash into that grille, then it did a great big "whew!" and spent some time having a very confused look around. All I could do was say "Welcome to the world, Sunshine" and let it find its own way home. 

These reviews of imaginary wines are from the comic I made with George Grainger Aldridge in 2013, called Evidence of Vineyards on Mars. I'm about to hit George with a draft text of my translation of the Gospel According to Mark, so he can dream up some visions. I expect it to go on all Australian school curricula. 

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