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Unforgettable wine from the Dim and Distant Past!

It occurred to me, that a few wines from yesteryear (but not necessarily) have left their mark on me!! :open_mouth:

Petaluma Bag in a Box (yes, you heard right!!) Chardonnay, that was so true to the varietal but was wonderfully tasty and as cheap as the B-in-a-B implies. Bought in Australia
Reynella Basket Pressed Cabernet Sauvignon. The first wine that I tasted that reeked of blackcurrants, howled of the humidor and improbably a hint of eucalyptus was to be discerned. And it just HAD TO BE, an Aussie. Never to be forgotten.
Bortoli Noble One. My half bottle turned out to be the first vintage, it seemed like my taste buds had alighted an Atlas rocket, without destination. This wine was called the Chateau d’Yquem of Aussie, and to this day - I can believe it. A legend DownUnder!! :grinning:

These are a few of my Australian offerings, I am sure Members have some comparable or Better to share!! :wink: :dragon:


1982 Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque. From a very good friend on the birth of our first daughter (1991?) - sneaked into hospital with smoked salmon snacks - The Lady Lapin was somewhat overwhelmed. Fantastic Champagne and a one off experience. I note it is now around £450 a bottle !


Wines can leave their mark for so many different reasons.

One that springs to mind was Egri Bikaver, Bulls Blood, a full-bodied red from communist Hungary imported by F & E May. I didn’t drink it often but when I did I recall puzzling over how F&E May had assembled their quirky portfolio of wines and how they managed to trade with the state enterprises of the day.


Whilst working in the trade I was lucky enough to try some 1930’s Massandra wines from Crimea. Still all alive and complex, interesting that the Soviet Union was still making the boutique sweet wines of the Tsars at the height of Stalin’s collectivisation and purges.


From distant memories

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc from the late 1980’s - probably the most potent gateway drug in moving me from just drinking to thinking

Wynns Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon - from similar vintages, a wine that did the same for red wines

Honourable mentions also to (in a ‘slightly’ more upmarket way) Penfolds Bin 60A 1962 and Cheval Blanc 1985 for setting the bar that I haven’t reached again - but I live in hope…….


my first “fine” wine was a Puligny Montrachet at Boulestin in Covent Garden in the late 1980s.


I remember enjoying Wynns Coonawarra wines in the early 1970s. From memory they used to have a very ‘neat’ label and looking at their website it doesn’t seem to have changed much. Your mention of them is the first I’ve heard of them for a very long time.


Google finds Wynn’s at Mr Wheeler, an indirect offshoot of Lay and W, and still with a Colchester phone number on the website. Possibly worth looking into.

Years ago, in my yoof, we moved home but had to rent for a couple of years before buying our first house and so most of our possessions/furniture remained in storage (furnished rented accommodation). Slightly unintentionally some wine remained in storage with all the rest including an already moderately old Rioja. I have no memory which it was but probably a supermarket bought Faustino or some such! So intentionally or not this ended up being the first bottle of wine that I had kept for ageing and, whilst it was only a couple of years older than I might otherwise have drunk it, it was a revelation to me. I didn’t know wine could be so smooth and creamy. I’ve been a fan of Rioja ever since. Though, for the most part, my per bottle expenditure has risen somewhat!


I have found that in good Spanish restaurants, if one skips by the Rioja section and alights upon the Ribero del Duero or Valdepenas section’s, one can pick up a few brownie points from the Sommelier and a giggle from one’s companion!! :rofl: :blush: :dragon:


It’s only since I’ve come here that I’ve started picking up on Ribera del Duero (with a Bohorquez being my first) and I’ve since had several more. Spain does sometimes tend to be viewed as Rioja and the rest, which is a shame.

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Could not agree more.
My eyes were opened by the Torres Penendes reds, the Coronas, the Gran Coronas and the revered Mas La Plana.
And who hasn’t drunk a bucketful of the chilled Vina Sol whilst enjoying delightful Tapas or my favourite - Fried Hake, Salad and a few fries?!!? OMG!! :rofl: :dragon:


Many thanks for the tip about Mr Wheeler.
I’ve now found the labels from the old days so I know which ones I was drinking.


A couple of wines I remember from the past are having Mouton Cadet at home with my parents (I would have only been a teen then), and then for special occasions we would drive for about 45 mins to a Chinese restaurant and order some Wan Fu with the meal. :slight_smile:

On a cruise a few years back they did Kung Fu Girl Riesling which I ordered as a bit of a nod (in name only) to the past and I still like a nice Bordeaux so those early experiences must have made their mark.

I’m still finding my way in the wine world, but hopefully by the time my children are old enough to be interested in wine, if they ever are, I’ll have a better selection for them to remember when they are older.

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Going through my label collection I couldn’t resist showing you these!

Kanga Rouge and Wallaby White were sold in the UK around 1980 and it looks like I bought some bottles in France or at least they had originally been imported into France.

I don’t recall any qualities about these wines except their fun names.

I am surprised how low the alcohol content is for the Shiraz, was it a bad year or some dilution to achieve a lower duty rate?

I remember the Wynns Coonawarra Shiraz that was as black as anthracite and when I eventually tasted it, was quite the treat!! Bought from the Sunday Times Wine Club or Laithwaite’s by another name. :dragon:

My maternal grandfather was in the food importing business and in the 1930s he took my mother to restaurants in London. She remembered three in particular, Rules, The Three Vikings and Verrey’s. I made a point of eating at all of them but only Rules survives now and that is where I remember a special wine.
I went in for dinner on my own, about 20 years old, wearing jeans, and asked the waiter if he had any half bottles of red wine. He proposed a Margaux which was not only excellent but also affordable to me then.
I would love to know what it was as Rules has not to my knowledge ever done basic wines and it was very enjoyable.