My passion for wine started with an impulse buy, some great nights with friends and a kind gesture from Mrs Murphy.
My wife told to buy ‘a nice wine’ to take to a friend’s place for dinner (they had dusty bottles displayed on a posh wine rack in the dining room). In the shop I stood in front of hundreds of bottles of wine pondering what to buy. I decided to steer clear of the French wine as I could not read labels so had no idea what I was buying, but saying that even the Australian labels made no sense to me. So I chose by price, $30, surely that will be good… at dinner they said nothing, but I liked it. To be honest when I think back I really don’t know if I enjoyed the taste of the wine or enjoyed it because I paid a lot, but it started me thinking.
Mrs Murphy is the mother of my wife’s bridesmaid, she was moving house and clearing out the wine cellar. “Please take some if you would like, I don’t want it, I am only using it for cooking,’’ and she gave me a box. I stood there not having a clue what I was looking at but recognised a few wine regions and labels. I slowly filled two small boxes.
Over the next few months I drank the lot… some got poured down the sink, some were drinkable and some were the best wines of my life!
I have many awesome memories, laughing with Conrad as we stood in the kitchen like surgeons trying to remove the corks which would always break, using fondue forks and tea strainers to remove the small pieces of broken cork that fell into the bottle. In the background we knew our wives were making jokes as we could hear the sniggers at our incompetence . With friends Rebecca & Dave we laughed until our sides split, which always led to opening more bottles, dancing (mainly our wives) and talking rubbish until the early hours.
I do remember opening every single bottle and the friends I drank them with (including my beautiful wife Melissa) and I must say that some of those bottles were amazing, including a 1959 Mount Pleasant, 1972 Elieen Hardy, 1971 Penfolds bin 389 and my personal favourite a 1969 d’Arenberg. At the time I didn’t know why I liked them or how to describe the taste, but I sure had fun trying. I kept the bottles (pictured above) as every time I see them it reminds me of those ‘Grand Evenings’ with friends.
So to Mrs Murphy I say… “Thank you for your wine, the enjoyment it brought and the memories that were created”.