Just been reading this post on Heather Dougherty’s wine blog about the much-abused name of Chablis. My second job in the wine trade** was working in a bottle shop in Albert Park, a seaside suburb of Melbourne close to the vibrant St Kilda. Tuesday evening was washing night, and my girlfriend and I would take our manky shreddies to the laundrette on Victoria Avenue then pop to the chippy next door for flake (shark) and chips. We’d then sit on the beach eating with our fingers and drinking some wine out of paper cups. And often that wine was the cleanskin ‘Chablis’ that we sold in the shop. Don’t think it had ever been near a Chardonnay grape, but thanks to the quality of the fish (done in beer batter) and the company (we’re now married), it tasted superb. Can’t fault Heather’s recommendations for examples of the Real McCoy, but I’d add that Costco currently have some excellent deals on the range from the excellent William Fèvre.
** My first wine job was picking grapes in the Yarra Valley, at Lillydale Vineyards in Lilydale (a proof-reader’s nightmare). Spent three weeks truding up and down the slopes with a wonderful variety of characters including a quartet of hardy fruit pickers, Dot, Ariel, Celeste and Elise – Celeste was 17 and already had a moustache, Dot could have passed for Humpty Dumpty’s sister. Remember as a cocky young Pom dashing ahead up the first few rows of vines and leaving everyone else behind, only to be overtaken by the formidable foursome later in the morning. And I also remember that only one thing is a dead cert to get ingrained grape juice off your hands. Forget scrubbing brushes and Brillo pads, what you need is a friendly cat to lick the stains off with its sharp tongue.