Happy Australia Day everyone!
After much skirting around the edges and confusing my audience in previous posts, I think it’s finally time to combine the ‘music’ and ‘wine’ categories into a single blog post. Yes Yes Yes, I know what you’re thinking: ‘Something for no-one, nothing for everyone’, Way to alienate your audience Pal.
Well hopefully not, but let’s see.
After a couple of particularly full-on wine posts (here and here) about terroir (aka dirt and climate) I thought I’d bring it back a notch with this week’s entry, which is based around the Australia day weekend that was; a weekend full of both wine and music. Together at last!
Now we all know what happens on Australia day, BBQing and complaining about the horrible quality of the hottest 100. I think that the annual sook-fest about the result/list is now as much of a tradition as actually listening to the thing, which amuses me no end. A few years ago I decided that rather than complain about it I’d just do something about it, and hence ‘Pete’s Hottest 100’ aka ‘The Real Hottest 100’ was born. Originally devised as a way to poll a few close music-nerd mates at the end of the year, it’s now in its eighth year and going strong. In fact, the interest was so strong this year that it was decided we’d blow off the Aus day festivities entirely in order to go to the park the day after Australia day and listen to the ‘Real Hottest 100’. And with this now in context, let’s go back to the start of the weekend to review the weekend that was.
After a chaotically busy Friday and some pre-compilation of the votes earlier in the week, I convened with mate Brent to determine the final outcome and start building a playlist of all 100 songs. While doing this, we enjoyed that most Australian of Beers, Bintang, which I had in the fridge as a present from a mate whom I’d sent a board-bag to for an indo surf trip (Thanks Burkey!). After this, we moved on to a bottle of 1998 Moorooduc Estate Cabernet, a wine which alas is no longer made due to the non-existant market for Mornington Peninsula Cabernet. Somewhat of an oddity, it was a brilliant wine in warm vintages like 1998 and was showing some lovely texture, aniseed and dark spice; a classically styled Cabernet that is worth a look if you are the type that buys wine at Auction (it’s usually super cheap!).
Finishing the compilation in time to see Roger Federer’s wheels fall off against Andy Murray in the Australian Open I called it a night with a glass of All Saints Grand Muscat that was showing some nice candied fruit peel over the top of a dense and luscious palate of raisins with a healthy bitter finish. Bliss.
Saturday dawned with some serious cognitive dissonance at my lack of Aus day plans. We had a somewhat productive day before going to meet some friends at the excellent Northcote eatery ‘Estelle Bar & Kitchen‘. On the night we went for an ‘adventurous’ drinks match which wasn’t super wine centric (think Barrel-Aged Sake, Maraschino Martinis etc) but we did enjoy the delicious 2010 Brundlemayer Gruner Veltliner Kamptaler Terassen and it’s grapefruity, flinty, textural character alongside a plate of multiple zucchini textures and flavours, and the 2010 Romanico Tempranillo from Toro in Spain, which had some nice chewy blackberry, earth and silky tannins but was lost a bit next to the truffle-covered wagyu beef dish that we were featsing on. It was crying out for some Nebbiolo but we’ll write that one off as a lost opportunity…
Sunday was where things got musical. The organising committee (plus a few extras!) arrived at the park at 12 to kick off with some Bloody Caesars (Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it – awesome) and get the music going at 12.30. I won’t bore you with the blow-by-blow details of the BBQ but amongst the usual mix of Stone and Wood beers and Hills Ciders I had a great bottle of 2011 Los Hermanos Txakoli, made from the Petit Manseng grape and based on the Txakoli wines of basque country in Spain it is oh-so-slightly effervescent, steely and with hints of stonefruit – but definitely not fruit driven, Unique and worth a look. As we counted down our vastly-superior hottest 100, things got heated during a new tradition – the animal vegetable competition – which involves a bunch of adults making the best ‘animals’ using only ‘vegetables’ (and tooth picks). I’ll let the photos explain this one.
Fittingly it was the elephant’s day to win – with Elephant taking out both the animal-vegetable comp and Tame Impala scoring a deserved win in the real hottest 100 with the epic ‘Elephant’. Much dancing and merriment continued, with plans already underway for a bigger party next year.
For those who are curious (or who voted!), A spotify playlist is in the works here, a work in progress at present but something that will give you the flavour of the list.
Until next week,