Summer Love (Column No.1460)
Summer love is like no other…phobia.
Who doesn’t love the onset of summer?
Long dreary winter rain on tin roofs, long nights of open fires and doonas, long coats, woolly hats, and casseroles on the stove all day give way to sunburn, mosquitos, or sticky slimy smelly mozzie repellent, or nice-feeling, nice-smelling stuff that doesn’t repel anything, to stinking hot car seats and steering wheels, to sweaty smelly people, to sweaty, smelly undies that roll up when you take them off, to long nights in front of open expensive air-conditioners or rattling fans and flies in the night that never land.
Yes, summer has much to offer and they’re just the good bits.
Then there’s the critters : possums are back, snakes and harmless reptiles are out, Gordons (geckos) too, eating happily into your electrics, but best of all, spiders come out of hibernation, whether they hibernate or not.
Sure there’s funnel webs and redbacks that if they don’t kill you outright, the pain of the bite makes you wish you were dead, or at least cut your hand off, however the most dangerous of all, few people realise, is the huntsman.
Frequently, exaggeratedly described as the size of a dinner plate when in reality they are seldom bigger than a bread-and-butter plate or a big shearer’s hand, they nevertheless have killed more people than all the above Aussie tourist attractions.
True, no-one has ever died from a huntsman’s bite, or indeed ever been bitten, but there are countless tales of people being scared to death, and this is the great evolutionary survival defence of the huntsmen.
The huntsman’s ability to hide in places and things that humans will come across unexpectedly is truly astonishing and surely a future subject for Sir David. Even more astonishing is the spider’s ability to make us forget they might be there.
They lurk in the folds of your towel, but do we shake it first?
They love lurking beside light switches in the dark, but who thinks to look there first? How could you?
Those clothes you throw on the floor for mum to pick up, forgetting that mum will make you pick them up, and that the spider knows this too.
How many long jump records have been broken upon discovery? If there was a 10-metre sprint in the Olympics, Aussies would win hands down after putting their hand on a huntsman, although that’s still not as fast as a huntsman itself.
And if they don’t kill you, who hasn’t had the sh*% scared out of them while sitting on the loo when one runs across your bare foot and into the folds of your shorts? Good and bad I suppose, but what do you do next?
Yeah, let’s celebrate the arrival of summer, but remember, check the inside of that glass cupboard first.
Chandon Blanc de Blancs 2016, $39. Methode Traditionnelle and Exceptional Sparkling Wine says the label, Un Monde De Possibilities too. Une explosion de discours marketing too. Maybe not first choice for a Black Lives Matter rally, but perhaps a UAP party. Just kidding, that would be a complete waste. 9.4/10.
Chandon (Victoria) Garden Spritz, MV $32. The packaging and name suggest this is cheap and nasty, but hey people have put stupider things in sparkling wine, e.g. orange juice. However, this handcrafted orange bitters addition is pretty smart and definitely has its place. Maybe work on the packaging though. 9.2/10.
Allegiance Wines Tumbarumba Emily Jane Pinot Grigio 2021, $25. One half of an experiment by Allegiance to make gris and grigio from the same grapes. Great idea. There's less in it than hoped, but this softer, sweeter, and slightly more florally fragrant than its sister gris. Say that ten times after you've tasted a few. 9.3/10.
Allegiance Wines Tumbarumba Thomas James Pinot Gris 2021, $25. Side by side with its ‘grigier’ grigio sister, I would swear this is drier with hints of gris bitterness and a more masculine scent, but that could just be the 'Grig' talking. Nevertheless definitely the big girls' gris of the pair. 9.2/10.
Patina (Orange) Reserve Chardonnay 2018, $60. Full on fantastic stuff that fills one with friendly frivolity and regret that you couldn’t be ‘effed’ studying harder to be able to afford it. 9.6/10.
Patina Orange Chardonnay 2019, $40. This is what the shape of fine chardonnay has come to, gorgeous even when it’s $20 cheaper than its gorgeous sister. You can get half another bottle with the difference. 9.4/10.
Max Crus Industries, PO Box 1186, Grafton, NSW 2460, Australia, 0422474444