Archive for February, 2008

Aakash, “largest Indian resto in the world”

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Does size matter?  The dreaded question that haunts 90% of men (but never seems to concern the fairer sex), obviously played on the mind of Mohammad Iqbal Tabassum in 2001 when he bought a former Providence Congregational Church to turn it into an Indian restaurant.

The Aakash, which claims to be, and almost certainly is, the largest Indian restaurant in the world, occupying, as it does, a large parcel of land in Cleckheaton, a small town in West Yorkshire.

Aakash…bless you!


Binary Bar, Manchester

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Yes or No?  True or False?  Right or Wrong?  One or Zero?  There are 10 types of people in the world.  Those that understand binary and those who don’t.

A new concept has been launched in Manchester close to my flat.  It’s a Stealth Bar.  Stealth in the sense that nobody knew it was coming and nobody noticed when it arrived.  Do the owners know more about base 2 numbers than marketing?

Can you see Binary?  YES or NO???


Waitrose Vintage Champagne 1999

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

Tomorrow I have to place 44 candles on a birthday cake, light them and blow them out.  What will I wish for?  While I deliberate, my body decays albeit slowly, and I am enjoying a glass of fizz before heading out for dinner.

Wait a minute!

Scottish shortbread, grapefruit notes and possibly a little lime.  I find this a little too acidic to be truly memorable.

I have to admit that I know very little about champagne.  I enjoy drinking it but I need to learn more about what makes one better than another.  So whilst I did not get on greatly with Waitrose Vintage, this should not put you off trying it for yourself.

Have to dash – off to eat and yes, I am taking my notebook.

As for my birthday wish?  It won’t be for another bottle Waitrose Vintage Champagne.

Trinity Hill 2007 Sauvignon

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Tonight it’s the MasterChef semi-final and I’m supporting Emily.  She is young, enthusiastic, innovative, intelligent, bright, ambitious, engaging, tenacious, persistent, creative, spunky, adventurous, and quick to learn.  From a business perspective, she is the sort of person you would employ first and then wonder what role she should fill second.

Trinity Hill 2007 - on the precipice of greatness?

I wish more winemakers were as energetic and creative (in so far as that is expressed in their wines).  I think John Hancock maybe such a star.  I have just tried his Trinity Hill 2007 Sauvignon Blanc from Hawkes Bay.


Chablis Grand Cru “Moutonne” 2001

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Another mixed bag of news in the last couple of weeks.  I spent several hours in hospital but not as many as Mrs Wino who suffered another miscarriage.  On a much more positive note, Man City completed a glorious double over some lowly team from Stretford.  Throw into the mix a really busy time at work and I almost missed Confessions of a Wino’s first birthday.

Don’t be sheepish - try Moutonne.


Bibi’s – the Wolseley of the North?

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

If the Wolseley is the best restaurant in London, then what about the provinces?  Leeds, for example, has a proud tradition of brewing beer, staffing call centres, building the world’s first Dalek shaped skyscraper, and breeding people who say “eeh bah gum!”.  So surely not a place for fine dining then?

Is it a bar?  Is it a Ristorante?  Is it a car park?


Puligny Montrachet – Bouchard 2005

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

My jury has been deliberating on a verdict for the Costco wine buyers for some time now.  Do they market good wines and sell them at reasonable prices, or do they simply find cheap wines that look expensive?  For example, good names in bad years, second wines from average producers, albeit from good regions.  I mean, why would reputable domaines want to sell their best quality wine at a discount, on a regular basis, in large quantities?  This Puligny Montrachet was from Costco and was not that cheap being £12.75 plus VAT

Our staircase awaiting a carpet..and a bottle of Puligny, for some reason.

The only other online price comparator I could find was at Fine Wine Online where it was £14.95 – so Costco is actually £0.03125 more expensive per bottle.

The wine was fine actually.  It had some nice zing from the quince flavour, balanced by the smoothness of butter shortbread.  A fairly long finish and quite enjoyable to quaff.

Not much of a discount though, guys!  Try again.

Château Sociando-Mallet 2001 Haut Médoc

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Where’s my lovely travertine floor gone?

Last night I went to see a bit of Oscar Wilde.  Born in Dublin, educated and excelled at Trinity College, and Magdelen Colledge Oxford, he then observed in close quarter London Society with his acerbic wit, before being buried in Paris at the tender age of 46.

I didn’t see him in the flesh, even the rotting, grave-sodden sort.  I merely remembered him through one of his plays “An Ideal Husband”.  Amongst the many lessons, most extraordinary above all, was my realisation that political scandals have been around since even before my forefather’s forefather (Great Grandfather, then?) was chased from the office of Mayor of Wimbledon in the 1930s.  This play was written in 1895 when Wilde was about my age, and concerns the dilemma presented when a senior politician is confronted by his secret and corrupt past, in a black-mail attempt.  Does the evil Mrs Cheveley succeed in extorting her demands?  You will have to read/watch the play yourself.  Whilst doing so, you will not be able to resist a snigger or two at how Wilde’s observations are all too relevant to today’s society.


Palacio de Monsalud 2001

Monday, February 4th, 2008

I found Palacio de Monsalud at the Sunday Times Wine Club.

Nice bag of Earl Grey (my favourite) and Monsalud (not)

It is inexpensive (£7.42 per bottle) and I think it arrived in one of those bin end cases that always looks great value but invariably disappoints on balance.  The smell on opening was prunes.  A heavy thick set wine that reminded me of Port, despite only 13% alcohol.  Some spice in the form of French mustard may have been false interest introduced only by the smear of Dijon mustard on my pork sandwich.

At first I assumed the wine was spoiled but as it developed I think it just tastes crap as a matter of course.

I suppose, not surprisingly for a wine that smells of Port, it went better with cheese than anything else.

But I thought that Spanish wines were supposed to be great wines at great value to us Brits.  There was nothing here to inspire me to write anything interesting or informative….sorry.