Archive for September, 2007

Dimitris – my first encounter with Greek wine

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Greek food, on the whole, is well known to be incredibly healthy, especially when compared to typical English and American diets.  Greek wine by contrast is just not well known at all.  So when I saw a bottle on the wine list of Dimitris in Manchester, I had to give it a try.

Dimitris from Deansgate

Every table had a “reserved” sign, the day we visited Dimitris for Sunday lunch.  Fortunately these were not real reserved signs, but merely little Hellenic white lies, so we sat down.


Château Cap de Magnet 2005

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Shoe shops are fine places, especially if, like me, you like shoes.  There is nothing like the smell of a shoe shop.  Intoxicating and attractive, but I don’t eat shoes, I wear them.

Cap de Magnet with Klondike Pete and his Golden Nuggets (for some reason)


2006 Concha y Toro Lot 158T

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Following recent accusations that GCSE’s and A Levels are being dumbed down, I can reveal that a new education scandal has just emerged.  University Challenge questions are getting easier!  I can prove it.  My average score is two correct answers per episode and tonight I scored nine!  A personal best!

Let’s all do the Concha…with some salt and pepper (for some reason)


Mediterranean Café, Soho

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Deep in the heart of the bustling part of Soho, there are a number of back street food places, some cool and trendy, some cheap and snacky, some boring and yucky.

The Mediterranean Café on Berwick Street has been there for yonks and that’s because it’s good.  If you are on a date or looking for a romantic meal with a difference you must try this place.  Don’t be put off by the slightly shabby exterior. The food is great, the welcome is so spot on, and the value is unbelievable.

Very funky, romantic and cool.  Mediterranean Cafe, Soho.


Challenge Cup Final

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Nothing to do with wine, this post.  Just thought I’d record the fact that I won two tickets in a raffle at Co-op Bank (one of our customers) for two tickets to the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final.  The first at Wembley for several years.

Did someone win?

Turns out the prize was kindly donated by one of my former employers, Tieto Enator, so thanks to them!


Wither Hills: Burgundy basher

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

Is the UK banking system about to collapse?  The current credit crunch has resulted in Northern Rock taking an “emergency” loan from the Bank of England.   Banks normally lend to each other but when times are tight, the BoE is there to ensure that confidence in the banking system is retained by being a lender of last resort (albeit at premium rates).  The Old Lady, and most financial commentators keep emphasising that Northern Rock is fully solvent and there is no crisis.  And yet Northern Rock customers are queuing round the block  to withdraw their savings.

We all know, from bitter personal experience, that building confidence in anything takes an age, whilst successful attempts to undermine confidence are normally sub-second torpedo strikes.

After building my confidence in several New Zealand Sauvignons I realised that Pinot Noirs from the land of kiwi were gaining in reputation, and promised to try one or two.  I didn’t have to queue round the block for this Wither Hills Pinot Noir 2004, which I simply ordered online.

Wither Hills Pinot Noir….and evidence of Man City actually winning a game (for some reason)


Susana Balbo exposes Gaucho Grill again

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

One of the aims of this blog, when I started it, was to keep my own personal record of tastings.  I set out to write this post having tasted a bottle of Susana Balbo 2005 Malbec and just realised that I have tried it before.  However, I didn’t really capture any proper notes so I thought I better do so this time.

Susana Balbo Malbec next to a cricket bat signed by Phil Tuffnell (for some reason)


A tale of two Chelseas, Bluebird vs Albert’s Shed

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Jeff and I were in London for the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.  Those of you not from Perpignan, Australia or the north of England will not understand Rugby League so let’s move on.  In any case RL was not the only sporting occasion of interest that day.

August Bank Holiday weekend in the UK and Chelsea FC (lucky home win against Portsmouth – David “Calamity” James to thank) knocks the glorious Man City (unlucky defeat away at the Arse) off the top spot of the English Premier League.  So we thought we better nip down to Chelsea and see what all the fuss was about.


Hunters Sauvignon Blanc 2006 – revisited

Monday, September 10th, 2007

In line with most reality TV shows where the presenters go back after 12 months to see how the subjects are coping with their new Russian blind dog, I always like to taste a wine more than once.  It’s like going back to the scene of a crime to see if Gil Grissom has worked out that you were the perpetrator – exciting.

I have just re-tried Hunters Sauvignon Blanc 2006.  I liked it last time but I claimed there was too much gooseberry .  Well, this time I still got the gooseberry but so many more complex flavours like peaches, passion and other exotic fruits.  A bit like dipping into a coconut but finding ice cream with the awful milk, or prising open an oyster to find a pearl necklace already assembled.

I much preferred Hunters this time.  Just goes to show that you should give everything in life a second chance.

Can o’ wine fails to shine

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

What a great sporting weekend.  The English winning at cricket (handsomely defeating India), and promptly, but not all that convincingly, despatching the USA at rugby in the World Cup.  Even the hapless Steve McClaren had his moment in the sun sending the Israeli football team packing having thrice, without reply, rubbed their noses in the excrement of their sloppy defence.

But the résultat du jour was on Friday.  The French were humbled by Argentina in the opening game of the Rugby Union World Cup - a triumph of gritty Malbec over refined claret?  So in my own personal campaign to cheer up the old wine nation I nipped down to a British supermarket (Tesco) and bought some French produce – a can o’ wine to be precise.

Can of red wine…and some seedling hostas for some reason