Sunday, February 17, 2008

Wild wines afloat

Pieroth wines

Put several work colleagues, assorted spouses and some fine Pieroth wines onto a Sydney Harbour showboat - shaken, not stirred - and hilarity will ensue.

It was the six-monthly Pieroth wine-tasting cruise today - and I did kinda feel sorry for Stewart, my wine rep. I already had an inkling of the way the session would proceed: trying to get my guests out of the Woolworths' gourmet food hall in time to catch the ferry. But there was poor Stewart on the boat, having to commence his wine talk while trying to make eye contact through piles of cheese, crackers, dips, grapes, blueberries, cabanossi, avocado, chocolate, and Portuguese tarts, etc - and diligently handing out the score sheets (with suggested ratings between 1 and 4), only to see that one of my teaching colleagues had scored her first drink as "Lovely".

"She's a kindergarten teacher," I warned. "Be grateful she's not writing in thick yellow crayon!"

About half way through the tastings, we were suddenly aware that we were the only table this year without a "slops bucket". Every taste test went down the hatch.

The day was certainly enlightening for James, a new friend from Canada, who (only six months into his stay Down Under) got to taste some Australian culture and humour along with the wines.

Retiring to the Cockle Bay Cargo Bar afterwards, for "steak fries" (they no longer make their iconic potato wedges with sour cream and sweet chili sauce), we suddenly had one of our gathering remember she'd left her handbag on the ferry. She was back a few minutes later, but seemingly much too late to have retrieved the handbag. And yet, she was holding it aloft.

It seems the ropes had already been released, the boat pulling out from the wharf - but the wayward handbag had made it into our wayward Kindergarten teacher's arms - but only by the kindness, and very true aim, of one of the showboat's cabin crew.

Perhaps it's a good thing that we didn't remember the cheese knife, left behind at our table, until much, much later...

Sunday's magic number: 90.6 - A great result for a week of great restraint, despite the Thursday morning tea, and today's wine tasting, of course. Let's hope the downward trend continues.

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