HAVE SOME WINE - NO DON'T


"The hidden problem of middle-class drinking" runs a banner headline on the reduced front page of Melbourne's tabloid Age today over a censorious piece of self -generated "news" lamenting that 85 per cent of "professionals" who took part in a survey conducted by the paper drink too much, "causing untold harm to themselves and others".

And who, pray, does more than anyone to promote the consumption of alcohol among the middle classes than the Age with its endless pretentious paeans to the supposed excellence of the Australian wine industry and its subtle but constant identification of sophistication with wine-drinking? In its "Epicure" and weekend supplements there is page after page of nothing but. I've lost count of the number of sneering references I've seen in the Age to Australians in the 1950s eating their chops and allegedly overcooked veg with a nice cup of tea instead of a big bold red from a "boutique winery".

The "respondents" to the survey, we are informed, were mostly Fairfax readers. Perhaps they drink to forget the decline of that company's once respected Age and Sydney Morning Herald into pedlars of nannyish humbug.

16 March 2013

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