Grape Expectations: Go ahead, wash my dishes

Max Crus
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Campbell's The Barkly Durif from Rutherglen in Victoria

Campbell's The Barkly Durif from Rutherglen in Victoria [©Max Crus]

Nugan Estate's Alfredo from the King Valley Frasca's Lane Vineyard in Victoria
d'Arenberg The Stump Jump, McLaren Vale, South Australia
Barringwood Park Schonburger from North West Tasmania
Bundaleer Clare Valley Riesling, South Australia

Max cooks every night: worthless. Max does dishes every day: worthless. Max cuts lawns every week: worthless. Max washes clothes every week: worthless. Max puts recycles every night: worthless. Neighbour puts bins out because we forget: worthless. Little Ms L. cleans own room once per fortnight: international acclaim. Ms L. cleans bathroom once per week: priceless.

Yet you miss just one task…

Martyrdom isn’t what it used to be, but what could I do?

After checking removalist costs I bought a dishwasher.

Now there’s a can of worms that only people who have one will understand. It is the worst purchase decision I have made since I last bought brown rice.

Presenting the machine as a birthday gift flopped fantastically: “but you already do the  dishes Max, where’s my real present?”

Encouraging the girls to put their dirty dishes in it flopped even flatter. Just as well though, as you need to do a TAFE course to fit as much in as the instruction book photos suggest.

Then you realise the time it takes to load is the same as washing the dishes by hand. Except then you have to unload it, because if you don’t that is precisely when other household members get enthusiastic, leaving a complicated mix of clean and filth which takes even longer to sort out, as does their self righteousness about trying to help, and what do they get? Nothing but abuse. Priceless.

Fortuitously the cheapest dishwasher matched our fridge. Well, in name at least. They look quite different which is useful as otherwise the girls would get confused about where not to put their dirty plates or not return the milk.

Equally fortuitously, given the proximity of Earth Hour, it was also the most economical but don’t get me started on Earth Hour, that’s a column in itself.

The worst thing of all about dishwashers though, are the hidden costs, namely the cost of detergent. Do you know how much those crusty little cubes cost?

You guessed it, priceless!

Finally, adding insult to poverty, you can’t put your Riedels in the damn thing.

Oh well, let’s just put something in our Riedels:

Barringwood Park Schonburger 2008 $25. How many sweet Germans have you met? Very Teutonic but easier to understand, unless you speak German. 8.4/10.

Campbell’s 'The Barkly' Durif, 2006, $40. Gruntley the Wonder Dog’s favourite wine and seems altogether a cut above the previous Barklys, which were already pretty cuddly. 9.1/10.

d'Arenberg The Stump Jump Riesling 2008, $12. Perfectly quaffable riesling at a perfectly quaffable price. 8.1/10.

Bundaleer Clare Valley Riesling 2008, $18. Bundaleer will make a bundle ‘ere if only people knew what they were missing. Tres decent riesling. 8.7/10.

Nugan Estate Alfredo King Valley Frasca’s Lane Vineyard Sangiovese Merlot 2006, $23. It can take a while to recognize the contents are not your usual Aussie red. Otherwise, just read the label. Interesting change of pace. 8.6/10.

Australian Old Vine Wine Shiraz, 2005, (Hand Picked) $14. Amazingly good stuff at this price and for something with kangaroos on the label. 8.5/10.


  • Big Rivers (NSW)
  • Riverina (wine) (NSW)
  • McLaren Vale (SA)
  • North West Tas (TAS)
  • Tamar Valley (TAS)
  • Rutherglen (VIC)

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April 15th, 2009
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