“So come up to the lab and see what’s on the slab. I see you shiver with antici… pation…”
So said Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the 1975 classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show”. (Lips!)
And that’s an ideal entry into your visit to the virtual Bruce (“Da Gizz”)’ Harwich Spirits Shoppe… So come on in and let two cats give you a look around…
First stop… The parking lot… Some space out front, more on the side, and still more out back. Parking? Yeah, we got parking…
Next, stroll in and gander the wine on the floor that stretches to the paintings on the ceilings. (Actually, take the time to look at the artwork. It’s a little known fact that while he may be crazy as an outhouse rat, owner Bruce knows his art…) Just don’t stare up to long or the weirdo may be on you asking if you can help him.
Dead ahead is, well, wine… Tons o’ wine. Yeah, there are other liquors, but the wine selection is pretty impressive. And, to borrow from Monty Python, there will be no wines that fit the following bit of discourse…
A lot of people in this country pooh-pooh Australian table wines. This is a pity as many fine Australian wines appeal not only to the Australian palate but also to the cognoscenti of Great Britain.
Black Stump Bordeaux is rightly praised as a peppermint flavoured Burgundy, whilst a good Sydney Syrup can rank with any of the world’s best sugary wines.
Château Blue, too, has won many prizes; not least for its taste, and its lingering afterburn.
Old Smokey 1968 has been compared favourably to a Welsh claret, whilst the Australian Wino Society thoroughly recommends a 1970 Coq du Rod Laver, which, believe me, has a kick on it like a mule: eight bottles of this and you’re really finished. At the opening of the Sydney Bridge Club, they were fishing them out of the main sewers every half an hour.
Of the sparkling wines, the most famous is Perth Pink. This is a bottle with a message in, and the message is ‘beware’. This is not a wine for drinking, this is a wine for laying down and avoiding.
Another good fighting wine is Melbourne Old-and-Yellow, which is particularly heavy and should be used only for hand-to-hand combat.
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.
Real emetic fans will also go for a Hobart Muddy, and a prize winning Cuivre Reserve Château Bottled Nuit San Wogga Wogga, which has a bouquet like an aborigine’s armpit.
Nope… No junk here… Good stuff… Moving deeper into the store (“Don’t take a sharp right into his office! He might be there! Are you mad?!?” And don’t step on my tail either!) Where were we? Ah yes, moving deeper into the store and easing right, there’s a very nice alcove with an alcove off of that loaded with what Panchita and I call “the good stuff”. I mean we’re talking vino you’d serve to the Pope.
Off to the left is the practically store-long cooler… Have some beer! Ah beer… Nice and cold…
Out back is a tiny patio meant for Summer-time wine tastings and informal classes taught by Da’ Gizz
when we let him out when he’s available.
Alrighty then… Moving back inside, all that’s left is the front store complete with register, snacks, lottery, and general stuff Bruce is trying to sell…
So that’s the Harwich Spirits Shoppe… All told… It’s a snug place… A warm place… It’s your grand dad’s store if he was a wine expert and a very nice loony to boot.
See you by the racks,
Two cats blogging
P.S. Don’t let us out!
* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* eRobertParker.com: “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.