Archive for June, 2010

Mahi Pinot Noir Reflections

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

I wrote recently about Mahi Pinot Noir 2008 and provoked a bit of a reaction.  “Unfiltered” is obviously some kind of USP.  I rudely described it as “Cloudy” and not in the “Bay” sense.

Respondents pointed out that I may have treated the wine with less than the respect I would reserve for David Hohnen, at least in terms of preparation of my dining table and wine servature.

I have just spanked the last of three bottles, and this one has been slightly chilled and stood upright for four days.  But it still looks and, more importantly tastes, cloudy.

The flavours are fine, almost lovely.  But the mouthfeel is more Myrtle Beach than Mâcon Rouge.  Taste quite nice, texture not for me.  Sorry, not for £18.

Xe Que Bó, Alicante Marina

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Sometimes the seedy looking places turn out to be greatest.  When walking along a Spanish seafront a good tip is to choose the place that has the most punters irrespective of decor or appearance.  Xe Que Bó, Alicante Marina is just one of those places.  It looks tackier than a Leeds nightclub carpet, but the food is fab.


Château Ricaud 2005

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

So the World Cup is under way and the Spanish are hardly justifying their place at the top of the bookmakers’ lists, with the defence doing a passable impression of a kilo of Emmental.  Probably not much of that being sold in Spain tonight.

Meanwhile, new world wine nation, Uruguay, macerated mid-world South Africa 3-0.  And France will have to cheat considerably more than they have so far to win the special FIFA Bloody Sunday Award for fair play.

I guess it’s a good job they can still make great grape juice.

This is a rough country wine from Côtes de Blaye.  Earthy, plummy, dark and fruity.  Like Thierry Henry but more even handed.

Perfect with peasant food – my team of choice was a cheese (not Swiss) omelette and a handful of salad leaves.

I passed £7.50 to the Wine Society.  A quick toe-poke at Google revealed that it is scarcer than a Dubliner in South Africa right now.

Királyudvar, Tokaji Sec 2006

Friday, June 11th, 2010

There is definitely a place in my heart for wines that are a bit bonkers.  A tale of the unexpected.  Something with its own personality.

I recently visited Vivat Bacchus in Farringdon with a colleague.  We sampled two sweet wines – one white, one red – both bonkers.  Sadly the white tasted of wallpaper paste and the red of cherry lips soaked in meths.  And Vivat Bacchus tried to double tip me.  I hate it when service is already added to the bill and then the credit card machine offers me the “opportunity” to add another tip, presumably going straight into the long pockets of short-handed management.  A chilled Valpolicella on the same visit was dreamy, but this is not enough to entice me to visit either branch of Vivat Bacchus again.

I have tried many superb Tokaji dessert wines, almost all of which were not particularly Dizzee Rascal, but nonetheless tasted sweeter than an Armand van Helden megamix.

This Királyudvar was dry and, in a sense, that made it madder than a Tory/Liberal conspiracy.  But mad can be loveable.  It can be intelligent.  It can command respect.  This is the Vivienne Westwood of wines.

I can’t claim that I know whether she tastes of honey and meringue, but, like this wine, I could think of 10,000 worse dinner partners.

I got mine from the Wine Society for £18, so not cheap, but if you want quality like Westwood, then you have to be prepared to pay.  I enjoyed mine with a pork chop with mustard, garlic and thyme.

William Fevre Chablis 2007

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

In England it is asparagus time.  Time to celebrate!  Surely there is no better flavour than some fresh (cut today) asparagus lightly seasoned and simply pan fried in butter.

Well, I am prepared to reveal that the dish can be improved upon.  Adding a glass of Chablis is like adding a spoon of Dijon mustard to a French dressing – sort of essential*.

You could do worse than this William Fevre, which I picked up from the Wine Society for £13.95.  At time of writing the 2008 had replaced the 2007 at the same price.  Not cheap but a solid example of this under-rated genre.

With the zing of Sauvignon Blanc, the smoothness of Albariño and the class of Chardonnay (we were yet again reminded in this World Cup year, on the day that Fabio named his final 23, that form is temporary), this Domaine William Fevre is perfect with the noble spring vegetable.  The flintiness perfectly offsets the buttery, almost yeasty flavour of the asparagus.

* Other dressings are available.