Book of revelations: Latest edition

Max Crus
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Warning: The following column may contain traces of wine information.

The annual Big Book of Wine (Australian & New Zealand Wine Industry Directory) came out this week. Boy, was it full of it.

Did you know there are now more than 2000 wine producers in Australia? That’s a new one every 69 hours for the past year. Phenomenal when you think there were only 998 in 1998.

How about 426 wine-events this year or ‘calendar listings’ as the Big Book puts it?

Yet there is another aspect of the wine industry that has grown even more quickly than the producers and their parties - the number of winewriters.

This scourge of society has ballooned to 156. That’s a bucketload of fruity herbaciousness, forest floor, sweaty saddle and cat’s piddle on the back palate.

So much so indeed, that you don’t need any more from me so let’s talk about household chores.

For some reason - probably a bad experience as a child - I can’t stand hanging the washing out.

I don’t mind doing the dishes, don’t mind cleaning the bathroom, even don’t mind vacuuming and for that matter, and actually washing the clothes isn’t so bad either, although I don’t go as far as The Big M, who lifts the lid to watch his clothes go round and round.

The first time I saw him do this, he had the look of someone standing on a bridge contemplating suicide.

“Don’t do it”, I cried.

“Well, no one else is going to”, he replied wondering what all the fuss was about.

Why he didn’t just get a front loader remains a mystery.

But hanging out the washing really grinds my pestle and bringing it in again isn’t all that much fun either.

But there is something worse than clothes washing and that’s putting your empties into an empty recycle bin. It is probably even less fun for the neighbours of winewriters.

So please accept my humble apologies, good neighbours. I hope the velvet and rubber lining goes some way to assuaging your angst.

Here’s what went in, quietly, this week.

Water Wheel Vineyards 2004 Bendigo Shiraz, $17. Perfect accompaniment to an SBS program on amazing Roman water wheel technology. Amazingly good value wine too. 8.3/10.

Moondah Brook 2005 Verdelho, $12. The bubbles around the meniscus were delightful, golden green in colour, and inviting. Life imitating art or art imitating wine? 7.8/10.

Beelgara Rascals Prayer Verdelho 2005, under $15. When sav blanc is too tart and chardy too serious, verdelho is the grape for you. 8/10.

Maestro Sangiovese 2003 (Robin Tedder), $25. This is pretty gutsy for a ‘sanga’ and that might not be a bad accompaniment come to think if it. 8.5/10.

The Crossings 2005 Marlborough (NZ) Sauvignon Blanc, $23. TP knew a family called the Crossings once, I wonder of they know about this wine? After 40 million sav blancs recently am I being too critical, or just plain spoiled. 8.2/10.

Zilzie Buloke Reserve Chardonnay 2004, $14. Always reminds me of Mazda advertisements, only leaves a better taste in your mouth and lasts longer...than the ad that is. 8/10.

Wines reviewed:
Water Wheel Vineyards 2004 Bendigo Shiraz
Zilzie Buloke Reserve Chardonnay 2004
Moondah Brook 2005 Verdelho
The Crossings 2005 Marlborough (NZ) Sauvignon Blanc 2004
Maestro Sangiovese 2003 (Robin Tedder)
Beelgara Rascals Prayer Verdelho 2005

© Max Crus

Column on the release of the leading industry publication The Wine Industry Directory published week beginning April 23rd 2006.

Published in Cairns Post/Rockhampton Morning Bulletin/Northern Star Lismore)/Daily Examiner (Grafton)/Wagga Daily Advertiser/Geelong Advertiser.


  • Lower Hunter (NSW)
  • Hunter including Newcastle (NSW)
  • Hunter Valley (NSW)

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