Moreidlethoughts Weblog

humour,art,gardens, books and whatever idle thoughts float through my mind (it's a very draughty mind.)



Mr Mago asked me the other day what my favourite wine is. Oh dear…how to answer such a loaded question? Without sampling  enough to get similarly loaded!

I’ve imbibed many a lovely drop of the trampled grape over the years.Many excellent vintages.And some which might have been trodden by Ol’ Gaffer Jarge  still a-wearin’ eez garmboods.

When I lived in London, I was friendly with a very,very knowledgeable wine merchant. Yes, I can hear you all thinking the obvious! But at that time I wasn’t much of a wine drinker.The ubiquitous Blue Nun for “white” occasions and Mateus Rose on girls’ nights out. Back then, I rarely drank red. And never anything sweeter than a Riesling. Today I go more for the drier wines.

And in Tuscany I was known to enjoy a drop of Cinque Terra. And a local trattoria had a jolly nice red.No idea what or from where, but it was a good fit for their pasta.

But over the years I’ve come around to two preferred wines. Gone  the days (nights!) of the Portuguese rose and raffia-bound Chianti. Down in the Barossa Valley, in South Australia, they make a wonderful rich Shiraz with that classic Shiraz peppery “kick.” Pepperjack is my favoured red these days.

Also from that State (by th’eck! They grow some goodies down there!) is what has become my daily drop. A sparkling brut cuvee which can ride up there alongside Prosecco. Perhaps more importantly, it is  comfortably within my budget!

And for a laugh, because I like a little levity, I picked up some wines whose label caught my eye. Turns out to be pretty good drinking, too! South Africa has some eminently drinkable wines, too;  when I was in New York and my friend had left a bottle for me to enjoy I did exactly that! I can’t speak for their cheeses but the wine is a delight.

I will say I do try to buy local whenever possible. So when I cross The Ditch to visit family and friends Oyster Bay  or Matua or any of the other NZ wineries have my $$.

Bored yet? Think this snobbish wine-listing  is a waste of good drinking time?  Fine!

I’ll leave you with some garden pics. I have a bottle to open…

The last of a really good display of Syzygium wilsonii





A reliable bloomer, this orchid! Phalaenopsis


And a Heliconia, known as Crab Claw. I wonder why?

crab claw Heliconia.JPG






Author: dinahmow

A New Zealander, currently living in tropical Queensland,Australia (with 2 cats and one Main Man).Old enough to remember George VI, white tennis balls and life-before-television.You want more? Read the blog!

25 thoughts on “WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING?

  1. I wondered if that Arrogant Frog would make a showing!

    That Syzygium is amazing – It reminds me of a fibre-optic lamp mu aunt used to have on top of her TV. I was fascinated by it as a child (and probably would still be now if she still had it). Your “crab claw” is certainly a lot prettier than mine!


    • Oh, you remember the Arrogant Frog. (The wine, not necessarily the boorish Szarcozy.And anyway, wasn’t he a Hun?)
      Fibre-optic lamps! Oh lordy! I remember when they were all the go. Went to a soiree one night and the host had only his bloody f-o lamp on and you’d be surprised what some people thought were the canapes!


  2. Honestly, doesn’t it depend on what’s on your plate in front of you (if anything), or what kind of day you’ve had? It changes hourly. Never heard of Arrogant Frog.


  3. I don’t like wine. I will drink Champagne, or a nice sparkling wine, but generally I turn up my nose…. generally I wonder why people make such a fuss about knocking back vinegar 🙂
    I like the hard stuff. Whisky, vodka, brandy…. oh, I like Port on occasion too…. all of which make fibre optic lamps look very jolly.


    • Long ago, I was much the same, except that I’ve never acquired the taste for whisky or whiskey! My Dad taught me how to pour his and I never got past the smell of it! Vodka, white rum and brandy were my drinks. Have you made the acquaintance of that lethal brew they used to bring in from Poland- rocketfuel, we called it and I think it probably was!

      When you visit, I shall get a fibre-opyic lamp.No lava lamps, though, they make me queasy!


  4. I can tell you that my unfavourite wine is one produced locally from whatever varieties of vines the owner could get his hands on: further, he charges people to pick the grapes, marketing it is an ‘experience’….yes, I just bet it is. One unwary sip made me think of communion wine with a touch of petrol.


  5. From your wine list, I am only familiar with Blue Nun from my time in the Navy when we wanted something upscale. More often it was Annie Green Springs from the corner convenience store. These days if I drink wine, I only ever go for Spätlese or Auslese sweet German whites.

    I much prefer tropical sissy drinks with fruit slices on the rim and the little paper umbrella.


    • You and I would probably get along very well – I can’t stand the sweet drinks and, as I said, these days my taste is for the drier end of the scale. Not battery acid, mind!
      Annie Green Springs is completely foreign to me.


  6. Loving your garden.
    At the moment I am heading off to the kitchen for another cup of chai.
    Wine? Red for preference. Merlots at the moment. Definitely dry white. And I like bubbles. And there is usually a piccolo in the fridge for consumption after a LL shift. Or anytime really.


    • Thank you. I make up for lack of Forsythia with tropical weirdness!
      A drinker after my own heart…drink what you like and enjoy what you drink. (very early morning here and I’ve just washed down some pain-killer with a decent cup of coffee. )


  7. I drink Sanatogen tonic wine on a daily basis, I don’t pour it into a glass I just take a swig straight from the bottle, like my gran used to do with her Wincarnis, when she thought no one was looking.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m partial to New World reds. Chilean and South African particularly, but there are a few Oz reds I keep an eye out for. Like you, I’m a sucker for a good label.


  9. “Snobbish wine-list” ? Surely not !
    I find it interesting that most of them (except for Pepperjack, 15 % – Heiliger Hammer ! ) are “mixed”, in Germany the French word “cuvée” is not correctly used for this, in plain German one would say “verschnitten”.
    Here they mix different sorts of grapes rarely. The large “Genossenschaften” do use e.g. Silvaner from different members of the cooperative and create in the cellar the Silvaner for the “Großlage” (several hills), but it still is only made from this sort of grapes. Smaller free “Winzer” use the stuff from their single wineyard and make it, so it is the Silvaner or whatever that grows on that single hill.
    “Liebfrauenmilch” – yessas, have not touched this stuff for ages. Over the years I wandered away from the sweet varieties, from sweet red to dry white. The frog was new to me.
    Thank you for the very interesting list !


    • I worked in a vineyard a few years ago and that experience certainly added some “insider” knowledge to the little I knew.
      But I still stand by the “drink what you like” adage. I also think that youth has a sweeter palate which, over time, tends towards the drier .
      the Frog’s labels are what I love! I’m a bit like that with books, too. Take “Penguin ” for instance. All covers the same, apart from differentiating colour. But book covers grab my attention first! 🙂


  10. Just looked up your bubbly of choice – great price, excellent reviews so I’ll give it a try. Thanks for the heads up. I’m locked on to Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, and Stefano de Pieri Prosecco when I can afford it. Otherwise I prefer water to tea and coffee. Oh, and a gin and tonic goes down well, but I’d rather a slice of cucumber than lime or lemon. That’s me set up for summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • An admirable choice, in all fields. I only drink water, wine and coffee, unless I have a glut of juiceable fruits. And welcome to Chancellor, my friend. It must be time we got together again !


      • Can’t remember if I’ve told you this somewhere else but here goes. Woolworths grog shop has Chancellor at a most amazing price. I took one home to try and shared it with my daughter in law and we decided to get more (much more) for Christmas Day! So thank you for the suggestion, I knew I could trust you.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. My favourites vary month to month because we’re always trying new wines. For whites, now that British Columbia wineries have learned a lot more about viticulture, there are some really fantastic BC wines especially those from the Okanagan regions. I also like whites from Austria (no, that’s really where I mean). For reds, I’m all over the map but mostly I like reds from USA, Italy, or Australia. I really love those blooms especially that crab claw bloom — very pretty.


    • Ooh! Yes-Okanagan does grow some fine grapes.
      And craft brews are appearing in many places in North America. I believe a new one is opening its doors today in Sooke Harbor! Sooke Oceanside Brewery, if you fancy a drive in the autumn sunshine! 🙂


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