Archive for December, 2009

And a Rousseau in a Pear Tree

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Christmas day.  Partridge on the menu.  Well it has to be more exciting than turkey, and we don’t even own a pear tree.

Searching for a wine match, I figured a mature Grand Cru Burgundy should fit the bill.  This Domaine Armand Rousseau Charmes-Chambertin is way beyond the top end of my normal wine budget at about £90 per bottle but it IS Christmas so I am happy to splash out.  Is it worth the huge wonga though?  In a single word, erm, not on your bastard nellie.  I would rather have a threesome with two multi-tongued Ood than fork out the price of a brace of afternoon teas at The Ritz to end up with a limp biscuit.

This charming man...

Last time I tried this wine, there was a hint of cabbage on the nose, this time too.  Fortunately, the taste is a bit more refined:  Quince jelly with some orange blossom, but still a bit tart really.  I can think of a large number of Pinot Noirs from Burgundy and New Zealand, for example, that would blow the socks off this wine at about 20% of the price.

Merry Christmas, anyway.  I am going back to my Fortnum & Mason 2000 vintage champagne which is very moreish and goes very well with Dr Who (David Tennant) and the Master (John Simm).  Will the Master Race take over the world?  Not on your bastard nellie!  Can’t wait for the NY Day episode!

Ch̢teau Carteau 2005 РLazy wine review

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

It’s Christmas Eve and I am enjoying some rump.  But that is enough about the wife.

I dug out a 2005 St. Emilion that looked like it might go with a bit of bully.

Phil "The Power" likes this


Château D’Aiguilhe 2005

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

The prevailing wealth of rich winter spices is a constant reminder that we are less than a stock market “correction” away from Christmas.  I love seasonal spicy tea blends but this year’s Fortnum & Mason was a bit of a dog compared to last year’s Harvey Nichols’ hot stock.

The wine equivalent may well be Château D’Aiguilhe 2005, Côtes de Castillon.  This Merlot dominated Bordeaux blend is spicier than an investment banker’s underpants the morning after splashing the year end bonus on a (high class) Indian meal.

Xmas kisses


Fetzer Valley Oaks Syrah Rosé 2007

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Blimey!  I didn’t mean to start World War III with my cast aside comment that Mark Hughes might not be the right manager for Man City.  Even though I regularly tell anyone who will listen that I never approved of his appointment in the first place, even I, the Bathsheba Everdene to Mr Hughes’ Gabriel Oak, acknowledged that the least worst option was to give him more time to prove himself.  Instead the Man City hierarchy (and I smell the ruthlessly inept Garry Cook behind this one) make us look fools again, executing a manager change with the dexterity, care and good intentions of Fred West laying a new patio.

Nice hat!  Or is that a Fez???


Bonterra Viognier 2007

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

I’ve held my tongue with remarkable virtue on the subject of Man City this season.  Although I never favoured Mark Hughes’ appointment, neither do I support chopping and changing every five minutes.  So I have been inclined to give him more time.  After tonight’s abject 3-0 defeat at Spurs, I admit my patience is being stretched like a City banker’s tax return.

More time is something I ought to devote to US wines, largely ignored on this site – only 14 of Big Sam’s offerings ever receiving the courtesy of a mention.  So here is a little redress.

Good Heavens!  Well more Good Earth actually...


Wilde at the Westbury, Dublin

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Posh hotel outside - "Wilde" inside

An attempt to impress the mother in law almost ended in failure.  Having tried to book places under the direction of Marco Pierre White and Richard Corrigan (and others) only to be told there was no room at the inn, we were suspicious that the Westbury could easily accommodate us at 8pm on a Saturday evening.  We shouldn’t have worried.  Wilde has the atmosphere of a posh but modern grill with the service of a well dressed regiment of polite bombardiers from nations far and wide and including an occasional Irish accent.  The food is as good as I’ve eaten in Dublin and, yes, I have tried Eddie Rocket’s.


Château Guibot La Fourvielle 2005

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

I am Legend.  Well, not so much me as Will Smith.  Yes, I’ve just watched the film about the British scientist who inadvertently cures cancer with a virus that mutates into a killer strand that genocidinates the humans of the world (and for the purposes of the film, the World is New York).  One American male and a dog are the sole survivors charged with finding a cure.  I thought I could guess the ending but actually it finished rather suddenly, which was a shame as the plot was hugely promising and I was just starting to crap myself.

The last time I was genuinely scared at a horror movie was a David Cronenberg double bill of Rabid and Shivers at the Manchester Odeon in 1979.

Four four time..for some reason


Tribeca Grill, NYC “you talkin to ME?”

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Tribeca - full of meat packers, not fudge packers

With superstars like Robert de Niro sponsoring Tribeca as an upcoming area (and selflessly trousering a good portion of the profits of Tribeca Grill), despite the proliferation of convenient subway stops, there was only one way to arrive.  I asked our Taxi Driver why he was tanking down these Mean Streets like a Raging Bull.  He said that given the Heat, and whilst he was not the King of Comedy, he was a Goodfella and, put simply, The Mission was to Meet the Parents, and not least, The Godfather (Part II) before the Midnight Run.  Before I had time to Analyze This, it was Showtime – the waitresses were Flawless and it was time to Meet the Fockers.


Château de Pennautier 2007

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Well, the stock markets are in another tizz.  Up and down like the price of US claret.  This time Dubai is the potential bad debt – yes the entire state!  I am not sure what all the fuss is about.  I understand the exposure is a mere £60bn – less than the Bank of England secretly lent to two British banks during the crumbliest stage of the credit crunch!  Surely the emirate rulers can merely sell a few hundred Rolls Royces?

Stick this in your pannier...

Oh well.  If you are poorer than the Al Maktoums, here is a recession defying red.  Yet another from South of France, Languedoc to be precise.  I got mine from Majestic for £5.99 (2008 at £4.99 for two bottles or more at time of writing) and it tastes great.  Rich yet not overpowering.  Smooth yet not lounge lizard.  Fruity yet not jammy.  Tasty yet not over-alcoholic (13%).

The label recommends it for “convivial” occasions.  I consider “carnivorous” equally valid.  Also goes well with proletarian dishes like baked beans on toast.  A proper bargain for these austere times.