Remembering Roman horror days

Max Crus
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I'm still bitter.

I've bought my last Ferrari, no more holidays in Tuscany, you can sit on my Alessi Juicy Salif - excuse the imagery - and I hope Valentino Rossi comes second.

Never did like Italian parsley much, I refuse to eat roma tomatoes and I might even give up pizza and bolognaise.

Bloody Italians. The world cup is well and truly over, but it is never too late to exact revenge and the scandal of their clubs at home at least cemented the fact that they are cheats and "we was robbed", and I, like many other Australians, need some closure, or something.

It is hopeless to think that we might have another crack at them in South Africa. We may not even get there and even if we do, the Latinos and the Latin Americans have centuries more acting experience, so the same scenario is likely to be repeated.

Although maybe Russell Crowe could step in and give the team a bit of acting, and biffo, training.

Anyway that's four years away and I prefer my revenge a bit sweeter and fresher, so how about beating them at their own game, so to speak? And what better domain to do it than wine.

We make some pretty flash Italian varieties now, pinot grigio, sangiovese, barbera, nebbiolo, etc, so why not export the stuff and get our own back?

Regrettably, according to my Big Book of wine, Italy is about the only place Australia doesn't export to.

Still, that's as good an excuse as any to drink the home grown stuff.

Cape Mentelle Sangiovese, 2004, $30? To chill or not to chill? That is the question. In the end we tried it both ways to suitable effect. 8/10.

Michael Unwin Wines, Acrobat, 2004 Barbera, $19. "Who invited Barbera", came the call amid other witticisms revolving around the soft target. The wine was well above the blousy banter and tasted bigger than its 13 percent. 8.3/10.

Coriole 2003 Sangiovese McLaren Vale, $20. There's none of this vintage left, but I thought I'd give you an idea of what you might be in for with subsequent vintages, out now, and well, to make you jealous. It's the sort of wine that could score 7/10 one day yet 8.5 the next. I prefer the 8.5/10 days.

Gapsted Barbera 2002, $30ish. How can you possibly drink this without the conversation turning to Barbaras you have known. Good a conversation as any. 8.3/10.

Pikes Luccio Red (Sangiovese/Cabernet/Petit Verdot) 2003 $15. All those grapes for only $15? Bargain given you'd be happy with any one of them on their own. 8/10.

Norfolk Rise Mount Benson Pinot Grigio, 2005, $15. Pinot "groggio" is how you might feel after a few, but I reckon the old PG is a fad. However I am not averse to drinking fads while they last. 7.8/10.

Cardinham 2005 Sangiovese (Clare Valley), $18. This should have a 'G' in it I reckon, lest you sound like you have a lisp. 8.3/10.

De Bortoli Windy Peak Pinot Grigio 2005, $15ish. There's a certain emptiness now that the World Cup excitement has died down. Better restock the fridge then. 7.8/10.

© Max Crus

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