By Richard Slater

    The Australian wine industry is going through hard times. The bushfires over summer destroyed several vineyards, and smoke taint ensured that some producers will not make wines in 2020.

    The Coronavirus has now led to the closure of hotels, cafes and restaurants, with obvious job losses and reduced alcohol sales. Many wines companies are offering free freight and discounts to generate some cash-flow.

    In a unique offer, The Westsider invites its readers to participate in the opportunity to purchase an unusual wine at a bargain price, thanks to Hector Lannible, media celebrity and CEO of Stoney Goose Ridge.

    Hector introduces the whole concept.

    “Black wines are all the rage. So once again Stoney Goose Ridge is at the bleeding edge vanguard with our futuristic foray into this exciting field. It wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction to make this wine on the run. I applied pressure to turn the heat up on my junior subordinate minions, and thanks to my inspirational stimulation, they crafted this superstar.”

    “You may recall Spinal Tap’s famous black album – “none more black”. Or Prince’s black album? What a concept! Can you set a wine to heavy, with the volume set to eleven? Sure!”

    “We’ve joined the dots to put our best foot forward, so this wine is all natural, with no black arts involved. We used deeply coloured and flavoured varieties – Malbec, Saperavi, Mataro, Durif and Tannat, picked when very ripe, pressed hard with a bit of juice run off. With perfectly legal tannin additions, and matured in highly charred barrels, this is one hefty, solid inky black wine.”

    “The wine is of course very deeply dark-fruited, a black hole, blacker than the ace of spades, blacker than coal – you may get the idea. It’s dark – very dark. Well technically it’s a red wine but don’t let that fool you.”

    “It weighs in at a high – but balanced -16% alcohol. It tastes confronting- this is a full-on wine with monumental tannins that demands high-octane food to attempt to tame it; something substantial. Power to the max. Pedal to the metal. Not for wimps. You have been warned. We’re focussed at the cutting edge of the slipstream here, putting the hammer down to jump through hoops.”

    “This is a burly, bruising wine for heroes, that won’t suffer the ravages of time. Not for moderates, this wine is crafted for hardcore extremist thrill-seekers living on the edge. Drink it now with the benefit of a day’s decant, or wait as many decades as you dare before opening. Age will not weary it. The challenge awaits. Who dares, wins.”

    “A serious, glass-staining, teeth-staining wine, with a truly bargain price for the delivery of the mega impactful volume of flavonoids.”

    “The RRP was intended to be released for a value-packed meagre $25, but what a bang-for-buck! We’ve done it again with “the Black”. But for Westsider orders, it’s only $20 per bottle, with free freight*.”

    “But we’re not releasing this wine to the general public through our usual retail or on-premise outlets. Stoney Goose Ridge will market this wine directly to Westsider customers in a stylish totally unique crowdfunding indent exercise. Delivery will occur on 1 April 2021.”

    “A release party was planned with invitees including Sam Neill, Nicole Kidman, Kylie Minogue, Shane Warne, Scott Cam, Delta Goodrem, Adam Goodes and many others. While the event has been postponed, all purchases of “the Black” are welcome to attend.”

    “Order now – our operatives are poised to take your instructions. Or go to the Stoney Goose Ridge multi-award-winning website to place an order- you’ll be so glad you did.”

    Your partner, Hector Lannible, proudly in association with The Westsider  

    *Conditions apply – no delivery will occur. Please note this article is a work of fiction. Hector Lannible does not exist. Stoney Goose Ridge does not exist. “The Black” does not exist. Some more examples of Hector’s rants, mixed metaphor, cliché etc plus fictional wines are on Richard’s blog at

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

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