Chateau Chunder on the rise of the Australian wine industry extremely interesting. It was also refreshing to come across a TV programme about alcohol that made no reference whatsoever to the evils of drink, and put it across in a wholly positive light.
Australian wine made its reputation by portraying itself as “Sunshine in a Bottle”, and undermining the mystique and stuffiness of the established wine trade by offering bold, bright wines with distinctive yet accessible flavours. When the European winemakers complained about descriptions such as “Australian Claret”, they responded by instead using the name of the vine type, which sounds much classier anyway and has now become established practice in the wine trade.
What a pity, then, that Australia, once seen as a relaxed, happy-go-lucky country, now seems to have been pretty much completely taken over by joyless wowsers. How long before a bottle of Penfold’s sold in its native land will have to have a plain label dominated by a picture of a diseased liver?
Incidentally, the script of the Monty Python sketch about Australian wines that popularised the term “Chateau Chunder” can be seen here:
Quite the reverse is true of Château Chunder, which is an appellation contrôlée, specially grown for those keen on regurgitation; a fine wine which really opens up the sluices at both ends.