First off, a Decanter article on how the wine industry has missed a big branding opportunity by not doing more to hitch a ride on the slippery fish of the music business: both are lifestyle industries, runs the thinking, and there should be plenty of scope for cross-pollination; but the advent of Elvis Presley, rock'n'roll, 1956 and all that, left wine out in the cold as far as cool was concerned. Perhaps all those rebellious white boys were happy enough to drink the stuff they'd heard about, but didn't really want to sing about it in case their mammies found out - or perhaps their svengali puppeteers wisely preferred to keep their investments squeaky clean.
Which or whether, it is a missed opportunity. Maybe the winemakers should be putting up their latest creations on myspace the way you would a band - perhaps some of them have already done it.
That said, old folk such as meself would rather see the popular beat combos and their followers getting hip to the mellow jive of wine culture. Camille O'Sullivan's gig, or the Threepenny Opera in the Spiegeltent at Cork's Midsummer Festival would have been just the place to go mad and swap yer usual yellow beer for something with a more thrilling sort of beaded bubbles winking at the brim. If any of you wish to join, or are already revelling in, the burlesque and cabaret revival that seems to be blowing in the wind at the moment, please don't hesitate to contact us for practice or performance grades and quantities of bubbly when the time comes to hit 'em with the magically bubblicious girl-in-a-glass routine. This includes you, if you're reading, Tassel Club buddies!
On the off chance that the music-and-related-arts business might give a boost to the wine world, I'll soldier on by giving a plug to the growing swing dance movement in Ireland and hello to Peter and Molly (and the other tanzerin whose name I forgot to ask), who were cutting a rug with no little style last Saturday in the Sugar Club. If we can get the volume down and the dressing up, the time would be right for some discrimination and discernment in the beverage department too. I'll say no more about that, except drinking less and better has got to be one of those things that everybody should try once.
The economic and social conditions that have in the past accompanied the rise of cabaret and so on would tend to confirm a chap's suspicions about the sort of mess we may be getting ourselves into just here at the moment, but if, in the words of the songs, "In Dublin they're depressed... Maybe because they're Celts", "let's face the music and dance". While Rome burns, you get the drift.