OPINION: Going crackers for a bargain at Christmas time
AT FIRST I thought she was having an affair. But why would she?
No, I don't mean why would anyone look anywhere else if they had me, but rather what chance would anyone have against a shopping centre full of consumable bargains?
It has taken me years to realise that whenever Ms L goes to the shops, she takes three hours, "min".
You may think "fair enough", given it's Christmas, but that's irrelevant. Ms L takes three hours no matter what she is shopping for.
"I'm off to get some paper towels," she will herald at 1pm on a Sunday, and I immediately know she will be home at 4.05pm, after the shops close.
"I'm going for a coffee," she will declare with a rack full of magazines under arm, that'll be four hours, 'bottoms'.
But don't get me wrong, this isn't a problem, although it can be testing if she needs some yogurt for dinner at 7pm - and not because I know there are already four tubs in the fridge, at least one of which is still edible.
When that happens I know I have time to watch a cooking show, go shopping myself and whip up a pav for dessert before she returns, which I will have to do if I want to eat before 10pm. Mercifully, Ms L's 7pm food hall forays are infrequent.
At all other times as soon as I see her purse in hand, I am a kid in a lolly shop and can eat as much as I like with complete impunity...for at least three hours.
I can watch a whole game of AFL, including ads, without judgement.
Or three episodes of Breaking Bad, GoT, or Air Crash Investigations (which alas will cut out at the critical point as usual).
I can read a book, or write a short one. Or, ironically, go shopping myself...three times and still get home first.
Or I can just lounge around with a glass of wine and Facebook.
"Hey Max," Ms L just announced, "I'm just going to the supermarket."
"Take your time, I've got a bit of work to do"... and a show to watch, and a book to read and a bit of Christmas shopping.
Speaking of which, here's a few cracker wines to go with your Christmas crackers:
(Gapsted Wines) Tobacco Road (Clare Valley King Valley) Tempranillo 2014, $16. If you can't smoke it any more you might as well make roads from it. Excellent value red wine for Christmas night to have with anything smoked. 8.9/10.
Peter Lehmann Stonewell 2012, Barossa Shiraz, $100. Comes with a couple of cute glasses in a swish looking package if you like. Just buy the wine if you don't, a great Christmas treat. 9.2/10.
Paracombe Gruner V5 Adelaide Hills Gruner Veltliner 2016, $30. Oh how we ogled over the V5 Saturn rocket in the front pages of the Reader's Digest World Atlas, and now we ogle over this. Goes well with nostalgia. 8.8/10.
(Mount Eyre) Three Ponds Fiano, 2016, $25. This can be quite entertaining when ordering the second bottle, The Three Fonds Piano, please. No, the Free Fronds Piano. No, the Pre Ponds Fiona...your tongue will not tire however of the myriad flavours, there's lots going on here, specially compared to pinot gris. 8.9/10.
Glenugie Downs Vineyard Chambourcin, 2015, $10. You know when you sip tea when expecting coffee? Well, expect Clarence Valley chambourcin not Barossan shiraz and you'll be a convert, specially at ten bucks. It's so bright and delightful you could put it under your tree or on top. 9/10.