“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)





18 May 2018


Hahndorf Hill White Mischief Adelaide Hills Gruner Veltliner 2017 
($24; 13% alcohol; screw cap) 

It's funny to think a variety like this, from alpine Austria, can hand you a bowl of these aromas, which apart from some mildly fragrant almond honeys are pretty much tropical. 

Extraordinary tropicals, forgive me, but marketed merely as mischievous white. 

Not to use my name too lightly. 

I remember these things at a roadside barrow in the tiger jungle way up somewhere on the northern Malaysia border one faceplant from a filthy Harley. The best of luck to you good people all up that steaming green peninsula and congratulations on your cuisine and your fearless election decision! Long may your tigers roar at night! 

While they're extraordinary because they're tropical, these are mild tropicals, mind you. Like there's no durian. It stops way short of that. It's short of even mild pineapple. Mild star fruit is more like it. It's more along the line of the dependency of Issye Miyake [perfume] and Hendricks [gin] on the soft refreshment of cucumber [never available fresh at duty-free]. 

Add mild jungle melons. Mild ginger root. Pale mango. Then there's long plain clingstone peach chalk and yep, cucumber. Maybe a faint strand of something like elderflower on a vine way overhead, but mainly this long appetising dryness which is deadly anti-Harley cool and sets off all sorts of naughty traps. Yellow carp curry would swim with it. Saffron. Coconut milk. Verbena. Tiger tucker. Watch the crocs. 

Hahndorf Hill Gru Adelaide Hills Gruner Veltliner 2017 
($29; 13% alcohol; screw cap) 

Corral all the best juicy bits from the White Mischief. Without any warning get them to run around the block. Pick the first lot to return and put them in here, ok? 

Then get all the sweetest-smelling of the fleshier ones, however they run. That ly-chee stuff. Think of the petals of water-lily, jasmine and magnolia; that babycheek flesh. Squish them in, too. 

Make a little bitters sauce from wormwood and ku-ding holly with the juice of prickly pear and aloe vera and apply six droplets about the size of gnat tears. 

If you asked me for my recipe for this elegant majesty, I'd start back in all that somewhere. Stirred not shaken. Lots of subliminal sweetness insinuators without any sweetness. Advise your flavour lawyers re the naming rights and proceed. 

Hahndorf Hill Gru 2 Adelaide Hills Gruner Veltlner 2015 
($45; 13% alcohol; screw cap) 

This variety could be the first serious challenge all those skrillions of tonnes of Adelaide Hills Chardonnay have encountered since they began their malignancy. It's been like this for years really. 

Gastronomically, this wine also slaughters a great deal of that catbattery lawnclippings Savvy-b them hillsbillies like to grow as much some folks like to drink. It is a complex, sultry, dusty white wine that moves coldly toward its own clarity and distinction. Just quietly. Without challenge. It looks neither to left nor right. 

This wine has eyes the colour of the north Atlantic. It is rowed so well and determined I can taste its blue in my own aquamarine teeth. 

It's jumping territories, I know, but Austria may have grewn a deeper sense of humour had it learned, centuries back, the recipe to Caldeirada de Lulas, the Portugese squid stew. This goes with that. I know. I just did it. With toast. And butter ... dribbling still ... at Hahdorf, this tourism Mecca founded by a Viking people smuggler and his boatful of Poles. Thinking.

How would our immigration ubermeister Peter Dutton regard a human trafficker like Dirk Meinerts Hahn, a Dane, who brought all those Polish people here on his Zebra in 1838? He was a-Vikin, and they weren't technically Germans. Hahndorf. 

Just sayin ... None of 'em coulda made anything like this gorgeous Gru2 then, eh? No, Grasshopper, and too few can make it now.

No comments: