Max Crus' Grape Expectations

THE world’s financial collapse is hitting home, literally.

It is a financial imperative that householders think they spend more than other householders and that eventually the issue will bubble into confrontation.

A bit like cleaning, about both of which Ms L recently decided enough wasn’t enough.

"But what about all that money I spend on heating?" I demanded.

"Firewood doesn’t grow on trees you know," which went down like a tonne of briquettes.

"What about the rates, the insurance, the electricity and other bills? Don’t they count?"

Apparently not. I may pay everything, but if I feed one dog … or fail to pay the cleaning lady, life becomes a misery.

Much as if we didn’t have a cleaning lady.

Which segues nicely.

I cook a meal that makes Matt Preston pull his finger out – of his jacket – win awards and feed families for a week, but do they call me Max the Master Chef?

No; all I get is "that kitchen was clean this morning and now look at it".

Conversely, the girls may leave as many tea cups, dirty cereal bowls (Little Ms L’s specialty), pans with scrambled-egg remains (Little Ms L’s other specialty), filthy cutlery, opened ingredients packets, jars, bottles and boxes (her real specialty), without the slightest hint that these constitute "mess" in any form.

I don’t get it. Except abuse.

Do they think I bought the dishwasher as décor?

Well, yes actually, they already had a perfectly good one. Me.

Same in the bathroom. Spotless after the cleaning lady, but if I leave one! droplet on the basin it’s Abu Ghraib and I’m hung out to dry. Almost.

See, after Ms L’s nightly ablutions, not one square centimetre of horizontal surface isn’t adorned with magical creams or garments of some description.

The towel situation is positively Planes Trains and Automobiles.

Again, I don’t get it, except a wet towel.

Even my futile efforts to declutter by using one glass for red and white, against all etiquette, amount to nought, so shamefully, I now hide it in the dishwasher.


Imagine drinking these from the same glass:

Pimpernel Vineyards Syrah 2008, $42. They seek him here they seek him there, that damned elusive pimpernel … got him. Worth the chase, it’s syrah, not shiraz, because of Cadel Evans, and its Frenchness. 9/10.

Bird (Marlborough) Riesling, 2010, $18. NZ rieslings are few, but this may change the situation. Impressive medals, floral yet tart and ample New Zealandness. 8.9/10.

Mitolo Jester Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009, $28. Kings and queens had jesters, one of whom this is named after, but why not modern leaders? The leader of the opposition? Meanwhile this wine is no joke. 8.8/10.

Louee Nullo Mountain Chardonnay 2010, $25. At 10% alcohol this represents a different chardonnay. Alas, about as much body as a scrawny teenager. 7.8/10.

Lerida Estate (Canberra) Pinot Grigio, 2011, $28. PG is the new "go to" grape when sick of sav. While most are bland, this has enough savvy to lift it above the base camp. 8.2/10.

Henry’s Drive The Postmistress Blanc de Blanc 2010, $18. Funny how, unlike librarians, postmistresses are seldom the subject of fantasy, until now. No returns to sender here. 8.5/10.

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