“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 2018


When nobody's looking, the temptation to try naughty blends is overwhelming

Intimate confessions:
Whitey spills a savvy blonde secret   

There are two of you, right? One of you doesn't always want to drink Sauvignon blanc. 

Or maybe somebody just leaves you a bottle. You don't have to hide it. If I visit, I'll pretend some silly billy that doesn't understand your superior level of vinous intellect left it there in the fridge. Oh damn!

Like that red you can't quite learn to love, and the weather being a touch too hot for spag bol and all, you haven't yet found a suitable dish in which to park it ... 

This is sacrilegious this wicked suggestion. You didn't read it here. I won't dare suggest you should cook with plonk you won't drink. But I'm gonna suggest you make some mud pies to drink: a mixture which for some staggering reason our snobby wine culture has taught us is verboten: make a blend! Mix 'em up! Use some ice and soda! 

A kindly winemaker left me a few bottles of pretty good Adelaide Hills  Sauvignon blanc "just for drinking in the heat." When the heat's that bad, and a Riesling with a big ice block is simply too much of a challenge, I'd be the last one you catch trying to rehydrate with the blonde Sauvignon. But I use it. I keep it in the fridge. I put it my red. 


Having a morbid fascination in the way wines decay, I usually have a few opened reds on the work bench. If I taste just one glass per day, the wine is mostly tired and oxidised by the time I reach the punt. But I've learned more about its structure as different bits of it fall away, and in a most unscientific but fairly reliable method, I've got a pretty good understanding then of how the wine will mature in a cellar. 

If I'm confounded by an exceptional performer, it's always a great delight then to examine a fresh sample, to remind me where I started. I learn the drink from its bones out. 

Of course most folks are not in this business and never know the luxury of having such a selection of oxidising wines lying about the house, which is not to say you shouldn't try it anyway with what's at hand: go on, make a blend! 

Just doodling around on the bench, I long ago discovered that a dash of half-good Savvy-B can give a magic lift to all sorts of desultory reds. Got a Shiraz there that you feel a bit silly about? One that's unconvincing? Bang it with a dash. You can go as far as making a rosé like this - winemakers call it the tache, or stain method - but you needn't. Try it first with just a spoonful of the cold white stuff: just enought to chill the unconvincing red a little, and let that soursob acid edge of the Sauvignon blonde work its sharpening way into your drink. 

As I say, you didn't read this here. But be aware: you're reading the recommendation of a malt whisky fiend who, in moments of perverse solitude, has been known to try some of the very best ones with a big shlück of, er, Coke. Nobody sees; nobody knows. Dead of night. I like the sound, the fizz, the clunk of ice. Jeez it's good.

you gotta pick your time to fully appreciate a malt whisky with Coke

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