Drinks with Al: pink in the glass & the face

There have been a few more drinks than usual for Al this week, due to receiving a car repair bill bigger than the value of the actual vehicle. But that’s not why I fell over at my favourite Malaysian restaurant on Thursday night, I swear.

The restaurant has a side area that’s on a slightly higher level. I was seated right beside the steps and forgot as I got up to leave, tripped and landed heavily on my butt in a clatter of wooden chairs.

Everyone in the restaurant looked at me like I’d had a drunken tumble. It was soooooooo embarrassing.

Fortunately I didn’t lose my balance at a little bar in Newport called Mrs Robertson, where I sipped a lovely glass of Taltarni sparkling rose and pretended my finances hadn’t gone to hell in a handbasket.

Mrs Robertson’s is owed by someone older than me and filled with patrons around my vintage … or vastly older – Kamahl (above), 86, was a recent visitor – which makes it feel very convivial and comfy. Whereas I’m invariably the oldest person in the room when I go to Drinks Digest events.

It was a similar scene when I went to The Factory in Marrickville on Friday night to see Died Pretty – wall-to-wall balding blokes. It was a fantastic show, which I will tell you more about on Monday, and I enjoyed some more pink wine, although I had to sip it out of a plastic tumbler due to it being a gig. But I feel so lucky to be able to go to gigs safely again, that plastic is a small price to pay.

I wrote a story this week called “Has COVID killed Friday night drinks?”. Data from a mob called me&u suggests the pandemic has put an end to after-work drinks. But the crowd at Died Pretty hadn’t read the memo and were hooking in.

Speaking of Aussie rockers, I was very excited to get the press release about James Reyne being the face of Cooper’s new Australian IPA. The photos that accompanied it are very cool. I haven’t tried the beer yet, but it’s apparently it’s a full flavoured beer that uses a blend of Australian exotic hops with citrus notes of mandarin and orange as well as piney and passionfruit characteristics. Read more.

I was also mesmerized by an animated chart that shows the rise and fall of beer drinking in Australia over the past 50 years. Can you guess the first year that Australians drank the most beer in the world per capita? My friend Nic reckons the wine animated chart is equally entertaining. It’s on my to-do list to Google.

I received a bottle of Taylor Made Prosecco yesterday, which I will be cracking this afternoon when a few friends pop over to christen the deck. Taylor Made is a diffusion range from Taylor’s Wines, one of DD’s favourite winemakers.

Speaking of crackling bubbly on the deck, I spoke to Tim Boydell, Angove Family Winemakers Director of Sales and Marketing, and Niki Ford, Chief Executive Officer of Australian Organic, about the organic wine boom and its future in Australia. It followed me sipping a bottle of Angove’s Naturalis organic sparkling with DD’s mum on the deck a few weeks back.

He said Angove added the sparkling recently because they saw a “gap that needed to be filled”.

Boydell explained: “Our Naturalis Sparkling is Chardonnay based, one of the traditional varieties used in champagne, and has lovely fresh white peach and melon characteristics.”

Read more

It was a delicious drop. Another fabulous organic sparkling is from Tamburlaine. It has an extra special place in my heart because my friend Michele Heibel designs the labels.

Finally, I’m eagerly awaiting a delivery of White Claw Black Cherry. Lion was a bit nervous about releasing Black Cherry in Australia as apparently it’s a flavour that hasn’t been embraced here in the past. But my friend Nathan who lives in New York reckons it’s the pick of the bunch. It goes on sale here for a limited time in the last week of April. Read more

OK, I’d better get cracking on the day. There’s a deck to be swept and a cheese plate to be assembled.


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