Barossa Pearl is back!
(The original Barossa Pearl bottling line)
Barossa Pearl has been reborn! Stop the presses!
Well, maybe not.
Like many Baby Boomers, I felt the tiniest pang of nostalgia when I heard this history-making wine had been revived by Jacob’s Creek (the Orlando name having long been consigned to the dustbin of history). With its distinctive green label, skittle shaped bottle, screwcap and plastic stopper, this lightly fizzing sweet-ish party wine was credited with changing the drinking habits of the nation in the 1950s and ‘60s. It was instrumental in converting sherry drinkers to light unfortified wines, kick-starting the table wine boom of the ‘60s and ‘70s. God, my parents even drank it occasionally. Along with the odd Seppelt Moyston Claret and Romalo Sparkling Burgundy.
I impatiently promoted the sample bottle up the tasting order, as soon as it darkened the doorstep. What a disappointment. It was like revisiting an old flame from too long ago. There are some things we should forget. Move on, old son!
It was slightly sweet, slightly fizzy, slightly muscaty, and more than slightly boring. Is that what Barossa Pearl tasted like? Who knows? It was so long ago when they stopped making it. It’s a bit like asking Michael Broadbent: ‘Is that what 1787 Chateau Lafite is supposed to taste like?’
Closer inspection of the bottle revealed that the label is not baked onto the glass as it was in the ‘60s. That was really revolutionary back then. And the screwcap and plastic stopper have been replaced by a regular champagne cork. Oh well. We should have known better than to expect to like the wine, after all these years.
Of course, you and I are not the target market. It’s aimed at young people, and inexperienced drinkers. The Jacob’s Creek marketers probably hope it will extend the franchise for moscato, or something. Good luck to them.
$15.99 at your local liquidland.