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Walters on a sunny Melbourne afternoon in autumn

A mid-afternoon escape from the Global Finance Conference yesterday afternoon landed me in Walter’s Wine Bar on Southbank. I ordered my usual cheese platter and launched into three sample size (75 ml) glasses of extraordinary Italian wines: a 2002 Umberto Cesari Sangiovese, a 2005 Farnese Montepulciano and a 2001 Pasqua Valpolicella. These are powerful flavoursome wines with intense (and in the case of the Pasqua) almost feral bouquets. I run out of adjectives – velvet-glove-smooth but lots of powerful fruit and flavour, some prune and vanilla bean flavours, intense……

Walters is one of my favourite Melbourne destinations. The reason is simple – they have a good restaurant and a superb range of wines. Also great views of the water and the grand old Flinders St Station.

If you have won a fortune at Crown you might consider forking out $4800 for a Domaine de la Romanée-Contee or, if less flush than that, think about spending $16 on this superb Italian trio. Highly recommended – two sets of trios later I was set on the right path to appreciating academic finance papers and econometrics over the rest of the afternoon – though the details kind of escaped me.

The Conference dinner wines served that night at Crown left me under-whelmed but the Italian vino was a hard act to follow.

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