The artwork and packaging department installs me with confidence. As a writer I'm really interested in the words. It's almost square, like a brick with chamfered edges on the longer sides, giving it that posh feel in the hands, like a real big pack of Davidoffs, or a $1000 perfume pack from the Madelaine. Posh stuff aside, turns out it's not like a brick by accident. In the later 'sixties, when the brilliant winemaker Ian Hickinbotham, who at Max Schubert's invitation was then Penfolds' sales manager in Victoria, was working on the first modern bladder packs, principally to increase the sales of Grange in Melbourne, he designed it like a brick. "I recall using an Otis King round ruler," he recalled in his autobiography Australian Plonky, "to calculate the measurements of a small carton to contain the bag so that the height was twice width, which was one-and-a-half times depth - the same as a household brick." See? Style change! You can tell I got that out of a book! Hah! Anyway, because of my height, it's easiest for me to start reading at the top. 'Stanley WINES,' it says. 'EST BEFORE AUG 09 315 21:12.' At first I felt it was unusual for winery historians to be so specific about the actual time of their establishment but then I realised there was quite a lot of time already passed by twelve past nine on the night of the 9th August whichever year they chose. Some of that critical text has managed to slip off the little matte rectangle where it was supposed to go, so I can only presume the bit that says 'Fine drinking now, but will cellar well for ten to fifteen years' was part of the stuff that missed its patch. Which patch, just incidentally, seems made from that rubbery stuff on scratchy scratchy gambling tickets.
That's always promising. Rub off to get rich.