Thursday, January 27, 2005

Woop Woop blog blog.

Crummy day yesterday, cold with snow flurries, but I went out for a walk anyway, to visit the Haymarket Station post office. I was well rewarded on the way back with a chance encounter with a new retail establishment: Just Grapes. A wine store.

I can’t say I’m a wine aficionado. It always seemed that that would involve studying the subject too hard, and spending too much money. Still, periodically I’ll seek out a decent glass of white or red, selected mostly because of its country of origin; an interesting label; and a modest price. Just Grapes has an enormous selection, wall-to-wall racks of bottles, in a well-lit setting backed by blonde-wood walls. So I looked around.

I also had a talk with the proprietor, since I was the only customer. Fittingly, he was a wine aficionado, and said that he’d worked in vineyards in various parts of the world. I equivocated when he asked what kind of wine I liked, since “I like wines with cool labels” isn’t going to pass muster in a sophisticated wine shop. But I did acknowledge that I often bought wines by country. It being Australia Day and all (see yesterday’s entry), I took a long look at the Oz selection, and mentioned that I’d visited a Margaret River winery in Western Australia once upon a time; he said he’d worked at some wineries near there, and in South Australia.

After all that, I couldn’t just walk out, so I made my impulse purchase for the day: a bottle of Woop Woop ’04 verdelho, a white wine. It had all my requirements: imported from an interesting country, sporting a good label—featuring a reproduction of a photo of a sunset in the Australian bush—and at $10, not especially expensive.

From “Verdelho is one of Australia's niche white wine varieties. Its flavoursome palate and full-bodied nature makes it a good alternative to the market-dominant Chardonnay. Verdelho is native to Portugal. Although grown on the mainland, it’s most recognised for its vinification into fortified wine on the island of Madeira, producing a medium-dry style with high acidity, high alcohol and a citrus tang. This is how the world knew Verdelho, until Australia adopted the variety and produced a unique style of table wine.”

As for the name, the label says: “In Australia Woop Woop means not nearby, remote even. In sourcing fruit for this well-balanced South Australian white wine, we went outside our normal territory… we went to Woop Woop to bring Woop Woop to you. Enjoy enjoy.”


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