Archive for March, 2008

Santenay 1er Cru la Maladière, Vincent Girardin 2003

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

I’m making a move for Pinot Noir, the Brigitte Bardot of grapes.  Beguiling, attractive, seductive, fruity, yet inconsistent and possibly a little bonkers.

Santenay - but hey!  What’s cooking…..good looking?


Cocotoo, Sistine Chapel of Manchester

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Have you ever slept under the railway arches?  It’s not typically a pleasant place.  Certainly not a place you would choose to sleep.  But if it’s raining and you have no fixed abode, well, everything is relative.

I nodded off under the arches near Oxford Road station on Whitworth Street in Manchester.  Thankfully, someone had been thoughtful enough to build an Italian restaurant around me that was warm and welcoming (not that I would have noticed given the amount of alcohol canoeing through my veins).

Manchester by night - Cocotoo


Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec 2005

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Two intertwined themes have weaved their antithetical spell through this weblog.  The positive one is my undying love of (well, admiration for) Malbec, especially from Argentina.  The negative, is my ongoing apprehension of the capability of Costco to buy, store, and sell decent wines.

Tonight I am brewing a cauldron full of controversy by mixing a finger of Malbec with leg of Costco, eye of newt and toe of frog.  Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble…..

On the terrace (or balcony) - Malbec


Sam’s Chop House, Manchester

Monday, March 10th, 2008

If you want to dine in a beautifully preserved piece of British Victorian architecture.  If you want to eat traditional English grub like fish ‘n’ chips, corned beef hash and steak and kidney pudding.  If you want to be served by professional, traditionally dressed, polite and informed waiting staff.  And if you want to do this with a cracking fine wine list to choose from, there is only one place to go.  Sam’s Chop House in Manchester.

Sam’s - fine wines and proper food….for some reason


Château Roc de Boisseaux 2003

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

I’m having mood swings.  Pinot Noir vs Merlot.  I love Pinots from Chile, New Zealand and even Burgundy (when I can afford them).  I am equally starting to appreciate the right bank of la Gironde, the home of Merlot?  In any case, both grapes are a welcome change from Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Sangiovese for example.

Roc on!  Boisseaux on the oche….for some reason


A tale of three Armagnacs

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

In deepest Evian-les-Bains I found one of the best wine shops ever.  La Cave à Paul had such a wide range of Armagnacs going back to the year dot.  But they had none from 1964 (year of my birth), so I settled for second best 1966 (last time England won the World Cup).

Aladdin’s Cave (à Paul)

And when I got home I discovered that I had also (sort of) unknowingly bought some duty free Armagnac by Sempé (we flew from Geneva, Switzerland).  It was time for a taste test.  But hang on!  There is more complication because I had also invested in Riedel glasses.  The Cognac glass is a small tulip (on the left of the photo below), whereas a traditional Cognac or Armagnac glass is a bowl (shown on the right).  An interesting experiment was to ensue….