Archive for November, 2007

Faldeos Nevados Chardonnay

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Our money pit has had a leak for years.  It’s not pleasant when water pours in to two of the bedrooms.  It’s also expensive, and many ££££s have left the bank account trying to find a fix.  We are making a final bid to cure the leak with a swimming pool like construction that has involved rebuilding most of the flat roof above the bedrooms.  We use this roof as a balcony, half open and half conservatory.  It’s a beautiful feature of the house and worth trying to improve no matter the cost, and no matter that the beautiful travertine floor must be ripped out.

Meanwhile in my wine rack, Argie wine keeps getting better and better and it is far from costly.  This is the third one I have tried by the hand of Susana Balbo, under the Faldeos Nevados brand which, as far as I can tell, is exclusive to the Wine Society in the UK.

My beautiful travertine floor (about to get ripped out) and a bottle of Faldeos Chardonnay (for some reason)


Rouge et le Blanc, Geneva

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

A mate of mine, Grayo, who is also a Man City fan, abhors the colour red because it’s the colour that the team from the dark side of Manchester play in.  So what colour is his car then?  “Erm. well it’s a sort of cherry colour.”  “It’s bloody red!” I laughed.  “But the mileage is really low and it was a real bargain” he proffered in weak defence.

I agree that wherever practicable, one should buy an item based on any colour but red, and I once had a red car re-sprayed to avoid embarrassment.  But then there is wine.  Ah wine.  This life long axiom falls apart at the seams, since I have only ever seen one blue wine and it was grim.

Red and white, only if its wine

So spotting a bar in Geneva which could have been named after a Man United kit, I approached with trepidation.  I am sick of seeing United players out on the town in Manchester whilst the City players sleep soundly preparing for the next game (or maybe just don’t get recognised).  Would Le Rouge et le Blanc be crammed with Swiss footballers, winos, or just ordinary folk?


Blue Bell Inn, Kettlewell

Monday, November 26th, 2007

A welcome in the hillsides - La Cloche Bleu, Kettlewell

The trouble with some pubs in the Yorkshire Dales is that they can’t quite work out who their customers are.  I am not surprised since the Dales attracts everyone from Hell’s Angels, to coaches filled with old dears who can only eat liquidised food through a straw.


Elemental Reserva Colchagua Carmenère 2005

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

Virgin is a brand I associate with innocence, inexperience and ineptitude.  Only joking.  It’s more about customer service, keen price and reasonable quality.  Except for Virgin Rail of course.  Those of you to have had the misfortune of travelling from Manchester to London on the Virgin service have my sympathy.

It’s elemental my dear Branson!


Château de Cor Bugeaud 2005

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

I was thinking of writing a thoughtful and considered post tonight but I am starting to slip into Gary Lineker mode already.

McCLAREN OUT!  McCLAREN OUT!  I’ve been completely consistent on this.  Even after five 3-0 wins on the trot (to weak opposition) I still opined that Steve McClaren should resign with (not much) dignity.

The first mistake was made by the FA in the early Sven days when McClaren was appointed assistant with the openly stated aim that he was being groomed for next England manager, the only visible qualification being that he was English.  Then, when Sven was deposed, the FA, in their infinite wisdom, approached “Fil” Scolari and only when he turned the FA down did they grovel to McClaren and pretend it was his job all along.

Oh, how we now long for the Sven-Goran Eriksson days.  He was accused of being the “quarter final” man.  I’d rather have a “quarter final” man than one who can’t even qualify from possibly the easiest European group imaginable.  The last time England failed to qualify for a major tournament was when Graham “Turnip Head” Taylor failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup.

To be honest, although I am bitterly disappointed that England have not qualified for Europe, one has to look for silver linings at desperate times like these.  The most obvious of which would be to hear of Steve McClaren’s immediate resignation, and if he doesn’t resign by midnight then the FA will lose 1% credibility for every minute after midnight tonight that they don’t sack him.  So they lose my support at 0140h on 22 November 2007 in such circumstance.

In the interim, please appoint Terry Venables as a temporary manager while we wait for someone worthwhile to become available (Martin O’Neill?, despite not being English).  El Tel will at least be capable of winning a few friendlies, and who knows, maybe one day Sven will throw his hat back into the ring???!!!

Talking of Sven that brings me to Man City and in the photo below I wonder if Georgios Samaras will ever play another game for my glorious team.  While I ponder, I sip away at Château de Cor Bugeaud 2005 to see if that will lift my spirits.

Ch de Cor Bugeaud and Georgios Samaras - will he return to form?


Beaujolais mais pas nouveau

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Less than a week after its release (or some might say escape) the fuss about the poor quality of Beaujolais Nouveau this year is already rife.  So, always keen to avoid the inanely topical, I thought I might take the opportunity to delve into the past.

New conservatory floor starts to take shape…at last


Faldeos Nevados Bonarda 2004

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

Anyone got an update on Diego Maradona?  Regular readers know that I hate the Argies with a passion normally reserved for mindless football thugs.  However, when it comes to wine I try to make allowances, and it just so happens that my thuggery dissipates faster than the bubbles in a bottle of cava, once an open bottle of Argentinean wine is placed on the table.

I love the Faldeos Nevados Malbec, so I really should have tried the Bonarda from the same producer earlier than this.  Bonarda, is not, although it sounds so, the name of an Italian porn star, but an indigenous grape of the cheating football nation.  Albeit not the cheating football nation that brought you the Mano de Dios, it originated in Italy!  Enough of the football insults, what was the wine like?

Bonarda and a quaint Irish expresso cup…..for some reason


Red Lion, Evenley

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

A letter arrived.  Not an email.  Not a text message.  Not even a telegram or a greeting card.  A letter, hand written, addressed to me, and delivered to the office.

Of course, I remember the days before this eloquent and pulchritudinous form of communication was rudely re-branded snail mail. Nowadays, I have to admit that I cannot recollect the last time I received a hand written letter.  This particular letter resulted in an uncommon sequence of events that lead me to Tingewick, a pretty country village in Buckinghamshire.

Tingewick, close to the intersection of the three counties of Bucks, Northants, and Oxon, is an architectural melting pot.  16th century thatched cottages huddle awkwardly next to 1940’s council houses like new kids meeting at school.  Grand mansions look down on their tiny peers who appear to doff their tiled roofs in deference.  Residents include a well known rock guitarist, a lottery winner, and my estranged Godmother.

Architecturally diverse - Tingewick


Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2006

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Is it so wrong to like Cloudy Bay?  It used to be the wine for the cognoscenti but it got a bit too big for its boots.  It’s not exactly a mass produced and marketed wine like Jacob’s Creek (perish the thought), but those in the know yawn and say “Cloudy Bay?  It’s a bit 1990’s man….”

Cloudy Bay getting a massage…for some reason


Café Brummels, Evian, France

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

Funky.  The French don’t do funky well.  So Café Le Brummels must be owned by a Belgian then.  Did you spot the Belgian beer influences in the photo?

Brummies?  No Brummels, this is Evian, not Rougeley.