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We Drank This So You Wouldn’t Have To



Cost: $9.65

Alcohol Volume: 11 per cent

Pairing: Red Rocks Honey Soy Chicken chips, copious amounts of free wine from the Governor-General [cheers Jezza].

Verdict: ★★ “You can drink this; I wouldn’t want to.”


The day was 6 February and upon gracefully (not gracefully) leaving a reception at Government House, we visited Regional Wines and Liquor. Here, the proprietor was nice enough to both stop vacuuming and potentially contravene the Sale of Liquor Act by directing us to, and allowing us to purchase, the intriguingly Greek beverage Retsina. The novelty value of Retsina lies in the production technique of using pine resin to seal the barrels. This supposedly imbues the wine with a “pine aroma”—but as we shall explain, dear readers, a more apt description might be “soggy Christmas tree”.

We took it home, sniffed it, and were a bit repulsed. While initially inoffensive, the ancient Greek wine forces feelings of regret in the consumer when the disturbingly green liquid interacts with the tonsils. Some of the fault may lie with us in not following the quite explicit instructions to “enjoy it well chilled and turn each moment into a yorti (celebration).” However, our perseverance in the face of strong opposition from our gag reflexes should be noted.

To give credit where it is due, Retsina inspired an ill-informed and frankly embarrassing discussion about Greek politics and the country’s complicated relationship with the Eurozone, which provided brief entertainment. If the recording we made of ourselves as research for this review is any indication, Retsina certainly has the ability to turn each moment into a yorti, albeit a yorti tinged with shame and accompanied by a spewing forth of what some might term “shit yarns”.

While Mitch was against the idea of ever even thinking about Retsina again, Lydia rather charitably said she would drink it on the Olympics. But in the interests of not being cute, she should admit she would, in fact, not drink it on the Olympics (or ever).

You know when a wine improves over the night? Because you let it breathe? And lower your standards? Yeah, no, Retsina, no.

Our advice to you? If you’re wanting to experience a wine outside your comfort zone, don’t. Just get a sav you terminal wanker.

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