The following letter was sent to the Weekend Australian Magazine
(4-5 November, 2017). I was embarrassed for our top wine writer to see him styled in the magazine holding a metal (pewter, silver?) wine goblet (and a very hideous one at that).
The yearly wine issue is a pleasure and source of useful information but who on earth “styled” the images of an embarrassed James Halliday? I assume the tawdry trappings of this erudite and respected wine writer are styling him as a king of wine. A noble concept but the metal goblet was gauche back in the 70s. To have Mr Halliday holding a wine receptacle in metal today is astounding. We’ve come a long way in our drinking sophistication to want to hold glass, to see the clarity and colour of the wine and have it at optimum temperature. Please don’t encourage us to dig out our hideous pewter wedding presents!
Take a quiet 15minutes to read this perfect article that had me close to tears of joy. The New York Times magazine has pulled together a series of essays on the art of the dinner party but the one by Gabrielle Hamilton, the Grown-up Dinner Party is a treasure. She so clearly expresses how I feel about food, dining, getting together and hospitality.
She touches on…
“The insistent, well-meaning clean-up brigade…”
“A dinner party is about what is said not about what is eaten.”
“When phones came to the table … instead of summoning words, people tapped on images.”
But best of all, she writes of coming downstairs as a child the morning after, where she would would “read” the detritus as if it were a fossil impression of the conversation just hours beforehand, the table strewn with the last debris of the late finishing dinner party.
(Gabrielle Hamilton is also author of Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)