Crus, dogs & wine, Phillips, Rose & bay of Fires

Grape Expectations 3 December Max Crus (Simon Hughes)

At some point in the week these reviews and article will appear in The Daily Examiner (Grafton), Border Mail (Albury), Rotary Down Under (National) and Australian Petroleum Marketer News (National) 

Blame it on the doogie.

I blame the parents.

However in my defence our dog is not responsive to food nor to toys or sticks for very long.

She is certainly not responsive to punitive measures such as an instinctive and frustrated whack when she accidentally (?) nips your nipple (that’s why they call it that) while excitedly trying to engage you in her exuberance.

For her the game has just escalated to the more enjoyable level of nipping and boxing.

Basically our dog is bad, and we’d love to blame her early puppyhood, but she is probably just mirroring our behaviour and we have failed as parents.

It started with wetting the bed. And the couch, the floor, the car and pretty much anywhere sleeping dogs might lie.

Initially we thought this was just puppy stuff and some training, coaxing and age would cure it, but no, turns out it’s likely physiological not psychological, and only happens only when she’s asleep.

Umm, this is not a mirrored behaviour.

Nor is her propensity to chase anything that moves, notably jogger and cyclists.

We tried avoiding such conflict by walking in the forest where she ran free like the buffalo, dropped things where she liked, and chased kangaroos (which are faster, barely, than her) with complete impunity…how was I to know there was a national mountain bike race on?

Sorry about that, mate, but it didn’t hurt your lap time did it? Umm, about that summons…

We are running out of places to take her and no matter where we go, the first thing she does is find water, or preferably congealing mud, and get in it, after which she will roll in the blackest, dirtiest dirt she can find, then search immediately for fresh poo or carrion and jump straight back in the car. Then shake.

Heading home she bites at passing cars and dribbles down the door, which I realised too late, eats into the duco.

She’s friendly and loves playing with other dogs…unless they are not, which she loves even more.

Increasingly she is scared of thunder, loud bangs, and well, even gentle bangs and some things that aren’t bangs at all. And ceiling fans.

Basically she is hard work.

Initially we tried a therapist, for us, then decided a couple of glasses of wine is cheaper, and more effective.

Except it made her sleep more and you know what that means.

Cato La Primavera Rose (Hilltops) (nebbiolo garnacha primitivo), 2016, $35. You are forgiven for thinking Pink Panther instead of the ‘father’ of viticultural and winemaking theories in 160BC. Floral and fun. 8.9/10.

Cato La Promessa Nebbiolo (Hilltops) 2015, $35. You’ll guess what la promessa means even if you don’t speak Italian, I promise. You‘ll have another glass too, promise. 8.8/10.

Gundog Estate The Chase Semillon 2016, $30. This has been released alongside it’s brother ‘Hunter’s’ Semillon at the same price. They are different but inseparable and are two of the best white wines we’ve had this year. 9.2/10.

Gundog Estate Hunter’s Semillon 2016, $30. Just so refreshing and a real goldilocks, not too tart, not too bright, not too soft, not too pungent…as above. 9.2/10.

Blue Pyrenees Estate Section One Shiraz 2013, $36. The Riverina loves this, it won everything at their show, and at a few others, and at our election party. 9/10.

Blue Pyrenees Estate Merlot 2013, $20. No Kalgooorlie Wine Show medal here or Manangatang Merlot Challenge. The real deal Rutherglen and Melbourne. Soak up the glory, and vive la merlot. 8.7/10.

The Mercury (Tasmania), 3 & 6 December, Graeme Phillips




The Australian, 3 December, James Halliday

It’s drawing a long bow to suggest that Mount Pleasant’s chief winemaker, Jim Chatto, simply slipped into the shoes worn by Maurice O’Shea, who arrived at Mount Pleasant (as he named it) in 1921. But it is beyond argument that Chatto has peered through the curtains of time to understand why and how O’Shea became one of Australia’s most revered winemakers of the 20th century. Full article and reviews 

Food Navigator 7 December

Australia’s newest distillery start ­up has been using crowdfunding to bring to market a dry gin made from a wealth of local botanicals developed with the help of Scottish whisky master distiller Jim McEwan. Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin is made in a custom hand­made copper pot­ still in the heart of the Brook family’s macadamia farm in northern New South Wales. Eddie Brook, the family’s younger son and founder of Cape Byron Distillery, has over a decade’s experience in the spirits industry. He hit on the idea of producing an artisanal gin with McEwan as the pair travelled together across Australia for a whisky tour … Full article

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