Drinking a casual tipple at Manchester’s inestimable Hanging Ditch wine bar/shop, I was chatting to Mark and bemoaning the price of Albariño in the UK. It is hard to fault the wine, but equally difficult to really wet ones pants over it. Mark recommended that I try a Lusco. Nice looking bottle but, at £25, it is priced, even at Hanging Ditch, to match a Michel Cheveau Pouilly Fuisse Trois Terroirs 2008, or a Vallet Frères ’07 Pernand Vergelesses, so it needs to be very good indeed.
Archive for March, 2012
When you’ve been serving steaks since 1887, you’ve probably learned a thing or two. The legend of Peter Luger in Brooklyn hangs over most steakhouses in the world like a godlike presence. Observe, salivate, copy, hope.
The oldest of the batch I bought from the Wine Society was a 1995, advised to be drunk by 2011. Oops. It’s 2012. Better get the corkscrew! But, at £80 a bottle, will it be charming siren or a case of more chafing dissonance?
I found this wine totally awesome. Stewed strawberries with a touch of balsamic and that classy composty nature. Burgundy wine is so frustrating because so many bottles disappoint, but when it excels – WOOHOO! It’s like you won the lottery on the same day as Sharon Stone turned up on your doorstep in that little white dress.
Although this is a fine wine, it matches simple food. Bangers and mash (no gravy) is a highly recommended pairing.
It’s deep, rich, spicy, and makes the inside of your mouth feel like a souk. What’s not to like about Tempier Cabassaou?
Single varietal wines can be a bit like pedigree dogs. Beautiful, but temperamental. Domaine Tempier has whipped the Mourvèdre grape into shape and got it behaving like a lovable mongrel. Maybe that’s why it has a reputation for being a tad barking mad…
Personally, I love all the Tempiers I have tried. Hardly foaming at the mouth but, be warned, they are not cheap. This one came from the Wine Society for a whopping £39.
Many people think they improve as they get (much) older. I am afraid I couldn’t risk dying before I tried this bottle. I’m glad I managed to squeeze it through my liver before I bought the farm.
This wine is a winter warmer. It’s rich, spicy and South American with an aftertaste like a Molotov cocktail. Why would you not slug it down merrily? Here’s why not.
I love Carmenère, especially that begat of Chile, where it seems to have adopted an ethereal status. Casillero del Diablo is one well priced example. This one (£6.49 from your local Co-op) has the usual richesse and deep interesting autumn fruits, but with a certain bitterness. It also smells dirty in a meaty fart sort of way. But this is not a Pinot Noir where subtle barnyard flavours are a bonus. Normally, Carmenères have the winter aroma of real wood fires and I miss that here.
I strongly recommend Carmenère, and I am certain that Co-op has many excellent wines in stock, probably including the Casillero. I’m afraid that 120® 2010 is not one of them.
When in New York, I can’t afford to stay in the Standard Hotel, so I pretend I’m a guest by eating in the Grill, and there are few better meals there than brunch on a chilled sunny Sunday morning. Another favourite spot of mine in New York is the Highline Park, which not coincidentally, skewers the hotel like a concrete, meadow grass and shrub kebab.
Converted from a disused raised platform freight railway, it is one of the golden nuggets of Manhattan. A stroll on a crisp February morning in Feb 2012, is all the more impressive for having seen it as recently as last May. Here are two photos from a similar position on equally stunning days, for different reasons. The Standard Hotel stands majestically in the background.
If you visit the Highline, do drop down to street level at 13th Street and Washington and even if you don’t like the food at The Standard Grill, you can pocket one of their cute condiment sets. Assuming you are honest, you can get them legally for just $25.
The Standard Grill
848 Washington St at 13th St,
T: +1 212 645 4100
The Highline runs from West Village, Gansvoort Street through the Meatpacking district and Chelsea up to 30th Street and is still being extended, hopefully up to 34th Street, which will make it SOME WALK…Beautiful stuff, stunning redevelopment, worth funding.
I’m just back from a week in New York. What to drug me, to confuse my brain, to get me to sleep earlier than 5 a.m. so I can get out of bed at a reasonable hour tomorrow?
I used to buy more wine from The Sunday Times Wine Club but I think it lost its way, or maybe I grew out of it. However, I still subscribe to their President’s Cellar offer which delivers half a dozen thoughtfully selected wines at about £20 per bottle every six months. When one is regularly relied upon by friends and colleagues to divine the best value bottles at restaurants, wine bars and strip clubs, it’s nice to let someone else do the choosing occasionally.
This 2005 Meursault must have been despatched some years ago because the recommended drink by date is 2011. Far from past its best, I love the peachy pears, hives of honey with a buzz of subtle but earthy lavender. Although I wouldn’t recommend it for your one-year old, it makes for a decent adult soother. Good night.