Archive for January, 2008

Interesting wine and food blogs

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

I was casually browsing around the wine blogs I usually read (see “Other good sites” on my home page) and found time to follow a few links to new sites I have not seen before.  Why not mosey around yourself and see if you like:

Winos and Foodies – Barbara is the Aussie wino and foodie returning after a stint in the land of kiwis.  Lively and fun.

Chez Pim – possibly the best travelled and restauranted lady in the blogoshpere.  Name a posh resto – she has eaten there.

Wino Sapien – Edward the doctor from Oz who you might expect to focus on wines from down under but in fact reviews wines from all over the world with an elegant writing style.

Pour More – a new blog from Carol, formerly writing at Celebrate Wine.  Only a couple of posts so far but already looking interesting.

The Wine Wanker – see through the risqué title (risqué in the UK at least) and you will find Jules, an intelligent and informed wine lover from Wellington, New Zealand.

The Chicken Out Campaign – I used to think Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall was a stuck up tosser but his River Cottage TV series got me hooked, and I love his views on animal husbandry and how this relates to the food on our plate.  His latest campaign to promote free range chicken in place of the cheap supermarket (2 birds for £5 anyone?) chickens is really important.  Cruelly kept in dark sheds at a density of 17 pale and weak birds per square metre, for 39 days without ever seeing daylight, suffering massive discomfort at best, the luckiest birds get lame or diseased, and slaughtered early.  This practice has to stop and I urge you to sign up for the campaign.  The cost argument does not stack up for me – I would rather eat no chicken, than the cadavers of soulless inmates held to unjustified life imprisonment by supermarket accountants.

Chicken Out! Campaign Sign-up

Seattle Wine Blog – OK I haven’t really read much of this one.  It may be great, but I really included it in memory of the Seahawks glorious victory over the Redskins last weekend and to wish Seattle best wishes for their first post-season win on the road since 1983.  Green Bay – watch out.  I predict that Seattle will win the NFC Championship but despite my huge optimism, I can’t see them beating the Patriots in the Superbowl.

Belmonte Pinot Noir

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

You may recall my suspicions about a new case from Virgin Wines were mostly unfounded, as the first bottle I tried was rather nice.

Belmonte Pinot Noir and its siblings…for some reason

The case also contained three wines from the same stable – a Marlborough outfit by the name of Belmonte.  I tried the Pinot Noir recently with surprising results.


Château Lacombe Cadiot 2005

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

I  feel sure it is too early for some purists.  Maybe I am the early bird breaking fast on the first worm.  I have been trying several 2005 Bordeaux early release red wines, for example here, here, here, and here with mixed, but mostly good results.

You may not think that January 2008 is all that early to release 2005 wines, but I recently received a letter from the importer, from whom I purchased my special 2005 en primeur wines, kindly informing me that Spring 2008 was likely to be the earliest I would receive my precious Château Lynch-Bages, Château Guiraud and others.

Lacombe Cadiot 2005

So whilst waiting, I have been obliged to drink from the dawn dew, to eat from the darling buds of May, to to sup from the honeypot of youth (something I have not done in years).

But from the moment I opened the fridge door to retrieve my bottle of Château Lacombe Cadiot, I felt there was something different, something new about this wine.  For a start there was some information on the bottle.  This was in French as well as English.  Secondly, it was a not-overpowering 12.5%.  Thirdly, it had a recommended drinking temperature of a perfect 16 degrees Celsius (you have heard me moan before about red wines served too warm).  Fourthly, on opening it was the first wine from the bordelais that I can remember having a plastic cork.  Four out of four so far then!

The wine tastes of rhubarb crumble with custard.  Although I am not the greatest fan of rhubarb, it is the best 2005 Bordeaux I have yet tasted.  Still a little tannic I am sure it will benefit from another 6 to 12 months in bottle.  If only I could remember where I got it from I would order some more.  A quick Google failed to find any UK suppliers.  Any help appreciated!

McCauley’s Journey Shiraz 2004

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

I volunteered to try out the Virgin Wines online service which is relatively new to the UK but follows Virgin’s usual business model of finding a maturing market and trying to take a new angle on it.  The only trouble is that I can’t work out what the new angle actually is.

In terms of the mature market, the Wine Society has been trading for yonks.  Laithwaites has been marketing wines brilliantly for decades.  Berry Bros & Rudd have the posh end of the market.  Where is the new angle?  As far as I can tell Virgin is marketing wine to the masses.  The unwashed proletariat?  Well okay then, maybe just inexperienced wine buyers.

Whatever!  McCauley’s Journey Western Australia Shiraz turned out to be a top wine.