Archive for January, 2008

Belmonte Sauvignon Blanc 2006

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Where shall we go this evening?  France?  Italy?  Spain?  Sonoma County?  I think I’ll stay in, somewhere comfortable, with a glass of something familiar.  Yet another Kiwi Sauvignon!

Belmonte SB and its siblings…..for some reason


Casa Martelletti 2001 Barolo

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

I thought Manchester City were supposed to be rich.  Has “Frank” Shinawatra hit on hard times?  The January transfer window was supposed to be a time for acquisition…. for us to brandish our financial muscle like a well-endowed porn star unleashing his not inconsiderable appendage to impressive gasps.

Top of our list was a striker or two….or maybe not.  Georgios Samaras has just gone to Celtic on loan and Rolando Bianchi found more lush grazing pastures on a small square of Roman green belt known as the Stadio Olimpio, albeit that Sr. Bianchi’s debut for Lazio lasted just 5 minutes before he saw not green, but red, and was promptly sent for an early bath.

Barolo - the king?  Oh no that was Elvis…


Prezzo, Thame….is somewhat tame

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Prezzo, the Italian restaurant chain whose only USP seems to be weird artwork has opened a branch in Thame, Oxfordshire.

Prezzo but at what price?


Chateau des Campets 2003

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

Forget the preamble.  This Corbières is the most interesting and, frankly, gorgeous wine I have tried in ages.

Campets and a “proper” pot noodle (for some reason)

I found it at Laithwaites (although it was sadly out of stock at time of writing).  I cannot remember the price, but it was definitely not expensive.  I fear that it is absolutely necessary to stick to the 2003 due to the freaky hot summer that year.  It killed several hundred French people so one can only imagine the effect it had on shrivelling (er….I mean concentrating) the grapes, and this wine is an amalgamation of several.


Can you pronounce “Freixenet”?

Friday, January 25th, 2008

I was idling through my Google Analytics stats wondering who on Earth (other planets are available) reads this website and how they stumble across it?

Clearly many use Google, and compose some search string or other that chances upon a random thing I have written.  It amused me to see that the most commonly used search string (2.1% of total visitors) to find Confessions of a Wino in the last month was “Freixenet pronunciation”.  It proved that Google was quite clever to read my text to at least some degree semantically.  Perhaps more important, though, was the marketing lesson….or maybe not.

Does it help to have a brand that 90% of people cannot pronounce?  Does that make people go to the trouble of finding out?  Or does it just inhibit them from asking for your product, if for example, like many sparkling wines, it is behind the counter?

For the record, my mate Paul, who can speak Spanish having spent 7 years there, says it is pronounced Fresher-Nett.  And if you don’t want to ask for it, cases of 6 are available from your local Costco.  Fill your trolley…

Cuvée à l’Ancienne Pouilly-Fuissé 2005

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Chicken or egg?  The long standing debate about which came first will never be resolved by a cartoon depicting one or the other enjoying a post-coital cigarette.  Let’s face it, smoking is banned almost everywhere these days.  So I had to find another way to establish the truth.

Cuvée à L’ancienne and a red box (from Virgin)


2008, a wine price apocalypse?

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

I’m sure you’ve read in the press that wine prices are set to rocket in 2008.  I wondered if this was just another ruse by the wine trade to panic people into parting with their hard-earned cash, or a genuine concern.  I don’t like wasting money, or looking like a mug, so I thought I better investigate.


2007 Cloudy Bay is here – but where’s the rhubarb?

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

A red letter day….or rather, a brown box day.  My first case of 2007 New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs est arrivé and I am over-excited, but there is good news and bad:

I am slightly disappointed that Dog Point is not included in this year’s case.  But this is more than made up for by the price, which at £110 including two bottles of Cloudy Bay seems particularly good value.

The brown box had been left outside my front door, and the ambient temperature was a perfect 8 degrees, so I immediately unpacked the box and cracked open (or rather unscrewed the cap of) the Cloudy Bay.  I expected a complex rhubarb and citrus aroma, like the 2006, but was surprised to get a noseful of gooseberry.

Cloudy Bay 2007 - but where is the rhubarb?


Freixenet Vintage 2005

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

It is 15th January 2008 and I am at the end of my New Year detox.  I am not sure whether it is time to celebrate or commiserate.  Maybe I am a tad masochistic but I enjoyed it more than ever this year.

Nonetheless, this afternoon at a board meeting I had a large black coffee, and I would have eaten some chocolate biscuits had they been on offer.  For lunch I had a fat filled chicken mayonnaise sandwich.  Tonight, I felt I ought to complete a hat trick of poisons.  I felt obliged to sack my temporary tee-totalism.

I was ill over Xmas so didn’t drink much anyway.  However, on NY eve I got totally mullered on champagne and that is the last alcoholic drink that passed my lips.  So, to celebrate the end to my New Year dry period, I thought I might start again where I left off, and open some bubbly.

Fresher nett and a nice cushion….for some reason


Seraph Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2006

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

Do you eat ready meals?  The UK is one of the world’s leading producers (and consumers) of ready meals, and I mean by volume, not necessarily quality.  Is that good or bad?  What does it say about our work addicted society that we no longer have time to enjoy a home cooked meal with friends/family at our own tables?