Grape Expectations - when tradie winds blow

Max Crus
Subscribe to
Windance Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia

Windance Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia [©Max Crus]

Oakdene Shiraz from Geelong, Victoria
Tahbilk Cabernet Sauvignon, Nagambie Lakes, Victoria
Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz
Optimiste wines from Mudgee, New South Wales

Many people realise I am not the most accomplished home handyman. Indeed Ms L. contends that the other end of the spectrum is more apt. Alas now I have even less to support any argument to the contrary.

And while I know you shouldn’t try to diminish others for your own self aggrandisement, Big Brother is probably still a couple of notches ahead - or is that behind? - in the tradie crack-ups.

At least I didn’t have to call the manufacturers to fix the do-it-yourself tool shed, and I didn’t attempt a concrete garden surround by first laying the cement dust and then adding water.

Furthermore my latest escapade had an upside, and a few upside-downs too.

All I had to do was chop down one little tree that was already leaning in the right direction, roughly, and physics is a straightforward science, notwithstanding that quantum stuff, all about equal and opposite reactions.

Ms L. ran for the video camera as soon as she saw me with a ladder, a piece of rope and a saw. Most uncharitable.

Anyway to cut a long story (and one tree) short, there was ample room between the Hills-Hoist and the invaluable lime tree, so removing the clothes from the former seemed unnecessary.

Naturally, that’s when the fun started.

The tree hit the line on one corner with such force that it drove it to the ground before slipping off, allowing the equal and opposite force to take over, propelling it back up again.

The clothes on the far side leapt with joy, before the clothes on the near side followed suit, appropriately, in a perfect a Mexican wave mixing whites and coloureds like when I do the washing, most landing back in place, apart from those that ended up with a dash of lime.

The structure itself settled on a jaunty ‘Dali’ angle.

“I’ll put up the new wall-mounted clothesline now, Ms L. Where’s the drill?”

Optimiste Shiraz 2006, $20ish. Great name for a useless tradie and I have a soft spot for unicorns and an equally soft spot for Mudgee shiraz. After years of indulgence I have other soft spots too. 8.6/10.

Oakdene Shiraz 2007, $25ish? Geelong have been under the pump recently, so get behind the Catters with a bit of Bellarine shiraz as part of your training regime. 8.4/10.

Mount Eyre Hunter Valley Semillon, 2008, $15. It was such a treat to find a wine with only 10 percent alcohol we drank the lot in celebration. Love the Mombassa-esque label too. 8.3/10.

Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz 2006, $70. More gold medals and more oak than you can shake a stick at, so cellar for five years or decant and try again in three hours, and you’ll get much more than our 8.5/10.

Windance Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, $50. It’s a marvellous night for a Windance, and my washing-dance. Drink with Van Morrison or after a Mexican party. 8.8/10.

Tahbilk Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, $22. That’s as old as Grange, almost. Doesn’t taste like Grange either, but it’s a cab and you get two dozen of these for one of them. Great value. 8.6/10.


  • Hunter Valley (NSW)
  • Mudgee (NSW)
  • Bellarine Peninsula (VIC)

Our Recommendations

To see our recommendations, ratings and reviews you must be a logged-in subscriber.

To subscribe please enter your email address in the "Subscribe Now - it's Free" box on the right and click the "Join" button, or fill in this form >

July 23rd, 2009
Subscribe today - it's free
Subscribe Button

Subscribe now - for news and reviews, our newsletter (optional), to join our forums, and more.

Enter your email address and click the Subscribe button. We respect your privacy.

Log in

Enter your username...

Enter your password...

Log In Button

Forgotten your password?


Kerry's corner - your free benefits