arrow right black
Reading Mode
close button icon white

I'm dreaming of an Insta' Xmas. (Column No.1466)

I'm dreaming of an Insta' Xmas. (Column No.1466)

I’m dreaming of an instant Christmas.

Don’t be scared, the internet is your friend, specially at Christmas time.

Take the other day for instance. Foolishly, I tried to fix something on my motorcycle that wasn’t really broken, stumped as always by the first screw which immediately stripped thus rendering any further repair impossible.

Naturally, I politely lamented this situation to Ms L, who, as always, laughed haughtily and suggested a sensible solution which I can’t recall because I was too angry to listen.

However when I next picked up my phone, there was an ad for a tool designed for exactly my problem. I ignored this annoying intrusion of Mark Zuckerberg trying to sell me stupid stuff that I didn’t want…and then I ordered it.

It was only 30 bucks, plus 30 postage.

It arrived later that afternoon and even more amazingly, IT WORKED! So I went looking for other buggered bolts.

Then I ordered another nifty drill bit that splits logs for the fire. Incredible.

Before I knew it, the sun had set, and I still hadn’t bought any Christmas presents. Then it struck me. Just start talking into your phone about loved ones you need to buy for, and your Instagram feed will be filled with gift ideas.

Absolutely amazing.

There’s really nifty chain saw attachments. Surely someone you know has a chainsaw?  

Everyone’s a master chef now. There’re millions of kitchen tools, a different one for every vegetable, bit like Riedel glasses. I bought a gyoza maker, which came with a bonus gyoza maker and gyoza cutter. Who doesn’t like gyoza?

Actually I bought three of them because you could for just an extra ten bucks, plus postage.  

Instagram has stuff that sticks to other stuff so well they use it on the space shuttle. Spray on sealant, builder’s gadgets that make even clumsy gits, master builders.

And the toys! Boomerang drones. Things you knock over that just stand straight back up and glow in the dark in 250 different patterns and colours.

A Christmas shopper’s playground and so simple.

Um, alas, sorry, any orders this late in the advent calendar ain’t gonna make it, so I guess it’s off to the bottle shop again, like last year.

Remember, more expensive wine isn’t necessarily better, but if you leave the price tag on it will seem like it and you’ll get more hugs.

Just make sure you get some Christmas day. Now, how much am I prepared to spend on myself?

Hanging Rock Heathcote (Athol’s Paddock) Reserve Shiraz, 2009, $105. What better gift for all your mates called Athol? Exxy, yes, but also gorgeous, pre-aged, rich red wine for Xmas lunch. 9.6/10.  

Grant Burge Barossa ‘Nebu’ Cabernet Shiraz 2018, $99.99. Cool price-tag, so leave it on in case the recipient doesn’t recognise this used to be called Nebuchadnezzar, one of the three Burge Barossan (and biblical) big guns. More cellaring time would help, so have it on Boxing Day. 9.5/10.

Fallen Giants Grampians Shiraz 2019, $35. Didn't see it on Instagram, but this latest Jimmy Watson trophy winner is such a cracker you're only allowed six bottles. So we did. It's got everything you'd wish for in a shiraz or a Xmas present. 9.7/10.

Hardy's (Coonawarra/Margaret River) Thomas Hardy Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, $159.  You definitely want to be around when the recipient opens this one, not only for the cost. Who isn't intrigued by a wine that costs more than a carton of normal plonk? Cabernet from our two best cabernet regions is a treat. Best of both worlds. 9.6/10.

Houghton Frankland River Jack Mann Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019, $174.99 (bottle no.5440). You thought $159 was exxy? Well, there’s always one better. Not in the same price cloud as Grange or the big ‘Hill’, for the same price you satisfy six friends and family, and it is truly lovely wine. 9.7/10.

Mr Riggs McLaren Vale/Coonawarra (Personally Tailored) The Chap (Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon), 2016, $100 (Bottle No.1078). You may not be able to afford a personally tailored suit as a xmas gift but a personally tailored wine is within reach-ish. Another blend of regions and another lavish red. 9.5/10.

Max Crus is a Clarence Valley-based wine writer and Grape Expectations is now in its 26th year of publication. Find out more about Max or sign up for his weekly reviews and musings by visiting