A tribute to an old Sailor and cheap wine

I knew I was coming of age when my father eventually offered me a glass of his “special reserve” which was always kept in the fridge. I was allowed to sit and sip on my cask red wine and watch re-runs of M.A.S.H. The theme-song from this show was the theme-song to my child hood. So often did I hear this music in the background and I remember thinking how much I detested the fact that I knew every note by heart. I continued the ritual of sipping away on a cask red with dad well into my thirties. Of course it was the ritual I enjoyed, not what was in the glass or on the television and sadly these rituals were few and far between. It is only now that I am in my forties with my own children, that I find myself wishing I had recognised dad’s tales for the treasures that they were. Today when I hear the song from M.A.S.H. , I suffer from a fit of nostalgia or a lump in my throat. As I mentioned in my last column, in my opinion there is a time and a place for cheap wine. While my relationship with cask wine is only a vicarious one, I have plenty of cheap options in bottled-form. Here are but a few: DeBortoli’s 2015 “Windy Peak” Pinot Noir from the Yarra Valley. I generally avoid cheap pinot’s due to this grapes finicky nature, but this particular one is tolerable for around the $10 mark. A little out of whack perhaps with confectionery and acid but it does do the trick with a Tuesday night mushroom risotto. I thoroughly recommend the Borgo SanLeo Prosecco. You can actually get a case of this for $56! It is such a great buy and I actually got a lot out of this Italian number. I found it to smell a little of pear and nougat, and there was an up-front sweetness to this sparkling which turned dry quite quickly. So very moorish! I actually had this recently with Manchego cheese and Lavosh which really worked a treat. So, I invite you all to raise your glass to an old Sailor. Cheers to cheap wine and sharing stories. This article first appeared in the Australia Times Gourmet Magazine.

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