Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Bad Wacky Wine Wednesday

Two Hands, "Bad Impersonator" 2003 ($41) -- Australian (of, course). From the land of off-beat, cute wine names (must be due to the oceans of Fosters beer down there), comes a great wine from a "hot" producer. Except for the wacky Zinfandel names in California (in particular, Santa Cruz), I think Australia would have the highest percentage of "wacky" names. I know I am supposed to pair this wine with dinner (probably due to the meddling influence of the food bloggers in this group), but I am more of a wine guy and my wife thinks the stove is where you store all the pots and pans. OK, so I finished my Ritz crackers and Velveeta cheese (at least it wasn't the spray stuff) and I am ready for the wine. Skipping meals around here allows me to get to the dessert wines sooner!

As you know, I am adjective-challenged, but here goes. I was going to select "Gnarly Dudes" as the wacky wine but when I went to the distributor last month this wine caught my attention. "Is that Groucho Marx on the label of that wine?!" As it turns out the "Gnarly Dudes" never came in, so you are spared the stories of me growing up in Los Angeles in the 70's hanging out with the surfer "dudes" in Malibu. Trust me, it was funny and dangerous, especially the part about the gasoline cocktails.

So "Bad Impersonator" is a wacky wine with a wacky label and it is one bad dude! 15% alcohol with a nose that will knock you down. The name comes from the winemaker's intent to make an Australian Shiraz that does not taste Australian, but tastes more like a French Syrah. The picture on the label is not Groucho, but the winemaker in costume. I would say that the winemaker has accomplished his goal of not tasting like a typical Australian, but it is more like a French Syrah on steroids! It is a big wine with legs like Betty Grable due to the almost Port like alcohol content (anyone can borrow the Grable phrase, if they dare!), but it has "refined elegance, depth and complexity." I can't say that it tastes like a French as I am not a student of that region. I would say that I am going to enjoy the rest of the evening hanging with this bad dude!

Say the secret word! Posted by Hello


Blogger Sam said...

Hi - I am a "meddling FOOD BLOGGER", taking a little sniff around your wacky wine posting. I particularly like your idea of getting to the dessert wines sooner rather than later...!
cheers - sam

1:44 AM  
Blogger Niki said...

I have to say, with absolute and complete honesty, that NOBODY in Australia drinks Fosters beer! It's not available in pubs and you'd really have to search for it in liquor shops. It's liquid pi**! An advertising trap! (I have a friend who plays "Spot the Fosters pub" when on the road. All pubs have a rotating light displaying their main beer on tap. I think he's yet to make 5 about 5 years.)

8:54 AM  
Blogger jens at cincinnati wine said...


I obviously need to get down there to check this out in person! You mean you can't rely on the television for the truth! That messes up everything!

Thanks for the comment,


9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt Wenk (the winemaker at Two Hands) is one of my favourites. Have you had a chance to try any of the wines from his personal label "Smidge" ( He's got some interesting things happening with two regionally influenced Zinfandels (one of the few in Australia working with the variety), and he makes a good valued Merlot that doesn't put the variety to shame like some that I've tried recently.

Cam Wheeler

10:11 AM  

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