NEXT OF KIN Shiraz (2008, Australia)

My Fellow Inebriates,

Finally after a lengthy dry-out spell during which I thought I would have to start drinking bathroom cleanser just to get a buzz, some wine came into our pad last night: NEXT OF KIN, a 2008 Aussie shiraz from the Margaret River region.

I don’t know why my parents keep such a shabbily supplied liquor cabinet. I mean, the store’s mere blocks away, they’re employed, and they could bloody well make the effort to buy wine occasionally, right? Yet in they shamble on a Friday night all thrilled with their purchase of ONE bottle.

At least it was a good one.

The Xanadu people who make this wine say, not very originally, that they’re all about the fruit. Agreed, wine is all about the fruit, but let’s face it, until it gets stomped into an alcoholic beverage, Liquorstore Bear isn’t interested. Yes, it is grapey grapey, it is made of grapes. I did find it very delicious and a good find for the $15 range, although I would have been more ecstatic for $12.

I don’t know why my parents are so borderline puritanical about drinking. They make this big deal about going out and getting ONE bottle to share on a Friday night after the kids are in bed. They don’t consider purchasing three or four and making it a party.

Because, really, NEXT OF KIN could be a non-stop party in a bottle. It’s fruity, drinkable, friendly and completely inoffensive. I did wake up with a bit of a headache but that could have been because one of the other bears in the house decided to kick my ass last night after everyone was asleep. He is a big mangy a*hole and he stomped on my head because he was angry about the lack of snacks in the house.

True enough, there are plenty of better Australian shirazes. NEXT OF KIN is kind of entry-level-tasting and headachy. I think it would be a good “reset” wine—you know, when you’ve been getting some good vino into you around town and your tastes have started up the pretentious ladder to that place where you can never just get drunk and be happy, and so you need to reset your tastebuds, get them grounded again. Usually I use some cheap Italian swill to do a reset, but NEXT OF KIN would work well too. After drinking it I think I could move on to any other plonk, up or down in quality, and be happy.

Not that there was anything else offered except bedtime last night. My parents need to seriously pick it up and get us stocked up. I looked in the cabinet last night when they were asleep–pathetic leftovers from pre-offspring partying days, stuff visitors have left (green apple rum anyone?), stuff they cook with. OMG, what do you guys do to get your parents to buy liquor? It’s not like I can go to the store myself. At 7 inches tall I can’t drive a car, nor do I have any money. All I have is excellent taste in booze.

Sometimes I feel like a shut-in, like one of those enormous people who need to be air-lifted out of their apartments when they finally have a medical emergency (finally?)—the only difference being that teddybears weigh less than a pound, so perhaps I could be air-lifted by one of those “Claw” mechanisms you find in bowling alleys and Chuck E. Cheese. I knew this guy once who would walk into a bar and look at the Claw game, at all the stuffies inside, and he’d say, “Any one of those I want, it’s mine.” Check out this awesome bargain wine. Buy several bottles and have your own party. RECOMMEND.

What's your poison? Drop me a line.

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