Happy New Year

2008 was a mixed year for most.  Economically, certainly the most unusual and shocking in my living memory.  Oenologically, one of the most interesting for different reasons.

I explored a wide range of wines from a litany of suppliers serving us through clicks and sometimes bricks.  Wines have ranged from the decadent to the indecent, the sublime to the slime, the super duper to the pooper scooper.

For personal and professional reasons I have found myself eating out more than usual in the last 12 months.  My regular haunts of London, Leeds and Manchester all have nice places to offer, but finding VFM has not been easy.  I predict that with falling oil prices bringing the cost of food back to manageable levels, and customers more concerned with paying off debt with the spectre of redundancy lurking in the shadows, than consuming a frothy onion cappuccino as a “free” amuse-bouche, that VFM will be the largest determinant in any restaurant’s success this year.

In short, 2008 has been an immensely enjoyable and scary ride.

May 2009 bring you good wine, good news and some remnant of financial stability.  Best wishes.

One Response to “Happy New Year”

  1. Douglas Says:

    Happy New Year, Alastair. Yes, VFM is a major concern. But people still seek to reward themselves. The charming restaurants will stay afloat, the aloof ones will sink. Did you see the amuse-bouche featured in Decanter’s Dorchester feature this month? -A single basil leaf. Diners were encouraged to pinch their nose whilst chewing, then release to a burst of flavour. Interesting, in a way exciting, but also patronising!

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