Archive for April, 2009

Paul Mas Marsanne 2007

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Childhood memories.  Good and bad.  Ahhhh.

Mass debate

I am not sure whether I was more phlegmatic than other kids of my generation but this wine reminded me of Tixylix.

Paul Mas Estate, Marsanne, La Forge Vineyard did also taste of apricot and honey and as it happens I liked the taste of Tixylix.  I have little experience of the Marsanne grape and to be honest I picked the bottle up as an experiment.  And I am glad I did.

Another Vin de Pays D’Oc – the southern French region that I am starting to explore more thoroughly, mainly as a result of wallet shrinkage.  At £7.99 from Majestic, I think this is another example of why you should be exploring it too.

Naked Wines – Ladies Shooting Greedy Sheep

Monday, April 20th, 2009

If you want to enter a declining market and make a meaningful dent then you better innovate.  Naked Wines is doing just that and gaining publicity by the jeroboam.

Rowan Gormley’s latest stunt was to hold a “crowd taste off” with AU$100,000 of Naked Wines purchase orders available to the winning wine makers.

The tasters were the 50 most active customers of Naked (fully clothed, I believe).  The winemakers were selected by The Government of South Australia and the Australian Trade Commission.  After rounds of tasting and price estimating, the final coup de théâtre was the winemakers themselves in a reverse auction to adjust their prices to see how much of the $100k they could take in orders.

Greedy sheep ate my hamster!

I managed to get my paws on three of the winners that will be going on sale via the Naked Wines website in the next few weeks:


Burnmore Reserve 2006 Semillon Chardonnay

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

If you like to listen to something achingly, teasingly left wing, politically correct, family friendly and yet, despite all that, extremely listenable, I can recommend The Chronicles of Modern Life by Henry Priestman.  Clearly I am not that left wing (although I am not 100% sure what that means these days) but I am over 40 and, if you are too, I defy you not to cast a wry smile at Henry’s astute observations on wrinkle gathering.

On the other hand, if you prefer to ignore the effects of ageing and address your sagging brow by drowning your sorrows, you probably drink too much Aussie Chardonnay.  I don’t drink anywhere enough so I was pleased to receive this Burnmore as part of a STWC crisp refreshing whites case (£60) several months ago.

Serious Burns unit - come my lairds and leiges for the cock a leekie is a coolin’

It is difficult to have high hopes of a wine that costs less than a fiver including shipping all the way from Oz.

As a Semillon Chardonnay blend, I suppose it is no surprise that it tastes like 10 parts St Veran and 1 part Sauternes.  Lemon and honey and much better than the price tag indicates.  If you happen to have a bottle in your cellar, I would drink it right now to see if it really will cure your wrinkly neck.

Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc 2007

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

It is amazing who you meet online and I am not even a teenager.  I don’t think he is trying to groom me, but my cyber-mate, Peter May, is something of an expert in the wines of South Africa.  He recommended that I drink more Chenin Blanc, and suggested Ken Forrester would take me into the woods and chop me down to size.

I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK...


Confessions from EWBC 2008

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Last year’s European Wine Bloggers Conference was a hoot. Erm, I mean a serious and considered look at the online wine world where ideas were floated, issues were shared, problems were halved, wine was consumed, and some people even got drunk.

As you can see from my eyes, this VinusTV video was filmed the morning after a huuuuuuge tasting where I sipped, but swallowed copiously.

If you write a wine blog, or have an interest on online wine affairs, I strongly recommend that you attend EWBC 2009 in Lisbon, 30 October.  Hopefully you will find me in better shape to speak with you.

Wither Hills Rarangi 2007

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

As if it wasn’t hard enough already (no pun intended), blokes everywhere are giving up hope of ever getting another blowjob.

Before Americanisation, I used to think that “head” was the foam on a pint of beer.  As a mature Wino, I now I fully realise that it is the bubbles on top of a Bellini.  And I love a Bellini.

Far ranging flavours


Pauletts Polish Hill River Riesling 2007

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Last year I did a virtual world tour of Pinot Noirs.  I enjoyed it very much but after several barnyard runs, I decided I wanted to be unfaithful and try another grape.

On the basis of the majority opinion of serious wine commentators I chose Riesling, but I have not been quite as enthused as I was by the Brigitte Bardot of the grape world.

Spit and polish

I tried comparing Riesling to the new mini – refined, exciting, reminiscent of the past, and better made by Germans.  But I would like to retract that statement and simultaneously upset many wine purists, because my experience says wines from the noble Riesling grape are better built by Australians.

Take Pauletts, Polish Hill River from Clare Valley.  I picked it up from Majestic at only £9.99 – cheaper than your average German.  Grapefruit, melon, a touch of marzipan and a sliver of ginger root.  Like many Rieslings, it goes superbly well with Thai food and, after all, Thailand is closer to Australia than Germany (I think).  So this logical reasoning is indisputable proof that criminals make better Riesling.  I’m sure Dr Spock would agree.

So maybe Riesling is the Ten Pound Pom of grapes:  Cheap, well travelled, classless, and ultimately better off in Australia.

Wino Head Candy

Friday, April 10th, 2009

As of today:

400 posts
31 categories
802 tags
12,988 spam comments
149 red wines
92 white wines
108 restaurants
1 case of middle aged spread

Louis Max Mercurey 2005 Clos la Marche

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Gordon Brown’s nanny state has reached a new high in the form of film censorship and advice.  I was watching an advert on TV for a kids film and the smallprint warning said “contains mild threat and comic fight scenes”.  What is the point of such a warning?  It is inconsistent with other media and not very helpful in any case.

Take an average episode of Dr Who that is aired by the BBC at peak family viewing time on a Saturday tea time.  I used to watch regularly in the 1970’s – Jon Pertwee was my Doctor.  There is more to frighten children than any amount of comic fighting.  By the time I watched The Omen, I was fully prepared.  It could have been labelled “may contain mild Satanic undertones”.  But Damien was simply nowhere near as scary as a Dalek.

Mercurey - isn't that close to the Sun?


Blackhouse Grill, Leeds

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Meet a Yorkshireman and the word “baaaaaaaaaaaaa” springs to mind.  How ironic then, that this land of sheep, where I have spent a large portion of my life, is seeing a proliferation of steak houses making a bovine takeover bid.

But here, sheep have other uses, mostly exercised at night and often, it is said, at the edge of a cliff so they push back harder.  Such nocturnal activity demands that they remain alive.  Perhaps this explains the fondness for eating beef, with or without Yorkshire pudding.

When it comes to dining, Leeds residents like to maintain their stature.  Quantity is, therefore, the primary measure of a good meal.  And there’s nowt wrong with that, provided that the quality is as good as the portions are big.  And I prefer that they contain meat and not just carbo-fillers such as the eponymous local batter delicacy.

Blackhouse Grills is a juggernaut chain expanding rapidly, with six restaurants already spanning the country from Glasgow to London, but with the majority in the north of England.  I spotted one in Leeds.

Rugged and substantial - Blackhouse Grills