Cellar notes: A corking good read

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Indy Lifestyle Online

If you think most wine lists have all the appeal of your average telephone directory, Ian Brown's oddball list will make you pause for thought. With a unique blend of hilariously surreal ramblings and eccentric tasting notes, his mouthwatering Australian catalogue reads like a trialogue between Rab C Nesbitt, Harry Hill and Baldric.

If you think most wine lists have all the appeal of your average telephone directory, Ian Brown's oddball list will make you pause for thought. With a unique blend of hilariously surreal ramblings and eccentric tasting notes, his mouthwatering Australian catalogue reads like a trialogue between Rab C Nesbitt, Harry Hill and Baldric.

See for yourself. On Pewsey Vale Contours Riesling, he comments: "One of the planet's great rieslings with the telltale familiar whiff of a petrol station forecourt that's recently been resurfaced with toast and lime marmalade." On Tahbilk Marsanne: "Delicious young but with bottle age explodes like a firecracker in a honeysuckle factory. Unoaked, otherwise it would've been a timber-framed honeysuckle factory."

You could be excused for thinking that Brown is a couple of bottles short of the full case, but not only is there method in his daftness, but his Aussie list is arguably the best in the country. It includes Cascabel's exciting Tempranillo Graciano, Barossa shiraz from Two Hands and the amazing Giaconda Chardonnay, not to mention Brokenwood Semillon, Balnaves Cabernet/ Merlot, Fox Gordon Shiraz, Frankland Estate Riesling, Cullen, Mount Horrocks, Grosset and many more top estates.

This is simply the best free afternoon's entertainment in wine. Ian Brown is, in his own words, "renowned for eschewing an online presence and thereby unlimited amounts of etherquids", so for details contact Vin du Van, Colthups, The Street, Appledore, Kent (01233 758727).

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