Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Four hundred years of tradition, but why fucking bother?

In the 16th century the Spanish Conquistadors conquistadored their way through Chile, such was their want. When not conquistadoring they shared the gift of Catholicism with the previously happy natives. No more guilt free masturbation or lazy Sunday mornings for those chaps after that! But they also brought useful stuff with them too, stuff like the Vitis Vinifera. I know that sounds like a tome of interesting musings and pontifications by some late Pope or other but it's not, it is in fact a grape variety.



"Wonderful!", said the locals, or at least words to that effect and off they popped to make wine for their new masters.

Many years later, the mid eighteenth century to be sort of precise, French wine varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were introduced into the mix.

"Super fantastic wonderful!", exclaimed the locals, or something like that, who had become weary and a little bored with knocking out the same old plonk for the last couple of hundred years.

Wine making sort of flourished in Chile from Aconcagua in the north to the Bio Bio valley in the south. It was all bit local though and never really enjoyed a lot of success, financially or even taste wise. They struggled to break into the American and European markets and were generally laughed at by the French.

"You call dis vin? Dis ees not fit for a dog! Go away little funny person and take your reeediculous pan pipes and ponchos weef you.", said a mocking and snooty Pierre whilst supping a bloated and over hyped Beaujolais.

But in the 1980's some smart cookie or other arrived with stainless steel fermentation tanks and oak barrels for aging.

"Get in ye girl ye, we are on the pig's back now! We shall sell our wines all over the Americas!", said one farmer, Miguel I think he was called.

"No sir, you are wrong!" Came the terse response from another, I believe his name was Christóbal.

[If you can read this next bit with a Spanishy sort of accent that really would help. Think Antonio Banderas]

Looking far off over the ocean he continued with, "We shall sell our wines all over the known world. From the Americas to bothersome little hamlets and townships of Ireland. Wherever happy people gather to eat and drink or even just lonely people writing on their computers in their bedrooms they shall drink the wine of Chile, in particular our Merlot which is rather pleasant with lamb and some cheeses too, but that is not important right now. Miguel we must think big!"

And think big they did, so big in fact that Chilean wine is now the fifth largest exporter of wine to the US. In total the Chilean wine industry is worth close to a billion dollars a year, which is nice. Chilean wine is highly regarded too and has scooped many many awards over the years. It's all a far cry from the days of the Conquistadors and the red pishy gloop they called wine.

Now Miguel and Christóbal live in mansions but they often think back to those days of struggle when they couldn't make enough money from wine to buy even a second hand pan pipe let alone a mansion.

"We have travelled far my friend Miguel. From the dirt to the heavens and it is all thanks to our wine.", says Christóbal on a regular basis. The story of Chilean wine is a story of conquest and false dawns of hardship and the laughter of the French and in the end triumph over adversity.

So when you ask me for a bottle of diet coke to mix with your £18 bottle of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon you are not just pissing me off you are pissing, literally, on the efforts of the good people of the Chilean wine industry. I don't give a tiny rats ass if the do it in Spain and call it calimocho, I don't care. It's wrong. You are wrong. The Spanish are wrong. Constantly. I mean just look at the silly little beard on Fat Rafa Benitez.

It was all I could do not to stab the fucker in the face with the still blood stained stabbing fork.

27 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

dave said...

See that wine course paid off after all. I don't remember learning all that on the course, it must have been updated.
Of course, that was back in the days when a good bottle of chilean red wine cost £2.59

Manuel said...

dave: they still don't cost much more.....but still coke? in wine? it's just sick

savannah said...

ok, no to coke in wine, but a tinto verano whilst sitting in the plaza major in madrid is a wonderful thing, sugar! xoxox

Manuel said...

savannah: a glass of tepid water anywhere in Madrid sounds good to me right now......

Medbh said...

The horror!
Why? Why?
I'm even against sangria in principle because it says that the wine is so piss-poor that you have to mix in some fruit and club soda for masking its true nature.
But coke?
That calls for a flogging!

Manuel said...

medbh: flogging, beating, humiliating.....there are no rules when it comes to such horrors....

JT said...

Are you fucking shitting me?

As a wine salesman, this makes me want to fly over there and kick the piss out of him as well.

Ice cubes are bad enough, but fucking diet coke?

Sweet Jeebus.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Your blog was very informative but at the end you caught me by surprise and I almost missed the fact some arshole wanted Coke in their wine.That is downright stupid and vulgar and disgusting. Chilean wine I really enjoy. Good and not expensive. Things opened up for the Chilean wine industry especially when Pinochet died.

silverstar98121 said...

I don't see any reason to adulterate good Diet Coke with wine of any sort. But then, I'm a teetotaler.

Boxer said...

nooooooooooooo.

This. Is. All. So. Wrong.

echo said...

Diet coke and wine ? **gag, cough, choke**

Are you sure it was a person, and not some alien from another planet, posing as a person ? Or a bad tv show video taping your reaction ?

That is just soooooo wrong . . .

Crisatunity said...

I love your selective use of stock photos. Unfortunately, as your resident Texan over here in the States, I can tell you that your picture is in fact my state flag.

Gwynneth said...

Well actually, Manny the diet coke in wine thing is in itself a Spanish tradition - the calimocho, drunk by Spanish teenagers in town squares all over Spain.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calimocho

Anaperena said...

It's actually the Chilean flag. The blue patch of the Texas flag goes full length vertically, the Chilean doesn't.

And American jokes in 3...2...

Manuel said...

jt: welcome JT. And no I shit you not.....

steve: Pinochet, he was a character eh.....friend of thatcher too, so says everything....

silverstar: ha!

boxer: yes, yes it is.....

echo: no they were real enough.....I knew they were real when blood came pishing from his neck...

Crisatunity: I'll take that apology anytime you fancy.....

Gwynneth: Well actually Ms Gwynneth did you read the post? all the way to the end? I don't know why I bother.......sake....

Anaperena: Thank you for the back up......did you used to be called something else?

Conan Drumm said...

Gwynneth has inadvertently explained that calimocho is Spanish for what is known here as knacker drinking - ie imbibing outdoors while seated on the ground under the heavens. It has its place, especially for underaged drinkers, but not in a fine dining establishment. Keep the tines of your fork sharp.

Manuel said...

Gwynneth: yes I got that.....I got it so much I even mentioned it in the original post......having a very tough morning with the new shelving.....and now have superglue fingers.....I could do with some calimocho right now.....minus the coke

Evil Twin said...

Diet coke with wine is something that makes me think of a road accident (I remember being asked for this once over the bar and choking and spluttering whilst internally screaming)- you cannot help but stand by and watch whilst they drink this brew of Satan's offspring in the hope that it will, in fact, kill them off.

Manuel said...

evil twin: they should be rounded up like cattle and then slaughtered.....again like cattle......welcome evil twin!

Nil Zed said...

I was just fine NOT knowing that anyone, anywhere, mixed Coke with their wine. This post has not improved my life.

Diet Coke mixed with anything is a waste anyway (clue: the booze is doing enough caloric, and other, damage so why go for diet mixer??).

Tuesday Kid said...

There's something about them asking for Diet Coke that makes it even worse. Like they're being conscious of something but getting it wrong all the same.

Trekkie said...

I'm with Silverstar......what a waste of Coke.

Stephan said...

Ewwwwww.....Diet Coke in wine??? That's just N-A-S-T-Y! That has officially replaced the ghetto-mimosa (orange juice and Zinfandel) as worst drink idea.
Funny as hell, though.

Crisatunity said...

George Bush just called and took away my Texas membership card for gaffing on the flag.

Native Minnow said...

Since I drink neither wine nor soda I'm just going to smile and nod and pretend like I know what you're talking about.

Gwynneth said...

Did you know about Calimocho, Manny? LOL

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