When I was a child, my parents kept their meagre booze in a three-bottle holder, a peculiar looking contraption called a Tantalus. The cut-glass decanters - with little silver plaques engraved with the words Port, Sherry and Brandy - were held by a silver clamp which kept their stoppers in a firm grip, making it impossible to pour the liquid within. I had no idea where it got its name or why. Years later, while antiquing in London, I spied a similar version. When I inquired as to its origins, the dealer told me it was named after a man in Greek mythology who offended the gods and had to be punished. They condemned the poor guy - called Tantalus - to stand in fresh water he was unable to drink, beneath an apple tree whose apples he could not reach. Since the owner of the three-bottle Tantalus holds the key, and nobody else can avail themselves of the contents, the name is apropos. Over the years, this elegant trio of decanters proved unwieldy and often held undrinkable liquor long past its use-by date. Eventually it fell into disuse, fated to become a quaint conversational piece and collector's item. Now, as you know, vintners are fond of giving their multi-varietal wines catchy names. Recently I sampled a delicious shiraz/cabernet blend from the small Elderton Winery in South Australia's Barossa Valley by the name of Tantalus. However, this particular Tantalus is so-named, the winemaker claims, simply because he believes it is a tantalising drop. And I had to agree with him. It costs less than $60 for this well-rounded, deep-purplish red that smells of vanilla and ripe berries with just a hint of earthy oak. With gentle tannins, plenty of flavourful fruit and a long finish, it is certain to find masses of fans who are looking for value for money. There is only one catch. The owner of Elderton has taken an oath that because of its limited volume he will keep Tantalus for fellow Aussies only and never release it for export. Now that gives new meaning to the name Tantalus.