24 January, 2011

Another w(h)ine

We've had the Inequitable Wine Experience, easily explained by the fact that we were in a cheap noodle joint, where just getting served is more important than matching wine glasses. And we were northside - you expect odd and surly. It was the other side of the river, however, that offered up the Weird Wine Experience.

Journeying far from our native Brunswick for a friend's farewell drinks, we found ourselves near a distant shoreline, at a pub called Hotel Nest (formerly, I'm told, the Red Eagle) in Albert Park. It's Saturday night. It's a warm day. We're out for classy drinks in a pub full of frills, heels and Marc Jacobs. So I ask, 'Can I see a wine list?'

Bartender: No, we don't have one, sorry! But I can run you through it. What do you want?

Me: Well, I want to see a wine list so I can choose. Never mind, I'll have a beer.

A glance at the taps - Pure Blonde, Kroenenburg, not a boutique brew in sight - has me turning back to the bartender.

Me: OK, what's your house white?

Bartender: We've got quite a few! There's a sav blanc, a riesling, a pinot gris, a chardonnay, a verdelho, gewurztraminer...

Me: Fine, what's the pinot gris?

Bartender: Well, we've got two...

By now, I feel like I've moved into some bizarre dichometric puzzle. After minutes more discussion, we came away with a glass of Innocent Bystander pinot gris, and a pot of Asahi, served in the kind of cheap, ridged glass I'd expect to see at a fill-your-own-water station in a cafe, for $18. (So asking if they had anything for $6 a glass probably wouldn't have got me anywhere!)

I have the feeling that if you'd asked for the wine list when the venue was the Red Eagle you probably would have been asked not-so-politely to leave, or at least to harden the fuck up and order a pint. You can't do either now, since they also don't serve beers in 'big' glasses. But seriously, if it were the Red Eagle and the wine on offer was from either of the casks you could see perched between the pitchers behind the bar, I could understand them not wasting the ink. Otherwise, print the darn thing out!

1 comment:

  1. Sydney is also a minefield. Last night I went to the Open Air Cinema in the Botanic Gardens...beers started at $8.50 and bottles of wine from $38! Great selection, sure, but so overpriced as to take all the joy of an after-work tipple.