According to the residents of the old vinous Barossa Valley apparently not!
Shock horror, McDonalds wants to set up an outlet in the well known Ozzie wine-making region of the Barossa Valley! And the residents say not on your nelly!
As it happens the Barossa is a place I know well – I worked there 20 odd years ago as a cellar-hand. As a wine-buyer and seller (ironically) I have been back many times and still know people there.
On my first night there I was introduced to Barossa culture - pizza (hmmm is that not fast food?) and Peter Lehmann vintage port – not quite simultaneously but both were very good. My first morning’s work was – ahem – a little grey!
Apparently the uproar over new golden arches is all about maintaining the ‘integrity of the region’s gourmet food’.
Does it really damage the integrity of the gourmet food industry or is it the sheer snobbery of a few with “mock Victorian” principles defending the masses from the ravages of global brands?
This sort of snobbery is rife in the wine industry – has been for years and sadly I wouldn’t mind betting that it is the latter rather than the former preventing the Golden Arches development.
How can it be that the gourmet food industry is affected? Is it not as simple as, if people want gourmet food then producers produce it and consumers buy it. If they don’t they won’t.
According to Australian celebrity chef Maggie Beer ‘McDonalds would be like a thorn in the Valley’s side.’ How disappointing that the fast food can’t sit happily alongside the gourmet. I don’t mind admitting that some times it is convenient for me to stop by a Maccas and have a fast food ingestion. It is not about pomposity more about circumstance. It happens that it is convenient for me to do that and the food isn’t poisonous, in fact I quite like the saucy manufactured flavour rush that it gives. But on a Friday night , after a long week my wife and I want to sit and enjoy perhaps a venison steak with wild mushrooms and carefully prepared vegetables and a sauce or accompaniment hand crafted by my good self with creativity, freshness and different flavour. And for the majority of people that is the case – liking fast food does not preclude appreciating gourmet.
We have been told for years, if not centuries, that the wine world is different, you have to know something in order to really appreciate it. Most people know that this is a load of old cobblers – beauty is in the eye of the beholder and if you want to be connected to wine through a wizened man, hand crafting everything – great but let’s not con ourselves that is at £5 per bottle – more like £15 or £20.
If you just want a nice drink without the nonsense then you don’t have to spend a fortune – it is about the experience, who your with, what you are talking about and the time your having. So if you want your favourite red with McDonalds – as a true Barossa worker would say – go for your life mate!