Sunday, December 22, 2019

What's your poison?

Back here Travel Penguin mentioned Ripple, which is now a modern and non alcoholic hipster drink but in a former version once was not apparently. It was a cheap alcoholic drink if I understand correctly.

I really enjoy composing some posts and this is one, where I walk down memory lane and spend a lot of time on one post.

Confession, I am not a wine connoisseur and as quite a number of people my age do, at home I drink cask (box) wine. I am a cheap drunk. I really like the cask wine I drink, Colombard Chardonnay. I wouldn't drink it if I didn't. I've never really found a red cask wine to my taste and if I drink red wine, it is from a bottle and of a reasonable quality.

There were some really cheap and nasty drinks around when I was young. Sparkling Porphyry Pearl was one, a bubbly white wine and quite horrible, and with a weird plastic stopper and a screw top. I bet this woman wore high heels when cooking the family evening meal, although tottering a bit on her heels after a couple of Porphyry Pearls as she prepared dinner.


Hospital brandy for my maternal non drinking grandfather when he felt unwell. Pretty rough stuff I think. Does anyone remember if it was for drinking or used as an anesthetic? It was consumed and not applied?


But what on earth was in Brandivino? Brandy mixed with wine? Sounds delish, not.


Then there was Screwdriver that my mother occasionally drank. What was that? Guggle is being unhelpful, but I think it was a premixed vodka with orange something and maybe you added lemonade. At about the age of 16 one evening my step father's son and I mixed Mother a very strong Screwdriver and we then both went off to the local park to drink beer. Mother was a bit drunk when we returned for the only time in my memory. I can't find a photo of the concoction. This a US version.


Popular with my school mates was Stones Green Ginger Wine, which caused many students to vomit, frequently and often, perhaps myself too and if I can't remember, probably.


Then along came Mateus Rose in a distinctively shaped bottle, sickly sweet as I recall but the bottle was so nice and often reused as a table centrepiece upon a red and white checked table cloth with a candle stuck in the neck of the bottle with solidified wax dripping down the side of the bottle. We were becoming very Mediterranean and recyclers. 


Our choices were becoming classy now, with Ben Ean Moselle. What a drink! I would spit it out now. Though it was many years ago, still the price tells all.



Thinking we were a bit posh but not so sophisticated until the revelation of the wine Blue Nun, the elixir of the gods at the time. All those German nuns in Bavaria picking grapes in blue habits. Mein Gott, it has got to be good.



Of course no self respecting Australian would drink the most ghastly wine that can be seen in liquour outlets all over the world in recent years, Yellow Tail. We do actually make good wine in Australia. Yellow Tail is not one of them. Don't buy it.


I wonder how the ever so now fashionable Aperol will be viewed in the future? I think it is actually Campari, as used to be drunk Campari and soda, but correct me if you know.

55 comments:

  1. I don't particularly like the taste of alcohol, so my poison is anything with vodka, such as a screwdriver, which I've always understood to be vodka and orange juice (oddly enough, I've never liked straight orange juice--too many weird things floating around in it). I also like to do shots, you know, whisky shots, because then I can quickly wash out the taste (chase) while still getting the buzz. However, if I'm at a bar or party, I'm just as likely to have beer, which I don't really like, simply because I can kind of moderate how drunk I'm getting. Wine's OK, but I'm not a connoisseur. I'm not a connoisseur of any kind of alcoholic drink, really, so when the conversation about drinking comes up, and I say, well, I drink this or I drink that, then suddenly the other person starts peppering me with all these exotic names that I'm expected to recognize. In those instances, I tempted to say I don't drink at all, but then they might get the wrong idea and assume I'm a religious fanatic.

    I often thought that if alcohol tasted like Pepsi or some other soft drink, I'd be the biggest lush in the world, because really, it's not wanting that boozy taste in my mouth (which, among other things, always makes me thirsty) rather than any kind of moral repugnance about getting drunk that's kept that from happening.

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    1. Kirk, I believe the pressure to drink is even higher here. I don't like sweet drinks except perhaps sherry or port. Perhaps you should start talking about exotic teas and you might clear the room.

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  2. My mother drank cask wine (and everything else). I prefer bottles these days but don't drink a lot of anything.
    I remember Ben Ean on the parent's table. And Blue Nun. And later Mateus.
    As a student the worst (albeit cheapest) thing we drank was Sedna, a Chinese tonic wine. If you could keep a glass down you were drunk.
    I quite like Yellow Tail Merlot but have not tried any of the others.

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    1. Lol EC about Sedna. I've never heard of it. I haven't tried all the Yellow Tail wines, but what I have I did not like. They (used?) to see very well in the US.

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  3. Porphyry Pearl! No! No! Never did a drop or a drip, maybe...perhaps one small sip, ever pass my lips. Same applied to Ben Ean Moselle. Yuk!

    During my first introductions to the restaurant field...waiting tables...we always could pick out those on their first dates...the ones who drank the above wines!

    These days I very rarely have a drink...but, if and when I do I still love a good red...Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon. If you're looking for a good Rose...you couldn't go far wrong with Bird in Hand.

    I did attend a small pre-Christmas gathering on Friday evening just gone...to which I took along a Goundrey Shiraz...wine from Mt. Barker, Western Australia. It was a very nice, very smooth red. I liked it very much. First time I'd ever tried it.

    Scotch is my favourite spirit, followed by a good old Bundy Rum in second place. I've not had a glass or two of either in quite some time, either. I still have my unopened bottle of Dimple Haig...still unopened in its unopened box. I think I bought it back in December 2016...but with how fast the years are flying by...on second thoughts, it could even been older than that now. Maybe this Christmas Day might be the day of the grand opening!! I'll see how I feel come the day! :)

    As for after dinner sips...nothing beats a quality Cognac...a Drambuie or Grand Marnier.

    Hic!

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    1. Could you tell us which brands of Shiraz and Cab Sav are the better tasting ones? My older son buys whichever he can afford and glugs it straight from the bottle, I'd like to be able to point him towards something that tastes good at least. (it's how he copes with the shrew)

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    2. I'll send you an email, River. :)

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    3. Lee, they must have wanted to show off their sophistication on the first date. I just don't like Rose. It is neither fish nor fowl. Not a fan of dark rum either. Maybe Mount Barker is kind of Margaret River, where good wines are grown, or east of Perth in the hills. I agree with your after dinner sips.

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    4. River, I leave it to Lee then. 'copes with the shrew', lol. I get that. I think I would be on mood medication if I couldn't have a drink at night.

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    5. There was and is nothing "sophisticated" about Ben Ean Moselle or Porphyry Pearl, Andrew! lol

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    6. I didn't know Western Australia had a Mt Barker.

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  4. I'll be making poinsettias again for our Christmas cocktails.These days we drink chilled Jacobs Creek shiraz cab with lots of ice or an icy cold real beer (definitely not a craft beer).

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    1. Cheryl, I never hear of that cocktail. Jacobs creek is not expensive and pretty good really. I've never had chilled red wine, let alone with ice and I should try it.

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  5. I don't hard drink, except....I seek out the small brew whiskey makers booth each Christmas craft show at the fairgrounds. Just one little shot, a sample they call it there, just warms me through and through. I like it. Sliding down my throat harsh and then comes that creeping warming head to toe. But I guess they may remember me know, that I talk to them like I know and appreciate good whiskey, which I don't, with that look about me, that all I want is that sample. Or two. And this year they wouldn't look my way, so I could get a sample and seemed to gather in their product protectively as I approached. Annie Green Springs wine was what we as kids tried to get ahold of, to take a sip we usually spat out, but we felt so brave.

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    1. Lock away the whiskey fellas. I just spotted Strayer on a mission and heading our way. Gosh, even the name Annie Green Springs sounds awful. If you hold alcohol in your mouth, quite a bit can be absorbed even if you spit it out.

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  6. I half expected you to end with the lyrics of Monty Python's Australian Philosopher's Song.

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    1. Tasker, I am sure you being terribly clever, but I haven't forgotten the song. I do remember the name. I'll check later.

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    2. No, not trying to be clever, the opposite really, just associating Australia, alcohol and the song. I looked up the words:

      Immanuel Kant was a real piss-ant who was very rarely stable.
      Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar who could think you under the table. ..

      David Hume could out-consume Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
      And Wittgenstein was a beery swine who was just as sloshed as Schlegel.
      There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach 'ya 'bout the raising of the wrist.
      Socrates, himself, was permanently pissed.

      John Stuart Mill, of his own free will, after half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
      Plato, they say, could stick it away, half a crate of whiskey every day!
      Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,
      And Hobbes was fond of his Dram.
      And René Descartes was a drunken fart:
      "I drink, therefore I am."

      Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed;
      A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed.

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  7. Spot on! As an Australian baby boomer that brought back many memories. I'd only add galliano; we thought we were so sophisticated drinking it in the 70's.

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    1. Jaaney, I think I know who you are and your blog. Yes, galliano (it was very nice) but also creme de menthe and what was that yellow one that went into fluffy ducks?

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  8. Anonymous9:29 am

    Many, many years ago, my grandparents used to drink at their evening meal one glass of what I remember as being a "fortified" red wine from Australia but I can't recall the name. Probably the equivalent of the Sparkling Porphyry Pearl. My parents drank Mateus Rose, sweet pinkish water in my view. Roderick

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    1. Possibly a Sherry or a Port wine.

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    2. River, they are what we know as fortified wines, but I think in North America they had something else that was not so sweet before dinner.

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  9. Me too Jaaney :)

    In the last 30 years, I have moved on to whiskey, gin or vodka with nothing but ice.

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    1. Hels, I don't mind ice with gin or vodka but I don't want my Scotch watered by melting ice.

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    2. Buy some "whiskey rocks", you keep them in your freezer and they chill your drink without melting. My son has some they come in a box of six. I bought "wine pearls" for all the lushes in my family as gifts last Christmas, same thing, keep in the freezer and chill your wine without melting and diluting the drink, available at most Smokemarts.

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    3. River, what a good idea.

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  10. I drank Mateus that's it ,I never liked wine much but I have a problem with grapes so that wipes wine out foe me, a beer on a super hot day is not bad.
    Merle......

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    1. Merle, that first sip of beer on a hot day can be so revitalising.

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  11. I wasn't much for wine but had a taste of most of those. My tipple was Pernod with plenty of ice. One of my best memories was of my son making Pina Colada's as I made Christmas pudding unfortunately he forgot to strain them but we drank them anyway and he was way under legal drinking age. The pudding turned out okay though.

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    1. Jah Teh, I guess I tried Pernod but I can't remember. I've not had a Pina Colada. Probably too sweet for me. I tried to find that story about making some cooked food (pudding?) that needed wine and story became very messy, as did the food preparation.

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  12. Ah the memories! I well remember all of those, mostly from the ads.
    I blush (for his sake) to recall my first meeting with my partner, at my sister's house for dinner, back in 1981. I cooked dinner, he brought the wine: a bottle of the hideous Ben Ean! But I rather liked the look of him, still do even after all these years, so I choked down a glass of the revolting stuff.
    I do enjoy teasing him about it from time to time though. He confesses it was going to be either that or Barossa Pearl!

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    1. Good story Rozzie. Ben Ean is far preferable to Barossa Pearl.......I think.

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  13. I know nothing about wines apart from the fact I don't like any. I do recall having a taste of Porphyry Pearl and some other wine at one time and maybe that's why I don't like wines. Or it could be the glasses. I recently discovered that certain wines should be drunk from certain glasses and my younger son, who likes his wines, confirms this. At a cellar door once he was given a taste of something and declared it terrible, then given a taste of the same wine in the "proper" glass and he says the difference is
    amazing. I've only ever tasted in old jam jar glasses, like the ones where you lever off the lid, use up the jam then wash the jar and use it as a glass.

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    1. River, that's interesting about the glasses. Some cellar doors used to use plastic glasses and I can imagine wine tasting differently when served in plastic.

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  14. I'm guilty of having drunk Mateus, Blue Nun, and Yellow Tail in my time. But that was all a long time ago.

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    1. Walt, and I am sure you would never attempt to share any now with your neighbours.

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  15. Ripple and Thunderbird were both fortified wines sold by California's Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery. Ripple was also carbonated, while Thunderbird was flavored. The company's success was apparently built on the back of Thunderbird, sold with this catchy jingle:

    "What’s the word? Thunderbird!
    How’s it sold? Good and cold.
    What’s the jive? Bird’s alive.
    What’s the price? Thirty twice."
    —1957 radio jingle

    I remember hearing dismissive jokes about Thunderbird in the 1970's. There are some really funny, if also disturbing, stories about the marketing of Thunderbird at https://drunkard.com/whats-the-word-thunderbird/

    Ripple was the drink of choice of the fictional junkman "Fred Sanford," played by Redd Foxx in the 1970's American situation comedy, "Sanford and Son." Foxx, like Pat Morita of "Karate Kid" fame, was a notoriously "blue" stand-up comic whose comedy record albums better reflected his nightclub act than his TV work, although Foxx let the "blue" slip through on his short-lived TV variety show, for which he had left "Sanford and Son." In a skit featuring Queen Elizabeth II, Foxx jumped on the "Queen" and appeared to be humping her.

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    1. Great information CK. Yes, I see what you mean about the marketing. I know of Morita from Karate Kid, but I didn't know he was a blue comedian too. Humping the Queen on US tv sounds very un American.

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  16. Thanks for the mention, and glad I inspired you. I am not a big wine drinker, and not fuzzy when I do. I do like a good, well aged Bourbon or Scotch. If you want a really great novelty item, I have a bottle of Breton Whiskey. I first found it in a supermarket in Normandy. It is a single malt made in Brittany, there is a shop in New York City that sells it.

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    1. Travel, I suspect it might be too sweet for my taste. Ah, not Normandy in France.

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    2. Yes, in France, been there a couple of times.

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  17. Mateus and Blue Nun are the only ones I recognized and we had growing up.

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    1. Jackie, you had some deprivation in your younger years then.

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  18. I remember Mateus and Blue Nun from my university days, although I preferred beer then (and now). We were also partial to Black Tower wine back then; I wonder if that's considered gauche now as well :)

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    1. Jenny, yes Black Tower, in a special bottle I think.

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  19. In my day, Mateus was drunk by 16 year old girls, and Blue Nun by bored housewives. I like the sound of 'Hospital Brandy'. Rough red wine for me!

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    1. Cro, I think hospital brandy would be very good for one's health.

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  20. Go to ebay and see how much to buy an empty Mateus wine bottle. I could have been another Gina.

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    1. Jah Teh, really? I had no idea. Do they come with dripped wax included?

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  21. No candle drips and you forgot another favourite of Mums everywhere, Pimm's. Then the wives of the 70s, Marsala and coke. Both gave me revolting headaches after a few sips.

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    1. Ah yes, Pimm's. Still drunk now. I'd forgotten about Marsala and coke. Ghastly.

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  22. In Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal it is the use to drink wine with the meal. Good wine, and water a part. On weekends it's first the apperitif, then the wine and when finished coffee with a Whisky or Cognac. Little kids from 3 or 4 also get a zip of wine, at school my son even got beer with his meal, not a strong one of course. It has always been like this. We don't drink as we drank too much in the past, but we now have alcohol free, beer, wine and even Champagne. And I can't say that there are many alcoholics in these countries. It's just a question of tradition and culture.

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    1. Gattina, Europe is often painted to us as the correct way to drink alcohol.

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Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.