Really crap wine alert!!
With my parents visiting for a few days before they embarked on a 3-week trip to Cambodia and Laos we found our weekend plans scuppered somewhat by the Chinese New Year holidays.
Going about one’s business in KL when the roads are so empty is a joy but if you want to get a bite to eat out you need to think carefully as most places are shut. So it was that we acted on my mum’s suggestion to buy a cheap BBQ to put on the balcony, get some nice meats and have a pleasant meal at home. Our original intention was to go to Skybar or Luna Bar, enjoy the night-time cityscape and then eat at Acme Bar & Coffee. As far as a DIY alternative, then, my mum’s idea was a pretty decent one – after all, the sky-line view from our balcony is better than anything you can get downtown.
Having picked up some mean-looking striploins and merguez sausages I was a little nervous about the integrity of the BBQ owing to the cheap metal. But it managed to stay alive and not melt everywhere, which was a victory of sorts. My paranoia about smoke and neighbourliness led me to read all the condo’s rules & regulations about a gazillion times, but no-one complained and no jobsworth guards came up, so I assumed we were not contravening regulation 4.5 b) sub-section iii).
The wine we had available for everyday drinking was this pitiful Wolf Blass Eagle Hawk Merlot 2011 – a party donation. I have a certain fondness for Wolf Blass. A bit like my student fondness for Banrock Station Shiraz. Wolf Blass was a brand that my wife and I used to drink a lot of, way back in the day, before we could afford to be pickier. With my mother-in-law being a Waitrose wine-deal fiend and friends bringing it round for dinners, we’d sink gallons of the Yellow Label cabernet-sauvignon, getting riotously drunk whilst playing board games.
So, Wolf Blass was the cause of many hangovers and plenty of happy memories (though I hated the American-oak vanilla explosion). But times change and palates get choosier, and what served a purpose then certainly does not now.
I was pleased with the steaks and our BBQ meal but the wine was a f*cking abomination – from its pallid, pathetic hue to the almost indistinguishable, limp flavours, it was like drinking a slightly fermented ribena with all the fun taken out. I know that Merlot is soft, fruity, jammy and used most often in Bordeaux blends to soften harsher more tannic grapes, but I would hesitate to even call this wine. I suppose I must remember that you are limited to what you can do with rubbish like this; chuck it in a stew (which brings up the stew/wine conundrum, see previous post) or decant it down the plug-hole.
Drinking it is not a good idea.
Just like the Pope’s being Catholic, this ‘everyday drinking’ wine was designed to be crap.
Having been pleasantly surprised by better-than-expected wines in the past, I should’ve trusted my gut instinct and prior knowledge of the producer to know this would be an as-bad-as-expected experience.
More fool me.