Cross my palm with Pensilva…

I am quietly pleased that I have finally managed to get this weblog onto a new platform, a new ISP and new publishing software.  I am still using the excellent WordPress, but have upgraded to version 2.5.1.  My previous version (2.1) was error prone and insecure – spam was starting to appear in my scheduled posts!  I strongly recommend anyone using WordPress to upgrade.

The new WordPress platform is pretty good, but it is much less intuitive than I expected.  Loading and managing pictures for example, is in theory much easier, but in practice I think there are still a few bugs that need ironing out.  I can also see that many of the new improvements have been aimed at non-technical users like me.  However, as with all open source software, it is ultimately designed by techies who don’t quite understand how us Muggles think.

As with all software upgrades in my experience, the problems arise in the database conversion.  This is something to watch out for if you are moving up several WordPress versions in one go, like I did.  I had numerous problems that a friend with some SQL knowledge kindly sorted, in exchange for a couple of bottles from my inner cellar.

Can you hit the mark?

To celebrate my new platform I am drinking an unoaked Chardonnay from Virgin Wines.  Pensilva Estate The Cross 2006 Coonawarra Chardonnay is not what I expected.  Does it hit the bulls eye or should it merely be hung out on a crucifix to die?

I was a bit astounded by this wine.  I wrote some tasting notes and then wondered if I was going mad.  I checked the Virgin website and the comments from members included “a bit bland”, “a bit dry”, “crisp”, and “zingy and refreshing”.  I can only assume I was shipped a different wine.

This bottle was as zingy as a feather pillow, as crisp as over-cooked pasta, but as bland as a herd of wildebeest majestically roaming the plain, and about as dry as a bank holiday weekend in April.

That is to say it was delicious, unctuous, sweetish and tasty.  On opening I smelt perfumed petals and beeswax.  The taste was honey and pear, with perhaps some marshmallow and blackcurrant cordial (ok, Ribena!).

Juicy, rich, creamy and fruity, if I was blind tasting this I would position it more as a new world dessert wine than a dry unoaked Chardonnay, although clearly it is not quite as sweet, or as syrupy as its pudding pal.  It tasted much more potent than the 13% alcohol on the label, although the legs were not exactly vin doux.

Maybe I am going mad, but no wonder it went so well with cheese.

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