Furphy's Law

Max Crus
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Remember all the silly things you were told as a kid that whether fact or fiction stuck with you long enough for you to know better, but you never did?

If the wind changes direction while you’re frowning, you’ll stay like that? A change in the breeze often sent me rushing to the mirror just in case.

Eating crusts will put hairs on your chest? No wonder girls are ahead of boys in the obesity stakes.

And what is a ‘wigwam for a goose’s bridle’? As the Big G points out, dads or grandads were always off to get one while, suspiciously, kids were never allowed to follow.

Don’t go swimming after eating. Tell lies and you’ll get pimples on your tongue. Don’t step on the cracks. Drink ‘byo’ in a licensed premises and you’ll cop a $5,000 fine.

If I had a dollar for every time I have been fed that line for not allowing BYO, I would have enough to pay the fine, if there was one. But there is not.

Of course clubs, pubs and restaurants need to make as much mark up as possible from their liquor sales - whoever heard of anyone making money out of food alone - but blaming the law for rejecting BYO is a bit rich. It is in fact the choice of the establishment, including pubs and clubs.

Furthermore, given the appalling choice of wine at some regional pubs, clubs and restaurants, why not allow BYO and charge a suitable corkage?

Many diners would prefer to pay even up to $10 corkage to have a decent wine with dinner.

Perhaps a sign saying ‘We don’t permit BYO’ would be preferable to foisting the blame on the law or the government.

But it is fun blaming the government.

Now, where’s my bike? I’m getting straight back on it and down to the club.

Train Trak Yarra Valley Shiraz 2004, $27. Uncannily, the last two vintages of this also scored 8.4/10, the occurrence of which always leads me to think I should change it. But I never do. 8.4/10.

Hay Shed Hill 2005 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, $19. This is to lure the rodeo crowd away from amber fluid, coolers, RTDs and other kiddy drinks to the joys of fine wine in glass. Wouldn’t be out of order at a B&S. 8.2/10.

Elgo Estate Strathbogie Ranges 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, $24. I am developing a taste for cool climate reds, except when there are warm climate ones available. Then I prefer both. 8.5/10.

Nepenthe Hand Picked 2005 Adelaide Hills Riesling, $20. Must be the sweaty palms of the pickers, but this had something other rieslings don’t. Picked it with my own hands from the fridge too. 9/10.

Pepperjack 2004 Shiraz Viognier $22. I’d used half of this in a red wine jus and roo test and there was only a half left. It rescued the jus from the clutches of crap at my hands, admirably. 8.5/10.

Gapsted Touriga 2004, $20ish? Amazingly, the Spanish guests had never had a straight touriga, the great Spanish grape famed for its use in port, and for that matter, neither had we. I feel eruditer already. 8/10.

Wines reviewed:
Hay Shed Hill 2005 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon
Gapsted Touriga 2004
Pepperjack 2004 Shiraz Viognier
Nepenthe Hand Picked 2005 Adelaide Hills Riesling
Elgo Estate Strathbogie Ranges 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
Train Trak Yarra Valley Shiraz 2004

© Max Crus

Column on the vagaries of BYO laws published week beginning April 30th 2006

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

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