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Drink Less, Drink Better - or - Who's Afraid of Kiwi Pinot Noir?

"Boire Moins. Boire Mieux" or "Drink Less. Drink Better" is the epithet on four-packs of Canadian brewery Unibroue's fine Belgian-style ales. They are my new favourite brewery, their depth of flavour and alcoholic warming properties making them the ideal for winter in the North of England, thereby wresting the crown from the American Goose Island's hoppy, crisp, autumnal brews.

There will be a time soon when Unibroue are relegated to 'old favourite brewery' status, and the trophy will be ceded to some local micro producing something appropriate to spring - perhaps I will strike it lucky with some green hop ale this year? But for now, Unibroue's beers give me pours (geddit?) for thought.

Leaving aside the intense labial workout that the above slogan gives my thin lips, and the nagging doubt that it doesn't quite translate as "Drink Less. Drink Better", it reminds me of a conversation I had with one of the wine reps at last years (03) New Zealand wine tasting in Leeds. It was rather late on in the proceedings, so perhaps I wasn't at my sharpest (aren't those Kiwi wines easy to drink, and hard to spit out?).

I was telling the gent at the stall in question about a lovely vibrant strawberry-scented pinot noir I'd had about forty five minutes earlier, contrasting dramatically with his company's earthy, more Burgundian style. "Well, that's all very well for one glass" he commented (or perhaps he even sneered?), "but I'm sure it will get a bit a cloying by the end of the bottle".

It didn't occur to me at the time, but what an odd thing to say. Sure, wine needs structure and balance, but surely it would be nice if it offered contentmet before capacity was reached? And I don't care what you say - if you've supped a whole bottle of wine, you're no longer savouring it. Try resetting your palate with a glass of water, a good idea for at least three reasons (taste, drunkenness, hangover). The whole thing brings to mind the spectacle of a vomiting docker wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, turning to his mate and saying "I'll be glad when I've had enough" ( © Alan Bleasdale, probably).

Drink Less. Drink Better.

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