We were reading the spring edition of Men’s Style magazine recently.
Really, you ask? Yes really. It’s true that we just love all those pictures of ridiculously expensive watches and men dressed in strange clothing that no one would ever wear in public.
And besides, the magazine does have some decent articles. And sometimes it’s good to read something in a format that you can touch and feel.
One of the articles was about Gary Vaynerchuk, a Russian immigrant to America who’s a bit of a digital guru.
The magazine dubbed Gary the “Wine Maestro” because he started a website called Wine Library TV, which made a stack of money.
In the article, Gary was asked about his favourite Australian wine.
“Hunter Valley semillon is uniquely Australian,” he said.
“It is a flavour profile that most people around the world don’t know. It is unbelievably, incredibly flexible in pairing with food.
“Hunter Valley semillon is the real gem of Australian wine.”
Here at Topics, we’re not exactly wine aficionados. Sometimes we drink red wine. But back in our younger days, we had a heavy night on some kind of white wine and, after that, we didn’t touch the stuff for years.
But our curiosity was piqued by talk about Hunter Valley semillon.
We headed down to the local bottlo to buy a bottle.
We looked around a few aisles, walking past the chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, riesling and pinot gris.
We couldn’t find any semillon.
We asked the bloke at the counter.
“Do you have any Hunter Valley semillon?,” we said, pronouncing the wine as it’s spelt.
We checked ourselves for a second.
“Is that how you pronounce it?,” we asked.
“It’s ‘semeyon’,” he said, adding that’s how the French pronounce it.
We apologised for being an ignorant, ocker, Aussie.
We were the first to admit that our wine-snob credentials were seriously lacking.
The retail assistant took us on a journey through the aisles, looking here and there.
“I know it’s here,” he said.
Eventually, after much searching, he found it.
“This is a very nice drop,” he said, picking up one of the semillon bottles.
“Not many people ask us about it for some reason.”
We saw a bottle of Brokenwood semillon, made in the Hunter Valley.
We’d had a Brokenwood red before and it was the goods.
Only problem was, the Brokenwood semillon was $20. A tad pricey.
We thought long and hard.
The cheapskate on our left shoulder was screaming no. But the carefree, happy-go-lucky spirit on our right shoulder urged us to proceed with gay abandon.
We decided to splash out. Why not live a little?
We also asked the retail assistant whether he had any Tyrrell’s semillon. We’d heard it was good stuff.
The assistant led us on another journey, across the store to the expensive section.
And there it was. A $65 bottle of wine. This was way too rich for our blood.
So, what about the $20 Brokenwood bottle? We could wax lyrical about front and middle palates, zesty lime and lemon flavours and succulent honeyed undertones. But that’s not our bag. We will say it went down beautifully and gave us a nice buzz.