At university, when money was tight, a number of us gave cask wine a real work out. Rather than call it Chateau Cardboard or some other high falutin’ term – we simply called it “bladda”, with a particular emphasis on the second “a”. So inspired was this author by the bladda, that a song called bladda was penned, and it became the final raucous number of the 1988 Sydney Band comp finalists the Bladdamastas.
It is with great sadness, therefore that we hear that the Bladda’s inventor – Thomas Angove – has passed away. He invented the cask back in 1965 (patent was issued for wine-in-a-box), because flagons were breakable (and I also think they didn’t want to put 4 litres in a bottle – too heavy). This article from the Powerhouse museum explains how his invention worked and how it was improved by Penfolds. The man was a genius and even though he has also left a huge legacy in the Australian brandy industry – in my humble opinion, his greatest gift to Australia – was the bladda. Goodonya, Thomas Angove. A monument to his invention exists in the town of Mourquong, hopefully they filled and are now drinking from it in his honour.