Dan's Blog


Friday, July 27, 2018

This week we are stepping away from wine to mention some of the interesting but strange and unusual things happening in other parts of the beverage industry.

BOOM, CRASH/OPERA:  It was a scene reminiscent of the final act of an Italian Opera, when in late June around half of a warehouse storing 18,000 barrels of Bourbon and other spirits collapsed. Owner, Barton 1792 Distillery in Kentucky, advised that not all of the 9,000 barrels in the affected section of the 1940s built warehouse were breached. However, a sufficient number leaked so that local authorities reported that nearly 1,000 fish were found dead in the local creek, luckily there were no human victims in this American tragedy. Anybody have a recipe for Bourboned fish?

A FLUTE, MY KINGDOM FOR A FLUTE:  Renowned German Brewer, Beck’s, has recently released a beer called, Le Beck, in a brushed aluminium can that is shaped like a champagne flute. This company which has been selling beer in cans, for nearly 65 years, launched this product in order to broaden the reach of canned beer – thus making it acceptable at events and venues where it is not normally served. The trial in Germany has seen the beer served at prestigious and exclusive events, such as classical concerts where it has been readily accepted. Encouraged by its acceptance, Beck’s are considering rolling the product worldwide.

WOULD YOU BELIEVE?: Here are a few of the stranger, more unusual drinks being launched around the world:

GacLife is a US firm which has just launched a new range of six waters based on the rare Asian “superfruit”, Gấc, which apparently is extremely rich in carotenoids (a powerful antioxidant). I guess that soon between “superfoods” and “superfruit” like this we will all be able to enjoy perfect health. All that will be missing is “superwine” to make it all bearable.

Sauza Tequila launched a tequila infused sparkling water called “Aqua Fuerte” (Strong Water) – just what you need after a good workout at the gym or running a marathon!!

Coca-Cola has recently launched, “Coca-Cola Clear”, in Japan. It is a clear, zero calorie, lemon flavoured drink without the trademark caramel colouring used in normal Coke – Just like your normal Coke, only totally, completely, different!!!

THE must have drink during this Brexit summer is apparently “Cucumber Tonic Water”, recently released by Fever-Tree and dubbed “a taste of British summertime”Isn’t British summertime rain with the occasional burst of sunshine rather than fizzy cucumbers?

On a related matter, while I was recently reading a European internet magazine I was blown away when I came across a two-page article that was headed, “THE TOP 16 TONIC WATER BRANDS FOR YOUR SUMMER G&T” – I wonder if Cucumber Tonic Water made the list???


Other “must have” newly released beverages include:

Grapefruit flavoured Coconut water – Huh??? What the %$@#!

English sparkling wine in a can.

English supermarket chain, Waitrose, has just launched a French organic Rosé in a 250ml can.

Sugar free pink Fanta

Also, 2018 is being tipped as the year Kombucha hits the big time, with another US Kombucha producer being bought out by a mega-corporation.

Finally, Aussie company Express Pods, has just launched Baileys infused coffee pods which are Nespresso machine compatible. You can drink it all day long as each cup of coffee will contain bugger-all alcohol (0.01%).

It will be interesting, even if somewhat trivial, to see which of these “inspired” new releases is still around in two years’ time, let alone say five or ten years.

In the meantime, while these revolutionary products are busy gaining traction and global recognition, I hope you continue to enjoy great quality wine, preferably Australian – or Austrian – or Greek – or Georgian.  Cheers!


This week we are talking about a small Barossa family winery that produces excellent wines, YELLAND & PAPPS, and in particular their very aptly named wine, YELLAND & PAPPS 2014 BAROSSA “DIVINE” SHIRAZ.


It is pleasing to see wines being released with a little bit more age on them, in this case four years. This wine was made with minimal winemaking intervention using wild yeast in open fermenters and was basket pressed.

Its bouquet is a melange of plums, herbs, oak and a sniff of forest floor. It has awesome mouth-filling flavours which are big, rich and plummy with a dollop of fine grained tannins, all in harmony and perfectly balanced. As a bonus, the finish lingers beautifully for ages, teasing the palate into pleading for more. A TRULY DIVINE WINE!