Run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run… 

Rabbits round a waterhole throughout myxomatosis trials, Wardang Island, South Australia, 1938. Photograph: Nationwide Archives of Australia

Wine author RICHARD CALVER says the easiest way to rejoice the Lunar New Yr is to eat the rabbit… with a pleasant pinot noir, in fact. 

Tonight we’re having Himalayan rabbit stew for dinner. We discovered himalayan within the highway. 

TWENTY twenty three is the lunar yr of the rabbit. Apparently, the rabbit symbolises abundance, longevity, peace and prosperity. It’s purported to be the luckiest of the 12 animals within the Chinese language zodiac. Cam Zang writing on the StyleCaster web site says: “Don’t be fooled; these cute, fluffy creatures are extra than simply docile and lovely companions. 

“Rabbits are recognized to be extremely witty, outgoing, well-spoken, artistic, empathetic, considerate and meditative; the water aspect of 2023 means this yr will carry much more introspection, peace and hope.”

Cute and fluffy? Chinese language symbolism might attribute wonderful traits that beckon peace and hope however on this neck of the woods, they’re a curse. The myxoma virus killed them in huge numbers within the ’50s however they resurged. The Australian and NZ bush continues to be alight with their pestilence regardless of myxomatosis and calicivirus. 

In our lexicon, rabbits will not be delicate, heat, fluffy creatures however skinny, brown, ugly devastators of pasture and native crops. They need to be handled as such. My view is that the easiest way to rejoice the Lunar New Yr is to eat the rabbit.

Farmed rabbits are good to eat however Richard Odell, of the Griffith Butchery, informed me he has given up stocking rabbit, farmed or in any other case: “The costs of farmed rabbits are exorbitant and you may’t get native rabbit meat for love or cash. No person can lure or shoot them, but they’re throughout Canberra rooting themselves foolish.”

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On the off probability that the White Rabbit Cocktail room on Northbourne Avenue would possibly supply its namesake on a plate, I referred to as and spoke with Grace Cousins, a supervisor there: “Not that specific delicacies”, she stated, “I don’t suppose our clientele would go for it. We’re an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme.”

So I couldn’t go any additional down the rabbit gap of culinary inquiry. However I do keep in mind consuming farmed rabbit on the Inexperienced Door restaurant in Beechworth, Victoria. That place now appears to be closed. My then accomplice and I had an costly pinot noir with the rabbit and no matter she ordered. The wine and her selection are each misplaced to reminiscence. I do know on the time I believed the match of pinot noir and rabbit glorious. However is that as a result of I’m biased, particularly in the direction of good Otago Kiwi pinots? It appears not.

If you happen to ask the web: why pinot noir with rabbit, you get a few vindicating solutions? The UK Wine Society says that pinot noir or a light-weight gamay “marries fantastically” with rabbit, however offers no justification. The “Wine Spectator” query and reply internet hyperlink says: “Because it’s a mild-tasting and lean meat, if it’s ready merely, I’d advocate a light-bodied wine that wouldn’t overpower it, reminiscent of a fragile pinot noir or a white Rhône-style wine.

“If it’s ready in a sauce, do your finest to match the wine with the sauce.”

I consider that the Rhone-style whites referred to on this citation can be wines primarily based on viognier, Roussanne or Marsanne. I’d match the rabbit with a 2017 Burge Household Wines’ 2017 Roussanne Semillon, which has an important natural, full-textured flavour. 

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The purpose is that rabbits trigger lots of of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} a yr in injury to the Australian financial system. One researcher in 2009 estimated that this determine was about $206 million a yr, a determine that has absolutely elevated over time. 

Certain, give a respectful nod to the Chinese language horoscope however don’t be fooled that these creatures are, in actuality, beneficent. Eat them. 

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