Grape Expectations - how do I love thee?

Max Crus
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Step Rd, Langhorne Creek, South Australia

Step Rd, Langhorne Creek, South Australia [©Max Crus]

Littore Family Wines, Geelong, Victoria
Flying Fish Cove, Margaret River wine region, Western Australia
Angove's, Riverland wine region, South Australia
Mollydooker Wines, McLaren Vale, South Australia

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways to stuff it up. February 14th is difficult for a lot of people and to rub salt into the wounded heart it returns each year to remind us.

All those flowers and chocolates and smelly things - okay, maybe fish wasn't so clever - that we sent in lure of loving or companionable connection, gone unattributed, or worse attributed to some other whacker.

What an unusual concept, anonymous gifts. How many times did the recipient think it as from someone else, completely unaware of our intentions or distressingly, our existence?

And how many times has someone of whom we were similarly unaware, attributed another sad soul's offering to us?

It's a slow and painful realisation too. You know Interflora will leave your delivery 'til last, so you spend the entire day wondering if Miss Maybe has received it. Then, was it delivered at all? Or again, did they think it was from someone else? Did they have no idea and just enjoy a warm, fuzzy, night in solitude with an inner glow, a box of chocolates and a DVD?

Then there's the incoming. Is it best to wait 'til the 'sendor' calls, just in case, which begs the question, why aren't we happy to do the same?

What if you get two? Or one of your givers sees you get two? What if your Juliet gets two, or more? Is there something about her you don't know?

There are two simple answers to the dilemmas of the Big V. It removes all doubt, frustration, angst and usually (but not always) most of the heartache.

Firstly, send your Valentine on February 13th. This avoids both the rush and the stigma of being a slave to marketing.

Secondly, and most importantly, put your name on it and a bottle of wine in with the flowers. Bubbly is best for immediate impact, but a big chunky red can come in handy later on.

Here's some suggestions:

Molly Dooker Carnival of Love Shiraz, 2007, $90.  Perfect valentine, a whopping 16 percenter, thick and groovy and altogether a carnival of delight which you'd hope for from $90 and a wine voted 9th best in the world. 9.2/10.

Campbell's Trebbiano 2008, $19. Impress your 'V' with your knowledge of Italian and that this is one of the most popular wine-grapes in the world. You wouldn't know it outside Rutherglen though. 8.3/10.

Littore Family Wines Moscato 2008, $11. Slightly spritzig and slightly sweet but on a hot date on a hot night, gold for a SNAG. 8.5/10.

Step Rd Katherine Hills NV Sparkling Brut $12. A lot of marketing research has gone into this, it's such a nice name and fantastic if your Valentine is called Kate. 8.3/10.

Flying Fish Cove Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2008, $19. Can you eat flying fish or is it like eating koala, not quite kosher? Predictably this would be delightful with fish, flying or otherwise. 8.4/10.

Angoves Butterfly Ridge Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, $7. Pretty name for a wine isnít it, and any valentine who didn't know their wine would surely be impressed. Fair return for a farthing. 7.7/10.


  • Fleurieu (including Kangaroo Island) (SA)
  • Langhorne Creek (SA)
  • McLaren Vale (SA)
  • Riverland (SA)
  • Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula (VIC)
  • Melbourne and Melbourne West (VIC)
  • Rutherglen (VIC)
  • Margaret River (WA)
  • South West WA (WA)

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February 10th, 2009
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