Archive for August, 2019 | Monthly archive page

Barhop: Cult of the Vine

Monday, August 19th, 2019

The concrete and blondwood interior of Cult of the Vine in Brunswick. Photo: Pat Scala MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 13: The interior of Cult of the Vine in Brunswick on January 13, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Pat Scala/Fairfax Media) Photo: Pat Scala

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 13: The interior of Cult of the Vine in Brunswick on January 13, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Pat Scala/Fairfax Media)

Cult of the Vine Address 7 Florence Street, Brunswick, 03 9383 1542 Open Tue-Sun 11am-9pm

It doesn’t get more “Brunschic” than the Commons, a much-admired sustainable apartment block perched on the Anstey train platform. The 24-apartment eco-village proudly has no car park or aircon or tumble dryers, but does have its own bees, solar panels, and shared vegie patch on the roof. It’s very The Secret Life Of Us: Northside.

Now the building has its own sharply curated wine store and bar on the ground floor, with a large communal table for residents and passers-by to pull up a stool and enjoy a glass.

Owner Brad Lucas has a background in furniture design (he built all the cabinets) and was a sommelier under Harry & Frankie’s Tom Hogan at the Lake House in Daylesford before starting his own content agency, Studio Glass Half Full. He’s been talking about opening his own wine shop for years. “It got to the stage where I had to just do it or stop talking about it,” he says.

The concrete and blondwood space is like a gallery of over 160 handsomely labelled wines. About 90 per cent of them are organic, and 50 per cent are Australian, along with many from boutique European producers. Lucas is happy to open most of them for tasting, with glasses of wine ranging from $10 to $35. You’re also welcome to open any full bottle with a $10 corkage fee, and enjoy Lucas’ expert commentary and excellent glassware.

Perhaps try Shobbrook Wines Giallo, a natural South Australian sauvignon blanc that’s as cloudy as apple juice and dangerously easy to drink, or a glass of salmon pink pinot tache from Ballarat’s Eastern Peake, which is everything you want on a summer night: clean, crisp, dry and savoury.

The food offering is ultra simple – briney olives, salted cashews, roasted almonds or nicely spiced mixed nuts for $5 a ramekin. The more adventurous can crack a hard-boiled egg for $1, one of the more curious bar snacks in town. “I’m willing to go on record,” Lucas says, “and say that there isn’t a wine that doesn’t match with a hard-boiled egg.”

Drink this … Eastern Peake Pinot Tache, $13 a glass.

Eat this … Mixed spiced nuts, $5.

Know this … Another sustainable building, The Nightingale, is in the works across the road.

Say this … “I’ve got my name down for the next apartment that comes up.”

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Former Kuta police chief punished over Australian buck’s night scandal

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Kuta Police chief Dedy Januartha. Photo: Amilia RosaA former Kuta police chief has been demoted for at least a year over a scandal in which a group of Melbourne men were forced by police to pay a bribe after they hired a stripper at a buck’s night.

An ethics court also ordered the former police chief, Ida Bagus Dedy Januartha, to apologise to the Bali police chief over the incident.

The panel found he had violated the police ethics code by taking a cut of the bribe and failing to adequately supervise his officers.

The judge said Mr Januartha’s actions had a negative effect on the reputation of police.

Last June, Fairfax Media revealed 16 men who flew to Bali for the buck’s weekend of marketing consultant and former model, Mark Ipaviz, were forced to pay a bribe to avoid trumped-up charges and threats of a 10-year prison sentence.

Twelve Bali police officers including Mr Januartha were implicated in the scandal.

In September they were paraded before their colleagues at a routine morning briefing as part of a humiliation process and then forced to stand for two hours in the sun.

A range of other punishments were meted out but no employee was sacked over the incident.

According to two men who attended the buck’s night dinner at an upmarket eatery in Seminyak, the decision to hire a stripper prompted a raid by private security guards brandishing guns.

One of Mr Ipaviz’s friends was hit over the head with a bottle, several were shocked with Taser guns, while another was pistol-whipped and threatened with death.

The 16 men and the stripper were bundled into vans and taken to a police station holding cell in Kuta, until a translator arrived in the morning.

After more than 24 hours in custody, two men were dispatched to withdraw money on behalf of the group from ATMs while chaperoned by the translator and an armed police officer.

Once the bribe was paid, the group was released, but missed their return flights to Melbourne.

The police were interrogated after the Indonesian embassy in Australia reported a strong social media backlash when Fairfax Media revealed the corruption allegations in June.

On January 5, the ethics court found Mr Januartha “convincingly guilty of breaching the police ethical code”.

He was ordered to apologise to Bali’s police chief and be transferred to a different position of a demoted rank for at least a year.

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Australian Open 2016: Sam Stosur loses in first round … again

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Maria Sharapova advances, Caroline Wozniacki crashes outFull Nick Kyrgios package wins first round

Sam Stosur has lost in the first round and is out of the Australian Open. Again. This should be a news story but is not.

Stosur losing in the first round is no longer a surprise for, disappointingly, she has too often been here before. Stosur lost to Pliskova of the Czech Republic in straight sets at Rod Laver Arena on Monday night and even more disappointingly it was not even to the good Pliskova sister.

Australia’s top woman lost 6-4, 7-6 to the 114th ranked player in the world, qualifier Kristyna and not her twin sister Karolina, ranked 12 in the world

These things have happened before: this was the fourth time the former US Open winner has lost in the first round of the Australian Open. Twice here she has made the fourth round, but as a top ten player in the world that remains an unsatisfying yield from 15 years of competing here.

“[I’m] obviously really disappointed not to get through,” Stosur said.

“I am not happy about it, that’s for sure. Unfortunately it’s another year done.”

Stosur admitted she hoped that in retirement her performances at home would not overshadow her achievements overseas.

“Hopefully not from my Australian Open results,” she said when asked how she thought she would be remembered as a player.

“I’ve had a really good career. I’ve achieved a lot of things. You know, winning a Grand Slam was my dream from when I was eight or nine years old, and I’ve been able to do that. There’s been a lot of good in my career but I’d obviously like to do better here at the Open.

Pliskova won the first set 6-4 then needed treatment on her back and right hamstring in the break.

Ironically the tightness in her movement made things slightly more difficult for Stosur as the Czech left-hander began letting rip on her shots. A tall woman her powerful serve became more difficult to make inroads on – she hit nine aces in two sets. She was going for her shots with abandon and played to a level that belied her lowly ranking.

Stosur recovered in the second set to have a set point on Pliskova’s serve but was unable to convert her chance. The set went to tie break but Stosur could not overcome the cavalier Czech.

Stosur saved two match points in the tie break, but could not recover the third.

“Look, I didn’t play bad. I played a decent match,” Stosur said.

“I played somebody who was playing well. Had a couple of opportunities and didn’t take them.

“You know, a straight-sets loss, you don’t know exactly what that was by reading a scoreboard. It’s one of those things. I felt pretty good coming into tonight’s match. I did everything I thought as best as I could tonight, gave it everything, and unfortunately came up short.”

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Australian Open 2016: Roger Federer describes lack of names in match-fixing reports as ‘nonsense’

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Evergreen Roger Federer eases through to second roundFull Nick Kyrgios package wins first round

Roger Federer has cast doubt on the newsworthiness of the tennis match-fixing allegations that cast a long shadow over day one of the Australian Open, describing the speculation as “nonsense.”

Speaking after his straight sets victory over Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, Federer was unsurprisingly quizzed at length about the BBC and BuzzFeed reports which claimed that international body the Tennis Integrity Unit, the Association of Tennis Professionals’ internal corruption body, received warnings about the behaviour of 16 players, all of whom have been ranked in the top 50, and of which half were set to play at Melbourne Park.

While at pains to point out the need to ensure the sport is kept clear of corruption, the Swiss great, winner of a record 17 Grand Slam singles titles, said it was difficult to comment on the connections of former major winners until names were named.

“I mean, it’s like who, what. It’s like thrown around. It’s so easy to do that. I would like to hear the name. I would love to hear names. Then at least it’s concrete stuff and you can actually debate about it,” Federer said.

“Was it the player? Was it the support team? Who was it? Was it before? Was it a doubles player, a singles player? Which slam? It’s so all over the place. It’s nonsense to answer something that is pure speculation.

“I don’t know exactly how much new things came out, to be quite honest. I heard old names being dropped. That story was checked out. Clearly you got to take it super serious, you know, like they did back in the day. Since we have the Integrity Unit, it puts more pressure on them that a story like this broke again.”

Nevertheless Federer, who next faces Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov, highlighted the gravity of the potential consequences.

“Like I said, it’s super serious and it’s super important to maintain the integrity of our sport. So how high up does it go? The higher it goes, the more surprised I would be, no doubt about it. Not about people being approached, but just people doing it in general. I just think there’s no place at all for these kind of behaviours and things in our sport. I have no sympathy for those people.”

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Big Bash League: Chris Gayle makes record-pace half-century in vain as Renegades’ season ends

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Chris Gayle lit up Etihad Stadium with a new Big Bash League record for the fastest half-century, taking 12 balls. He ultimately made 56 from 17 balls. Photo: Robert Cianflone – CAHopes high for Chris Gayle’s return after dazzling finish

Chris Gayle signed off his Big Bash League season, and perhaps his Australian career, in devastating fashion on Monday night by blasting a half-century at world-record pace.

Gayle’s phenomenal striking – six of the first nine deliveries he faced were hit for six – was ultimately in vain, as his Melbourne Renegades fell 27 runs short of their target of 171 within 16 overs against top-placed Adelaide.

Few of the crowd of 25,227 were likely to have been too downcast on their departure from Etihad Stadium given a batting cameo that lived up to Gayle’s self-proclaimed moniker of “Universe Boss”.

His half-century from 12 deliveries equalled the record of India’s Yuvraj Singh.

The Renegades were fortunate to win the toss as it gave them an opportunity to field first. Chasing not only played to their strengths – they had won three from three previously in the season, compared with none from four batting first – but gave them more influence on what they needed to do to overtake Sydney Thunder for a top-four berth.

Early wickets were desirable for the Renegades to prevent the Strikers going hard later on, by virtue of having so many wickets in again.

Yet again, however, their bowlers could not penetrate. In their preceding three home matches they had only taken three wickets in the first 10 overs, and they were similarly ineffective here as the Strikers coasted to 0-82 from the first half of their innings.

A total of 5-170 for the Strikers was set up by batsmen at either end of the innings: Jono Dean’s 48 from 35 at the top and captain Brad Hodge’s 37 not out from 21 at the bottom.

Absent Renegades captain Aaron Finch tweeted that fans should put on their seatbelts, yet even that did not prepare them for Gayle’s innings, which ended at 56 from 17.

The requirement to score at just under 11 runs an over to win inside 16 overs was suddenly a lot less daunting when Gayle blasted the last four balls of the first over – bowled by left-armer Greg West – over the boundary rope.

While that could have been put influenced by inexperience with West playing only his second match, there was no such excuse when Ben Laughlin replaced him in the third over.

The wily seamer’s first ball to Gayle was cut over the point boundary, from a full-toss so high it was a no-ball and a free hit. From that free hit Gayle hit his sixth six in seven deliveries, which meant Laughlin had conceded 13 runs in one legal delivery to Gayle.

Having been 40 not out from nine deliveries, there were murmurs of disappointment when Gayle only hit his next for four, and then boos when he struck a single thereafter to end the possibility of the outright record for the fastest half-century in a Twenty20 match.

Gayle’s consistent brutality against spin made it a risk for Hodge to bring on part-timer Travis Head. The wisdom of it seemed especially questionable when crunched his first delivery from head over long-on for six to match Yuvraj’s feat.

As Gayle walked off he raised his bat to the stadium and was met with raucous applause. It was a surprisingly demonstrative gesture, and could turn out to have been his farewell if Cricket Australia decide not to welcome him back.

By the end of that over, Hodge’s decision looked a lot smarter, as Head bowled two of the Renegades’ other key batsmen: White and Dwayne Bravo. It looked like a masterstroke by his second over, the last of the powerplay, when he had Gayle off the top edge and caught behind for 56.

The Renegades deliberately held back big-hitter Tom Beaton, in the hope that nudgers Peter Nevill and Ben McDermott could take them closer to the target before he was needed.

While the pivotal moment of the match was unquestionably the departure of Gayle, what conclusively strengthened the Strikers’ position was the introduction of their specialist spinners: Jon Holland and Adil Rashid.

Leg-spinner Rashid removed McDermott in his first over, while Holland claimed replacement Beaton for just one. A blow even bigger than Beaton’s wicket for the Renegades came from the very next delivery as Nevill was run out at the non-striker’s end after a failed attempt to run a single, to leave the Renegades reeling at 7-94.

Tailenders Cameron Gannon (23 off 15) and Nate Rimmington (26 off 19) did their best to swing their way to victory within 16 overs, but ran out of wickets.

Last man Gannon fell three balls short of their 16-over deadline.

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