Not driving, waving

Max Crus
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Going away this Christmas? See if you can answer this : Why is it that Harley Davidson riders never wave?

Unlike all other motorists, Harley riders don’t wave. Not even to one another. Which leads one to suspect what many have thought for ages, that they are a breed unto themselves, and that while they may think they are above communication with other humans, other humans tend to think the opposite.

Sure there is a pecking order, eg European and British bike riders have a long history of waving, as do ute drivers.

Touring riders and caravan drivers wave to one another, and you could tell sporty types want to wave but can’t. Can’t blame them for not taking their hands off the bars or wheel at 200kmh in a 35kmh corner.

Honda riders and Lexus drivers wave at everyone in the vain hope of at least some measure of social acceptance.

But Hog riders? Never.

Interestingly the same behaviour is evident amongst wine drinkers where you’ll find subtle but nonetheless abundant modes and meanings to acknowledgment between wine drinking brethren.

The glance and nod when the same brand is plonked on the counter at the bottle shop.

The touch on the nose when you order the same red as the table next to you, comrades in excellent taste and value.

The table of giggling girls guzzling rose, flicking their golden locks at the identical demographic across the room drinking the same garish grog.

The understanding wink from like minded souls when a sticky is ordered for dessert, thus completing the collection indicating you’ve had a crack at every wine style throughout dinner - a true aficionado, like them.

Not unexpectedly, there’s even the Harley equivalent, the French champagne drinker. I mean, why order $250 Krug when local $35 Domaine pulls the chicks just as well, and doesn’t reek of mid-life crises?

But wait, is that a wave? Nope, just wiping the bugs from the teeth and calling the waiter over to ask if Krug is actually meant to smell like that.

Secret Stone Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2005,  $19. He who removes the screw cap will be King of all New Zealand. Well, the bottle’s empty and I am still waiting. Unusual name but usual NZ contents. 8.5/10.

Balthazar of the Barossa 2002 Shiraz, $60. Barossa Show winner made by former sex therapist, Anita Bowen, the connection is clear - I’d be anybody’s too after a couple of glasses. A toss up which is cheaper though, a therapy session or a bottle of Balthazar. 9/10.

Talinga Park Sauvignon Blanc 2005, $10. So many savs, so little time but at least at this price you won’t break the bank for trying. 7.8/10.

Gum Bear Limestone Coast Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Merlot, 2004, $12. Crying out ‘spoonerism’, it’s obvious at whom this is aimed, and they’ve matched the name, price and quality pretty well. It tastes like your average $12 animal bear. 7/10.

Chandon ZD Vintage 2002, $34. Zero Dosage to the uninformed, but where’s the fun in that? I’ll have a doubly dry double dose please. ‘Dry as a wooden God’ as Mum used to say. 9/10.

Wines reviewed:
Chandon ZD Vintage 2002
Gum Bear Limestone Coast Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Merlot, 2004
Talinga Park Sauvignon Blanc 2005
Balthazar of the Barossa 2002 Shiraz
Secret Stone Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2005

© Max Crus

Column on the habits of various wine 'demographics', published week beginning December 11 2005.

Published in Cairns Post/Rockhampton Morning Bulletin/Northern Star Lismore)/Daily Examiner (Grafton)/Wagga Daily Advertiser/Geelong Advertiser.

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