Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Drink Drive, Bloody Idiot

A wee thought occurred to me this morning about how to do two good deeds for humanity in one fell swoop.

Firstly, hype about Tasmania's wine industry is a little out of control at present. And lets face it, we're not experiencing spectacular wines across the board (what wine region does?), however we are seeing a spectacular preponderance of cardboard cutout wineries ... do we really need to pay so much for wine just to pay off the business loans taken out by small wineries in order to compete with Home Hill in Ranelagh (admittedly a magnificent building). Case in point - Meadowbank (another fairly substantial building, wonderful view, great play area for the kids). The sparkling (Mardi) is a lovely drop. Subtly sweet honey hues. However ... $43 a bottle??? Come on!!

Secondly, we all know the perils and idiocy (and temptations) of drink driving. There was a wonderful advertising campaign a while back that said "If you drink and drive, you're a bloody idiot". Even Chopper Read got in on the action - chest bared, tattoos in all their bic ink glory, touting the range of injuries he had sustained in his alter ego as criminal thug (because now that he's an author that makes him a good guy, right?). Anyway, Chopper goes on in the ad to say: "If you drink and drive, you'd better not end up in prison" (subtext: "with me").

So, to the point of this entry. How do we avoid falling for the hype of Tasmanian wine and wineries, source the good gear (wine wise), and at the same time reduce the horrific road toll???? My solution ... drink Craigie Knowe's sumptuous Cabernet Sauvignon (if you can, dig out the 1999 vintage - fairly brought tears to my eyes!).

How does this solve the above range of problems? Well, the attitude of Craigie's skilled artison of a vintner/vignon/winemaker/creator of great grog, John Austwick, is simple, spend the money on making a great wine, not a shiny winery (his rustic barn filled with vats and barrels and beakers and test-tubes is testament to this). In addition, John was once a maxillo-facial surgeon and he tells tales of the horrors of being called in to operate on accident victims in the 1970's (pre-seatbelts!) . Stop and think about that image for a minute (not pretty, is it).

So, drink Craigie Knowe (cos it's a bloody good wine) and while doing so, remember the 1970's John Austwick (pre-winemaking) operating on bloodied faces. That ought to help avoid the temptation to drink and drive (wouldn't want to be a bloody idiot, now, would you!).


Anonymous said...

Hi Georgie,
I'm generally in agreeance with you in your concern for the condition of cooking in Hobart. Ignoring the acceptable standard of food in some of our wineries/specialist tourist developments, Hobart's restaurants are by far some of the most pedestrian to be found in any of Australia's regional let alone capital centres. This is in part the result of our terrible culture of paralysed acceptance of the ordinary, whether it is of music, theatre or indeed cooking. A stifled nervous acceptance of the ever under achieving. As an example lets start with the jewel in Hobart's tourist crown (The docks) littered with lazy gastronomic kitsch, whether it be the grotesque Drunken Admiral with his faux nautical garnishes (Come for the seafood, stay for the freak), the equally inane Mum maluka’s BBQ or indeed the grossly over priced and underachieving Ball & Chain (Another rustic penal theme joke for lovers of limp salad from the $40 limp salad bar). As a location marketed extensively nationwide, ergo internationally, these uber duds constitute an enormous embarrassment for anyone who cares. The incessant banging on about Tasmanian produce is reflected nowhere in this purported 'Tourism Precinct'. The saddest abuse and outrage being perpetrated amongst this rouges gallery is without doubt the appalling Muir's, with it's pine dado boards, tired old furniture and holding pole position locationaly with so much logistical potential to showcase essential Tasmanian produce and cooking yet acting on none of this, just dishing out the same fisherman's basket crap. If God had intended scallops to be crumbed he would have stuck em in loafs of bread.

Apart from the rant the critical issue is not so much the condition of our eateries but the condition of all of us who insist on returning to these stagnations without a word of protest, without us this situation would never be. Next week, I will start on Elizabeth St Nth Hobart, look out Lickerish!


Anonymous said...

preach on girl/boyfriend!