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Open the podcast door Hal…

Open the podcast door Hal…

Open the podcast door Hal…


They started out with such promise –ooh, ah, the mystery of such-and-such-a-murder, casting doubt on the investigationblah blah. The influence of China on our politics and cuisine and consumergoods and, okay, okay, everything.


Or the seedy and dangerous history ofthe all-male review The Chippendales, the bizarre background and lifestyle ofan obscure (to us) Latino pop star, another unsolved murder in West Cork, orDallas (yeah, that one is still getting a run), or how the moon-landing wasactually real (yeah sure).


These are some of the world’s mostpopular podcasts.


What they really are, like mostpodcasts, are five minutes worth of information crammed into an hour ofjournalistic indulgence and self-aggrandisement (not unlike this very column onemight suggest – fair enough, but at least this only takes five minutes toread).


Okay, technology means you can speedup your device to 1.5 times and get it all over with quicker, but you’ve stillgot to endure the fluff which resides in the bellybutton of almost allpodcasts, which looks, or more importantly sounds, like this :


First you have the tedious intro,invariably constructed to obfuscate the details about a situation enough thatyou at least consider listening for another 50 minutes, or worse another sevenepisodes, asking will we ever really know the truth behind the…Insert one ofthe following here : murder, missing person, legend, missing cash, ancestry. Noyou won’t.


It will also give a long-winded resumeof the ‘humble’ podcaster, a brief but annoyingly incomplete synopsis of what’sto follow and always will involve suitably mysterious music among a range ofannoying sounds to be reprised throughout the entire podcast.


The most popular of these sounds arefootsteps on gravel (to indicate someone is walking on gravel (der)), wailingsirens indicating someone is in trouble (ditto), car doors slamming, windblowing, birds chirping or other animal noises.


We know what these things sound like.We know what someone walking sounds like, or if there’s been an accident ordisaster, there will be sirens, we don’t need to hear them…every time.


Just as we don’t need to hear my leastfavourite sound, one which accompanies every podcast involving beverages, eitheras subject or accoutrement, the sound of liquid being poured into a glass, or acork popping.


Guys, cut the fluff, give us our five-minutes’worth and move on…not on the gravel please!


Actually there is a sound moreannoying than pouring wine, the sound of someone eating, the gentle crack of ajaw…ooh sorry, that’s Ms L., better put my earbuds back in.


Now hear this!


Parker Coonawarra Estate Rosé (Dry andCrisp), 2021, $24. Dry and crisp looks a bit cheap on a label but not a badinclusion given many drinkers' perceptions that rosés are sweet and flaccid,neither of which applies here. 9.3/10.


Parker Coonawarra Estate Terra RossaShiraz 2020, $34. Looking for a straight no-nonsense shiraz but not so in yourface as Barossa or McLaren Vale? Well, that only leaves another 120 regions tochoose from. Coonawarra would be a good place to start. 9.4/10.


Longview Adelaide Hills MacclesfieldGrüner Veltliner 2021, $30. The only reason this hasn't taken off in Australiais it looks tricky to pronounce. But it feels so good to say, it's hard to stoponce you 've started. Warm and friendly. 9.4/10.


Longview Macclesfield Chardonnay 2020,$45. This is the sort of chardonnay that makes you wonder why you don't drinkmore or wish you earned enough to drink it all the time. Lively and colourfuland fruit, floral flavours flying everywhere. 9.5/10.


Margan Hunter Valley Off SweetSemillon Vermouth 2016, $50. A fairly recent convert to Negroni, I remembered avermouth lingering in the drinks cabinet, and from that first home-made job,it's been a regular Saturday sunset sip. Get one and discover it for yourself.9.5/10.


Margan Broke Fordwich Saxonvale SingleVineyard Verdelho 2021, $30. Is this Margan's shot across Barossa's bow for Teutonicbragging rights? Well, suck it up Barossa, this is about as good a verdelho asyou'll get in either valley. 9.2/10.