Monday, January 10, 2011

ARTICLE The Personal Assistant Tipple Prediction Game

It's the craze sweeping the nation (my head): trying to guess what the next drink of choice is going to be for professional women in Sydney.

They're blonde (generalising).
They're personal assistants (generalising).
They're in touch with fashion.
They fucking love sauvignon blanc.

For anyone that has gone to a bar in the city for a drink in the past few years, it's been achingly obvious that ladies love cool sauvignon blanc. It's their drink of choice and it takes the jaws of life (or more booze) to get them to drink any other sort of wine (generalising).

But the sauvignon blanc phase won't last forever. Indeed, it's already starting to feel tired and trendier wine-drinking PA's are starting to open their mind up to alternatives: the first sign that a change is afoot, since the pack has to make the decision before it's cool enough to leap whole-heartedly.

So where to next?

Chardonnay is an obvious alternative. It was the drink of choice before the sav blanc wave crashed and everyone knows that fashion moves in cycles. Going for it is the fact that it is essentially tried and true--it has been loved in the past, so it won't take a huge adjustment to like it again. Then again, it may be too fresh in the mind for the trendsetters to go for it. There are probably still some tribes in western Sydney that swear by the chardy, and it would be a terrible move to stoop to their level, even in ironic terms.

I'm ruling out sparkling wines because they're too much of a special-occasion drink, even if the drink is Riccadonna. It's hard to see sparkling wines become the new norm.

I'm also ruling out all red wines, because red wine = black teeth and mouth and everyone knows that if you're a single, mid-30s PA then you don't want to make yourself look worse. Those young girls are PERT, god damn it.

Riesling has emerged from the shadows to be an odds-on favourite for the race for the drink of ladies' choice. The Summer of Riesling ( is a brilliant promotion that is aiming to put rielsing at the front of everyone's minds. And when I say "everyone", I mean "women", because guys aren't going to drink much riesling, under any circumstances.

Let us pause briefly and look at why the sav blanc is so popular with the ladies at the moment. For this will give us out success criterion.
1. It has a crisp taste and is low in acid, due to most (if not all) popular sav blancs being sold quite young.
2. If you can find any flavours (you'll need to look hard) then you'll get citrus notes, grass, herbs and floral characteristics. In effect, it's like eating a lemon tree.
3. It is a white wine, so it has the illusion of being lighter and also doesn't stain the teeth or mouth.
4. When you drink too much of it and throw up, it looks like you're throwing up water, which allows you to blame "water poisoning" as the cause, not intoxication (which guys don't "dig").

And there we see why riesling has a damn good shot at being the next wine of choice--it nails every one of those categories. Except for flavour. See, riesling has a flavour, it's just not a very good one.

So how about semillon? New South Wales (the Hunter Valley, really) produces some utterly fantastic semillon and everyone loves to root for the home team? Right? Probably not. While our aged semillon is arguably world-class, the ladies won't drink it because 1) it's too expensive and 2) it has too much flavour to "quaff". The young semillons have a chance, but it's a small one. While it's crisp and lightly floral, the flavours are still a little too big compared to other young white wines. Sometimes, it also tastes like you're drinking a tree. And I could be wrong, but semillon can't be crudely abbreviated like "chardy" or "sav blanc". "Semi", just doesn't work.

Lastly, but certainly not least (because it is my choice), we come to a set of twins that are just aching to set the world on fire: pinot grigio and pinot gris. I make a distinction here because in Australia (unlike most other places in the world) we give the grape (pinot gris) two names: pinot grigio for the younger/drier stuff, pinot gris for the older, richer stuff. Here's how I see it going: Initially, no one is going to know that the two varieties are related so everyone is going to go nuts for the pinot grigio because of it's drier, crisp floral taste. But then they'll learn that pinot gris is the same thing and they'll go nuts on that, forcing their palate to enjoy that too (because it would be weird to love one and not the other, and guys don't love weird girls). But it's this confusion over having two varieties (with similar names) coming from the same grape that also has the potential to destroy the pinot g movement before it has even begun. Because the masses hate confusion. And if they get confused about the varieties then they'll avoid the whole damn thing.

So where is it headed? What are your thoughts?

I'm going to keep this game going until society has chosen a clear winner of wine.

I can't wait!


Anonymous said...

I have my money on Riesling but on the proviso that they make a range of "pink" rieslings that include old classics like:

> a rose;
> a sparkling;
> a traminer or other sweet varietal of riesling; and
> all of the above at the same time.

The proviso also extends further with the caveat that it has a really "2011" type of name that says "I'm easy but that's okay!" like "Blush" or "Rouge" or "Wh0re", wait, scratch the last one...

This is a blueprint for making money.

Jobe said...

I think the "I'm easy but okay" names are going to be replaced in 2011. Maybe with more floral/"spirit" orientated names like "tulip" or "daffodil".