August 13, 2008

Back to Your Roots for Wine Blogging Wednesday #48

By Andrew Barrow In Articles
It is the seminal wine blogging event Wine Blogging Wednesday’s fourth birthday. This momentous occasion being hosted by the creator Lenn Thompson at Lenndeavours, with the theme ‘back to your roots‘.

Being of an age when the memory is not quite what it was, that mystical ‘first bottle’ is pure conjecture. I assume the setting was sometime in the ’70’s – the decade I thought we had power cuts to give the coal men time off at Christmas. The time, so I am told, of prawn cocktails and Black Forest Gateau and the heights of vinos sophistication being bottles of Blue Nun, Liebfraumilch and, holy of holies, Mateaus Rosé.

And there was me, several years later, drinking the damn stuff overlooking Macau harbour and thinking how cool I was! It wasn’t cool. It was naff, even then. It was also damn expensive for a destitute traveller. But actually the evening was made by that bottle of wine – the colour of the sunset mirroring the rose-tinted liquid in the glass, the light shimmering across the South China Sea as a sea breeze threw off the tropical heat of the day.

Another memory surfaces, again from some time in the 70’s, of my late Grand Mother sticking sea shells to an empty bulbous-shaped wine bottle with a candle stuck in the top. That distinctive shape can only have been a Mateus. Luckily I can recall little else, 1970’s or Mateus related, but that is probably the fault of personal excesses during the following decade!

No attractive photo to accompany these misty-eyed recollections, sadly, nor a tasting note. The famed Portuguese rosé no longer graces the shelves of the purveyors of alcohol in my small town. I expect, back in its day, whole rafts of the stuff were glugged by the local Wallingfordtonians or whatever they are called. All long since moved on to Australian Chardonnay I imagine. You can always pick up a nice shell-covered, dumpy candle stick at the weekly car-boot sale though.

  1. Alex August 14, 2008

    Ah, Mateus rose was a standby in 1970s and 1980s Australia too! Along with wines in baskets at Italian restaurants, wines sold in FLAGONS at the local bottle shop, and cask wine (a wine box)…
    I actually had an idea that Mateus was undergoing some kind of renaissance … I’ll have to keep an eye out for it!

  2. Anna August 14, 2008

    Great blog! And it is a bit sad i think ’cause the first part of your blog coincide so well with my memories of my first wines; Blue Nun, Liebfraumilch and, holy of holies, Mateaus Rosé. I still shivver of horror when i think about those days, gathering in a garage with hard bread and these wines, before entering the dance floors…My dad brought out Mateaus this summer. The weather was really hot, the glass came with ice! and Mateaus and i loved it! …Thanks again for a great site!

  3. Dylan August 15, 2008

    It was interesting for me to read your blog posting seeing as I am not only new to the world of wine, but fairly new to the world. I’m only 22 years old and it drops my jaw to hear such fond memories from a time before I was born.
    What’s especially funny is that even with the gap, the fondness of the first wine memory are just as fond as they are hazy. Your memory is much better than my own, for I cannot even remember the name of the bottle. I was 13 and I remember my father finishing up a great meal with my mom (they shared the cooking duties). “do you want to taste it?” he poured me 3 oz of my first wine ever, a cabernet sauvignon.
    It was overwhelming! Haha, i hated it–my first experience with alcohol, I said who would ever drink anything other than soda. But, over time I kept my mind open, and now at the age of 22 isn’t it funny? I don’t even drink soda anymore and wine has taken its place with dinner time.
    Thanks for putting me in a nostalgic mood with your posting. I’m looking forward to more in the future.


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