Archive for May, 2009

Gevrey-Chambertin En Billard 2004 Alain Burguet

Friday, May 29th, 2009

When I bought a cheeky mystery case of red Burgundy “to drink now” from the Wine Society they probably didn’t realise how literally I would take the title of the case.

In barely the time it takes a Tory MP to repay his moat cleaning expenses, I am already deep into my third bottle.

Good job I hid the pornos....


Gaucho Grill wine list leaves bad taste in mouth

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Tonight I am drinking Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec 2006.  A very nice wine and worth every penny of the £8.50 I paid Costco for it.

This is one of the staples of the Gaucho Grill wine list, but when average wine markups in the UK are between 100 and 200% (i.e. double to three times the wholesale price) how come Gaucho thinks it can charge £37.50, a 341% uplift, and that is against the RETAIL price.  Is this a new British and Commonwealth record?

On the terrace (or balcony) - Malbec


Chambolle-Musigny 2004 Domaine G.Roumier

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Just one day after the final match of the season, the 2008/9 FA Premiership is already a distant memory.  We now enter the silly summer season where silly sums will be spent on sop soccer stars with scant regard for common sense or the common fan.

If there is one maxim in life that everyone understands it is that money does not guarantee success.  I mean, look at Mark Hughes’ under-achievers.  Being a long suffering Man City fan, it is no surprise to me that we scraped in mid table a whopping 5 points clear of footballing paupers, Stoke City, even though one of our players cost more than Stoke’s entire squad.

I have to congratulate Stoke on an over-achieving season.  Based on the resources available to them and being newly promoted to the division, they were odds on to get relegated.  But Tony Pulis had a well thought out strategy and it worked.

Roum with a view

Strange game football eh?  But the same can apply to wine.  This bottle came from a Wine Society Mystery Burgundy Case (average implied bottle price £20 but actually was on sale for £56.75 on the WS website).  Ouch!  It better be good!


Café de Luna, Clichy, Paris

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

Is that a haircut or a hat?

Cafe de Luna, on boulevard de Clichy is a bustling bistro that caught my eye on a cheeky weekend visit.  We were staying round the corner in the ninth and needed a reasonably priced dinner.  That is a challenge at the moment for Brits in Paris due to the parity of Euro/Sterling.

I started with Bourgogne escargots in garlic and mopped up every last morceau!  Eating snails is always a bit like chewing on rolled up condoms but it is the sauce that makes the strange texture so appealing.


Palo Alto Reserva 2007

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Where did all the money go then?  In my quest to account for some of the missing credit crunch trillions, once believed to have been squirreled away by bankers, I spotted that £7 billion has been invested in the search for Higgs Boson – the clitoris of particle physics.

Palo Alto and an iron...for some reason

But last September, the Large Hadron Collider hit technical snags and some magnets over-heated bringing the search to a premature climax with helium gushing out all over the place.


Jean Grivot Nuits-St-Georges Les Lavières 2004

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Last of the camellias....and some Nuit-St-Georges for some reason

And so Eurovision has come and gone and, for once, the UK didn’t come last.  In fact we made a creditable 5th place, although we had to recruit the noble Lord Webber of Musicals to write us a tune and, predictably, the singer had to come from a reality TV show.

Some have criticised Eurovision in recent years alleging tactical voting as being the cause of the UK’s fall from grace.  I say our entries were just pap and wouldn’t have troubled the scorer in a hitting a barn door with a banjo competition.

Highly variable results is something you get used to when you drink Burgundy.  Was Jean Grivot Nuits-St-Georges Les Lavières 2004 a “Waterloo” or did it score null points?


Beer prices in Paris

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Bearing in mind that Sterling and the Euro are pretty much at parity (when taking into account tourist rates and bank “commission”) this bar bill left a lump in the throat rather than a hump on the back.

Quasi hell!  What a bill!

Chez Clément, Place St André des Arts, Paris

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Chez Clément has many branches in Paris and one in Nantes.  Is this the French version of Chez Gerard? Je pense que oui!

Freudian Slip?


Orballo Albariño 2007

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

After Mad Cow disease and Foot & Mouth, those of us living in the pig free zone of West Yorkshire are pleased to see an agricultural problem that does not affect us directly.  I started feeling sorry for the pig farmers in Wiltshire until I realised that a sneeze in Mexico was like a butterfly flapping its wings in Hong Kong, or a banker collecting his bonus on Wall Street.  In any case, the impact on the world is (potentially) awesome.

Orballo and some clouds...for some reason

So while I sit indoors in my H1N1 isolation with a super strength face masks in 100 packs, in an ante-pandemic panic order, my only consolation is yet another Spanish wine, a nice Albariño from Virgin Wines at £9.99.

Smelling of perfume (which makes a change from flu), grapefruit, parma violets and the sort of mixed flavours you get from cheese and pickle, this is a dry wine that does well as an aperitif, or with barbecued belly of pork.

A tissue please…..sneeze into it, bin it, wash your hands, drink lots of wine, survive the pandemic (hopefully)…….

Artadi Orobio Rioja 2005

Monday, May 11th, 2009

In order to test my hypothesis that it is possible to contract Deep Vein Thrombosis whilst watching an opera, I went to see the 3.5 hour epic Don Carlos at Leeds Grand Theatre last week.  But way back in 1867, Giuseppe Verdi must have foreseen that the seats in the balcony of this fine theatre would be designed for pigmies and children only.  Although there was only one interval, he thoughtfully planned the opera in four acts with a total of six scene changes.  My calves yelled with delight each time the curtain fell and I was able to stand for a few brief but exquisite seconds.

As an opera, Don Carlos has it all.  Intrigue, deception, death, war, royalty and of course, adultery, all of which delivered by a huge cast.  I know you southern types have Sadlers Wells and the Royal Opera House, but up here where it’s cold, wet and cheap… Well we have got Opera North and we are justifiably proud.  This was one of the best productions I have seen with the pick of the cast being William Dazely as Rodrigo, veteran of equally excellent ON productions of Let ’em Eat Cake and Of Thee I Sing where he was a great President – John P Wintergreen.

Anyway back to Spain where Don Carlos (son of Philip II King of Spain) had to suffer the ignominy and heartache of having his promised love, Elisabeth de Valois, marry his father in a political settlement, and as you can imagine, that makes for a promising start to any story.

Artadi Orobio - young style or greedy winemakers?