A fascinating interview with Australian novelist Peter Carey in the Weekend Financial Times yesterday for a couple of insights into wine consumption in tony restaurants. The strapline is pretty much what you’d expect for an antipodean author “over lamb and an expensive glass of wine, the novelist talks about his fears for the planet.”
The wine turns out to be two glasses of Mas Martinet from Priorat. Pete pronounces his lamb “spectacularly good – cooked really slowly” but the shadow of the last days of the Weimar Republic falls on interviewer Jan Dalley, whose day job is Arts Editor at the FT.
She describes the other diners at the Gramercy Tavern as “New York’s smart crowd noisily at the trough” while on the subject of ecology Pete pronounces “’now we’re having a fabulous time – but it’s impossible to think that there’s any answer other than starvation, war, huge population shifts, death. I can’t see a happy end in sight,’ he says… – ‘but I like this wine’” at $49 for two glasses (his lamb is $24).
Jan has a couple of glasses of Albariño from Felfiñanes ($24) which makes it 2/2 for Spain. But the most curious comment in the whole interview is her reaction to her Pollock: “my fish was probably pretty good too but I have no idea.” An arts editor with no opinion?
Null points to the sommelier too, as Jan remarks “it had taken some time and several requests to get those second glasses of wine – ‘they didn’t believe us’, was Carey’s diagnosis – and now we decide against desserts and ask for coffee.” All useful information for Charles Banks who plans to bring some US sommeliers out to Mulderbosch in December to sell them the concept Chenin Blanc. While he’s at it, some slow-cooked Karoo lamb sounds like a good idea.