Wine, women and...wrong

Max Crus
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Warning: The following column may contain traces of actual wine information.

It seems there’s been a little bit of a spat about a new range of wines, Early Harvest, designed by women for women - lower in calories apparently.

The stoush has arisen not over the low alcohol/calorie stature of the wines but over comments by the wine’s marketing director, a bloke called Trevor, that “For women wine is not an intellectual pursuit”.

There are three interesting considerations here. Firstly, does anybody, apart from winemakers and marketing types, treat wine as an intellectual pursuit?

Sure it’s cerebral stuff, indeed most of us drink it in the hope that it will go straight to our brains and turn us into the uninhibited intellectuals we believe ourselves to be during the dinner party, at the same time conveniently postponing and denying the experience of seeing ourselves in the mirror the next morning. But that’s as intellectual as it gets.

Secondly,  You would think a wine designed by women, for women, would be crying out for a woman to market it, wouldn’t you? No offence Trev’.

Lastly, whoever heard a woman express any interest whatsoever in the caloric content of her wine?

However, I have been wrong before, I think, so decided to do a little survey to test this anecdotal assumption, asking every woman I know the basis upon which they choose wine.

Ms L: “Is this chardonnay expensive?”

My Cultural Adviser: “Nice label, very Klimt-esque, but have you got any red bubbles?”

Crockery Woman: “I’ve got a headache, can I just have a small glass please?”

The Big T: “Let’s open another red”.

Mum: “I’ll drink anything but chardonnay”.

Shazza: “Bewdy, 16 percent, let’s get two and a cab”.

There you have it, either the definitive answer, or I don’t know enough women, but best not go there.

Meanwhile here’s one of the wines that all the fuss is about and a few for those who are fussy about other bits.

Early Harvest 2005 Chardonnay, $15. Why not go the whole hog and use female grapes, pickers, packers, drivers and sales people? To be fair, for all I know they did. The taste is simple and sweet unlike most women I know who couldn’t give two hoots for low alcohol stuff. 6.8/10.

Some whites are naturally lower in calories anyway...

Goundrey Homestead WA 2004 Riesling, $17ish. Long tables, long glasses, long bottles. All the makings of a fine afternoon, except that it was already evening. 8.1/10.

Many women would prefer this...

Nepenthe Tryst Cabernet/Tempranillo/Zinfandel, 2004, $10-12? Ah yes to have a zinfandel again. Ah yes, to have a tryst again. “Ouch! Waddya mean, Ms L?” Pretty serious stuff despite the relative lack (13.5) of alcohol. 7.8/10.

But to most, this is more like it...

Mount Burrumboot Estate 2003 Mad Uncle Jack’s Petit Verdot, $20. The perfect wine for me, according to my nephews. “But my name’s not Jack”, I insisted. Nevertheless I don’t mind being tarred with the same brush as this.  Alas I doubt I will ever be accused of being sweet and florally fragrant. Nor delicious. 9/10.

© Max Crus

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