The Wandering Palate Circa 1988 at Jacques Reymond’s restaurant, Melbourne, Sommelier that evening for the Single Bottle Club Dinner and James Halliday’s 50th Birthday, having just grappled with a Salmanazar of 1937 Bollinger and about to pour the 1918 Oloroso Sherry Pilar Aranda…
The Wandering Palate turned 50 today, the 16th November, an auspicious day indeed and one of deep reflection. Actually, there’s no time for reflection as I am flat out designing a wine list for a new Chinese restaurant in Melbourne, “Mantong Kitchen” opening at Crowne Casino next month and there is a deadline to meet today for the first draft. Alas, no long lunch today… buggar… and not the WP’s normal form, perplexing really – that 30 years in the wine and hospitality business and I am still chasing my tail – “Once a Sommelier, Always a Sommelier”.
Nothwithstanding this great moment in time and confoundment that I made it this far (yes I know it’s a cliché, but in this case it’s true; just ask my mother, my motorcycle dealer, my psychiatrist, my commanding officer… but consistency has been the key, that is consistently Fuckin Up – as the lyrics of Neill Young so aptly describe, a fantastic jam with Young and Pearl Jam you must listen to… but there is more important news for today is a great day in ocean history… and I am a great believer that it is the ocean that will decide the fate of humanity, or that is how we are fucking it up, so to speak…
The Australian Marine and Conservation Society
We did it! Thanks for making history!
“Today is one of the most significant days in the history of our oceans. Today is the day that the world’s largest network of marine parks came into existence, right here in Australia. And we just wanted to send you our thanks.
Over the past three years you’ve sent emails to ministers and submissions in their thousands. Thank you. By making your voice heard, the Australian Government has today set in law the largest network of marine parks on the planet.
This means that special blue places like the Coral Sea in the north-east, Limmen Bight off the Top End and the Perth Canyon in the west will be safeguarded from oil and gas drilling and other threats. This means that there’ll be more safe havens for our precious, beloved marine wildlife and this means that there’s a better future for our fisheries.
It’s been a long and bumpy road. It’s been in the making since the 1990s. We’ve come a long way, but we’ve got somewhere good. There’s still more to be done to safeguard our seas, but for now, we can be happy and proud.
So please take a moment to celebrate and reflect – together we have created an ocean legacy that future generations will thank us for. Thanks for helping make history.”
And what is the Wandering Palate drinking on his 50th Birthday?
Well, it’s not one of those pretentious line-ups of rare vintages or posh Bordeaux (nausea), rather just a selection of largely New Zealand favourites; I found myself becoming more and more patriotic with age, and yearning for the homeland, like an Ocean King Salmon that left Seatoun harbour 30 years ago, lost at sea, but finally coming back to the spawning ground.
Tonight there’s some Tetsuya’s lightly smoked Tasmanian Ocean Trout with some Pyramid Valley Field of Fire Chardonnay and Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay… oh, some Felton Road Riesling as an aperitif, and then some Felsina Fontalloro 04 – the consummate sangiovese – to go with the leg of Maori Lakes Lamb… and we will take a bath in pinot noir after that.
Saturday night, a little bash starting with Gembrook Blanc de Blancs, best bubbles in the Southern Hemisphere, also Lustau Manzanilla Sherry, I do like a Sherry… then some Two Paddocks Riesling, Kumeu River Chardonnay and Two Paddocks Pinot Noir to go with our Persian menu created by Chef Samia Ahad (of course Lamb kebabs included)…
So here’s to a long day, As the great man Winston Churchill said, “Everyone has his day and some days last longer than others…”
The Wandering Palates disordered thoughts and utterances; incoherencies, mental wanderings, intoxications, delusions, hallucinations – essentially the wanderings of delirium