Beefsteak & Burgundy – Glimpses No. 6
I believe that a song sung in a foreign language can be very effective in imparting its meaning to us. So too wine can be enjoyed without the technical knowledge of how it was farmed and made. This analogy with music is interesting because it shares a duplicity that is unique; music and wine are purely indulgent, fundamentally unnecessary for survival and yet both are intrinsically important to our lives and well being. To think of an existence without them is too difficult to comprehend. Because we come to wine a little later in life we tend to approach it firstly in an hedonistic way and then the journey for some, with enquiring minds, becomes an intriguing and enjoyable pathway. From this standpoint some then pursue it as an interest and its appreciation becomes an acquired skill. Although one does not need to know where the singer trained or how the wine was made to enjoy the experience. None the less this delectation may lead folks to join wine clubs such as Beefsteak and Burgundy.
This indulgence in wine, some may say carnality, I prefer asceticism, goes hand in hand with dining. As our 2016 AGM is rapidly approaching it is interesting to see what our Adelaide Burgundians ate and drank at the AGM some 19 years ago. In 1997 at the AGM the Adelaide Club members ate Consommé Rothschild with Valdespino Sherry, partook of Medallions of Poached Atlantic Salmon with an Adelaide Club 1995 Semillon. They then consumed Grain Fed Eye Fillet Steak with a trio of Mushrooms or Mustard Sauce. Two masked reds were then served. The meal finished with Blueberry Crepe Aflame with Pecan Ice Cream. This slid down accompanied by a Basedow Spatlese Frontignac from 1995. Coffee and Chocolates followed with a Port Adelaide B&B Club Anniversary Port. Perusing the cellar list of the time I would have served the 1988 Orlando Lawsons Shiraz and the Yalumba Menzies Cabernet from the same year as the masked wines. On the other hand perhaps The Eileen Hardy 1989 Shiraz and the Wynns1990 Michael Shiraz; what lovely choices. In any event one could ask Phil Kleinig or Martin Keith as they, amongst other present members, were there.
In 1994 the AGM was held at the Naval, Military & Air Force Club. Once again, for purely educational purposes, members dined on Avocado with Heart of Palm, Roast Breast of Duckling with Juniper Berry Glaze and Vegetables of the Day [ugh], Brandy Snap Rolls with Rum Cream Patissiere [sic] [so 90s], Cheese Platters, Coffee and Chocolates. Keeping in the ascetic mode, members complemented their dinner with a 1991 Tolleys Pedare Rhine Riesling, a Basedows1986 Cabernet and three masked 20th Century wines ,1 red, 1 sweet and a Fortified Wine. On the autographed menu in the Club’s archives I can discern Keith Gramp’s signature.
Keith was eventually made a life member. The proposal for this endowment documents Keith’s involvement in the B&B movement. He joined the Adelaide B&B Club on September 9th, 1985. Keith served on the committee continuously from 1987 to 1996. He was President in 1991/92 and 1992/93. During his Presidency he travelled overseas extensively, visiting all overseas Clubs outside Australasia. He was also an attendee at a number of National Conventions. Interestingly Keith was a Charter member of the Melbourne B&B Club [February 18th, 1958]. After being its President in 1959 he was made a Life Member in 1974. He was present at their 500th lunch and their 40th Year Anniversary. A remarkable achievement, one the present members acknowledged, when he decided at 90 years of age to join the inactive group at the end of last year. I believe it was Keith who held the view that, “Age is just a number. It is totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine.” Well done Keith.
It was at year’s end in 1997 the Annual Report on the health of Club revealed that we paid $178 for our Public Liability Insurance and the Club’s investment account was earning 6.9%. These were the times, it would seem, of milk and honey and well funded asceticism [at these rates should have been saturnalia]. It was the year after that a resolution at the AGM caused “lively discussion”. It was passed, eventually, with 3 abstentions, by 11votes to 7, that members would be billed an extra $120.00 with their annual subscription as an advance payment of $10.00 towards each dinner for the year. However, some time later this motion was deemed unconstitutional as it should have been subject to a notice of motion, which it was not, and it also needed a 75% majority. The Committee shared this point of view and no action was taken.
Action was afoot in other B&B arenas. In our earlier years the movement has held 32 Golf Days. These began in 1958 and the last was held in 2002. Adelaide won 9, Somerton 8, Tea Tree Gully 4, Woodville 2, Lockleys and Victor Harbor both 2, Blackwood, Brighton, Tregenza and Erehwon all 1. Burnside was the last winner and still retains the trophy. Also in times past there were President and Secretaries Drinks Functions and a couple of B&B Picnics. The Botany Bay Club also had a Cheese master. The only time I think seriously about cheese is when I am on a diet and all I want to do is cheddar few kilos.
Written by Bob Bowes, Adelaide Club Committee Member