Archive for February, 2007

What’s wrong with hotel restaurants?

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Is it just me or is everyone suspicious of hotel restaurants?  I stay in hotels a fair bit and I go out of my way to avoid the restaurant in favour of seeking out a local resto with some atmosphere, food that’s not made by the bland leading the bland, and a decent wine list.

So it was with interest and some trepidation that I found myself on the invitation list for the opening of the Queen’s Grill in Leeds on 15 Feb 07.


mmmmmm….. Malbec

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

In 1988 I was at the cafeteria of a motorway service station buying a sandwich and I asked where the corned beef was from.  I advised the assistant that I hoped it wasn’t from Argentina.

“Oh, you’re not still sore about the Falklands are you?” she retorted.

“No, actually it was Maradona’s 1986 Hand of God goal.  I’ve boycotted Argentinean products since that day”

Wind forward several years and with the self righteous ban a distant memory, I had occasion to visit the Gaucho Grill on Chancery Lane in  London.  An Argentinean “Grill” restaurant and probably the best steak I have ever tasted.  During that meal I ordered a bottle of Malbec and was wowed.


Hello and welcome

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Welcome to my new blog which is dedicated to my passion for wine.  Having said that I am strictly amateur and just enjoy drinking the stuff.

Given that I drink so much of the stuff I thought it would be useful to share some thoughts.  In general my aim is to seek out good value wine and food.

I hope you enjoy the blog and I hope you will contribute your own thoughts and experiences.

I have chosen to categorise the site by region so bear with me whilst I build up the material in this blog and expand to other regions.

This is after all a personal site and expresses my personal opinions.  Therefore you ought to know that I love wines from France, South America, Italy, Spain, South Africa, RoW and Australia roughly in that order.  However, because I often find that French wines are overpriced, I find myself looking for bargains from elsewhere.

I am a member of the Wine Society, the Sunday Times Wine Club and I also occasionally buy wines from Majestics, the supermarkets and other wine shops.


Monday, February 19th, 2007

I am Alastair Bathgate and this is my weblog in which I take a lighthearted look at the world of wine.

I am a strictly amateur wino in that I love wine but I am not prepared to get too serious about it.  I am prepared to pay a few quid for a bottle of wine but only if its great.  I much prefer finding a new discovery at £5 that tastes like nectar and I can afford to order a case.

Oh, I also like food and I blog about either wine, food or both at the same time.

I live in Leeds (England) but spend a lot of time in Manchester and a bit of time in London.  I am a long suffering Manchester City fan and I try hard to support the England Football team (in which I am still sore about the 1986 “Hand of God” incident) despite recent debacles.

If you want to contact me privately you can get me at alastair.bathgate at  I would love to hear your views and wine and food suggestions.

In the unlikely event that you also share my other passion for enterprise software you can see my other blog at

Happy Drinking.