Archive for May, 2007

Online Restaurant Reviews

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

I normally follow Jeff Nolan for his views on enterprise software but this post caught my eye in relation to restaurant reviews.

An advert is only going to make me aware of a restaurant.  The next step is to find out what common customers think.  I don’t trust the reviews on Top Table and similar “guide” sites because it is too easy for them to be rigged.

Why don’t more people (especially in the UK) blog about their dining experiences?

If you click on the “Food” link under Categories on my home page you can see all the reviews I have done so far and there are lots more to come.

So come on everyone – let’s get busy!  Anyone who knows of any good blogs in this regard, please let me know and I will publicise them on this site.

Which Wine Glasses?

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

There is a lot of chat in the wine press about the importance of drinking wine from the right glass.  For example, if you have read anything by Robert Parker you will know of his undying affection for Riedel glasses.

Riedel has stolen a march on other stemware manufacturers everywhere by producing several ranges of glasses where within each range, different glasses are specifically designed for different varietals and even specific wines.  This panders perfectly to the ceremony afforded to wine by the pretentious.

Sadly that includes me and I think Riedel glasses are great too, but the problem is the range is so massive, it’s impossible to own them all so what is the essential selection?

So this post is my recommendation for a simple range of wine glasses that will last you through every occasion.

The usual suspects - my entire range of glasses


Mr Kipling Wine – Go on Monsan!

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

I am not sure, to be truthful, whether Mr Kipling only “bakes exceedingly good cakes” in the UK, or whether he deigns to offer his wares through the supermarkets of the world. 

Regular readers will know I have been munching my way through a Wine Society case of 2005 claret.  In the interests of fairness I purchased a similar early release case from the Sunday Times Wine Club and tonight opened the first bottle.


A Tasmanian Devil From the President’s Cellar

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Although I generally disapprove of pre-selected cases, I do subscribe to the President’s Cellar from Sunday Times Wine Club which pings me 6 bottles every 6 months at about £20 per bottle.

It does force me to explore wines that I would not otherwise choose and you probably know that I am not the greatest fan of Australian wine.

This bottle of Tamar Ridge Pinot Noir 2002 came to me a few years ago from Tasmania, via the President’s Cellar and was getting to drinking up time.  So I opened it.

Blockbusting Tamar Ridge….and a Gaggia coffee machine (for some reason)


2005 a Desert Odyssey

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Just another quick review from my Wine Society 2005 Bordeaux and this time it’s Ch. Moulin du Barrail, Bordeaux Supérieur, Cuvée Prestige.

Quick learning point – “Elevé en Fût de Chêne” – if you see this on a bottle it simply means aged in oak, and this wine was.  Although it tasted more like a piece of sandpaper on a cream cracker in the desert, it left such a dry taste in the mouth.

Ch. Moulin du Barrail…..and a bottle of the excellent Islay Malt - Ardbeg (for some reason)


TK Massimo

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

My day job took me to the City and after a morning of extreme hard work, a lunchtime visit to TKs on Lovat Lane.

Paul Hacker took me so I figured we might be there all afternoon.


Costco’s Anjou Cough Medicine

Friday, May 18th, 2007

Anjou, the Loire village better known for its Rosés is the latest to be laughing behind the back of the wine buyers at international warehouse shop, Costco.  Once again Costco has placed cost as a more valued criterion than quality.


Mr Bordeaux’s Crème Brulée Cellar Classic

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

When you join a wine club, the first thing they do is try to get you to commit to a monthly/annual/quarterly case of wines “to help you explore the wine world you might not otherwise experience”, whereas you are stupid if you don’t realise that it’s just a plan to get a commitment to spend.

On this basis I was once stupid enough to subscribe to the Sunday Times Wine Club’s “Cellar Classics”, a six monthly case of 6 reds and 6 whites of about £10 a bottle.  In the end I decided I could pick the wines better myself and cancelled. 


Jamie “B” Goode

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Congrats to Jamie Goode for winning the Glenfiddich 2007 Wine Writer of the Year.  Well deserved.  However, Jamie chose to celebrate at the Gaucho Grill and regular readers know my views on that particular establishment!

Corked or Not Corked?

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

I’ve been waiting for this to happen so I can blog about it.  I opened a bottle of Clos de Marquis 2001 (after dutifully fridging it for half an hour) only to find it was corked.

Fortunately I had another bottle so opened that and joy of joys – it was perfect.  So what was the difference?

Both bottles are shown in the picture below-  which do you think was corked?

Clos - which one was corked?