Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sharing a drink with friends.. more than the alcohol

Yellow Tail is without doubt the most popular Australian brand of wine known in the USA and UK.. But it was virtually unknown before 2000.
The top 10 popular brands in the Liquor industry are all spirits and they all have wonderful histories. Branding rather than country or region of origin.

 ( with my brother Eliyahu at Resto La Bodeguita in Buenos Aires, tasting a wonderful bottle of Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina)

The best-known brand is Smirnoff, which has nothing to do with Russia; it is owned and produced by a British Company.
Captain Morgan Rum Company has nothing to do with Jamaica except historically for being a pirate in that turbulent region. Bronfman, a Canadian Jew bought the recipe for spiced rum from two Jewish pharmacists in Jamaica, the Levy Brothers and began manufacturing and selling it. It is the most recognized brand of rum around the world.
Bacardi Rum is not made in Cuba but in Bahamas, Puerto Rico or elsewhere. But the association is always with Cuba. The original factory in Santiago de Cuba still stands and produces Havana Club, which is a far superior product than the weak Bacardi rum sold abroad.
Coming back to Yellow Tail, most of its wine and their grapes come not from their vineyard but is gathered from all around Australia, not from Riverina where the owner is located!

This is a trend which began in 1940s and now well entrenched. If you want a good sauvignon Blanc, buy a bottle of Kim Crawford at a reputable store. If you fall for Marlborough Valley label on the wine, you may be falling for origin of the grapes from various parts of the valley and is not even bottled in a winery in the region. I have seen this over and over again on wine bottles from South Africa with strange sounding African names or from Chile with imitated mapuche Indian names. So I have learned that if the name sounds a little strange, the wine origins are also a bit strange.
I am off to Cuba where the drinking culture is purely rum locally produced to satisfy the population. Havana Club White, which is sold for about 4 dollars a bottle, is excellent to make a Cuba Libre, and Anejo 7 year old is good to sip…
While I am there, drinking a good glass of wine is just a hope and a dream… but there is a difference. In Cuba, drinking Rum, you do it with friends and incessant conversations. So it is very social and very satisfying from a personal point of view.

So, with a sauvignon Blanc from 360 degrees from Santa Ana in hand, I salute you… LChaim. To life…

Drinking wine, a glass or two with your meals, is certainly good for your health; I recommend it as an Endocrinologist and specialist in Nutrition…