The White Stuff

Source: Stuff Magazine
Date: June 1998
Contributor: Dirk Williams
Copyright: © Stuff Magazine 1988

Stuff made a trek to the Hibernian bolt hole of Filthy MacNasty’s in north London for a quiet drink or three with former Pogue, bon viveur and avowed Martini tippler Shane MacGowan, to get his (all too) experienced opinion on Stuffs top five whites. The man’s had more than his share of rotgut over the years and wasn’t impressed by the delicate tones of the more obscure grapes. Still, game as a badger, he got stuck into each of them and gave us his straight opinion…

Cranswick Estate Marsanne

“As a rule, Australian wines aren’t as bad as they should be, but you’re better off going for the Chardonnay or the Sauvignon. Wine isn’t something they’ve been doing in Australia for very long, they haven’t really got the hang of it. They haven’t got hundreds of thousands of peasants tramping round vats of it like they still do in some of the European states.”

Dart Valley Madeline Angevine

“You’d definitely know this was English. It tastes like a spritzer already. It’s got no body, it’s not fruity – just bland with a bitter aftertaste.”

Oberemmeler Rosenberg Riesling Kabinett Halbtrocken

“if I was gonna go for a German wine I’d go for a Mosel. It’s what they used to drink on the Russian front to keep their spirits up. It’s the working man’s wine. When they ran out of anti-freeze they’d go on the Mosel.”

Fairview Gewürtztraminer

“I think this is the first South African wine I’ve ever tasted but I could be wrong, 1 might have been out of my head at a party and drunk a load of them. Not sure about this one”

Burgans Albarino

“This is the best thing yet, but a bit bland. I can’t
imagine many Spanish people drinking this. I think they probably use it for cooking to be quite honest with, you – in fish and chip shops. Or sell it to the tourists.”

The world’s wine according to Shane…


“You can get a really good Italian for a fiver. Something like a Frascati or a Soave. But if you wanna splash out a bit but really have a treat, real value for money at about £7.50 a bottle is Verdicchio. If Christmas is coming and you really want to get a nice Italian go for Lacrima Christi, which means the ‘tears of Christ’. A lovely drop.”


“I like Mouton Cadet, like a Rothschild but it’s cheap. A Rothschild for the people. It was developed relatively recently, about 80 years ago, and costs about six quid but that extra quid makes a lot of difference “Vin de Pays – the wine of the country. The people’s wine. You have to pay about six pounds to get a good French wine.”


“Rioja and Navarra are both good Spanish wines. They’ll normally set you back about six or seven quid but it’s worth it because you should never drink bad wine.”


“Paul Mason is a good cheap wine – so long as you’re not a snob.”


“I’m very fond of Dao, or a nice Vino Verde.”