Archive for August, 2010

Yquem vs Margaux at Max, Bordeaux

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

In what turned out to be the fortunate circumstance of a cancelled flight, I found myself in Bordeaux for an unexpected extra night.  This gave me the opportunity to fulfil a bit of a dream.

Entering through the unassuming entrance of Max Wine Gallery you could be forgiven for thinking that you are entering a posh handbag or clothes boutique.  But, inspect further and inside you will find not Chloe or Hermès, but brands a bit closer to my heart, and liver.

Bottles of various top growths from Médoc, St Emilion and Sauternes are imprisoned within glass cases but with tempting little spouts indicating a tad of promiscuity to willing punters.  A wino heaven, although at a price.


When to drink Cloudy Bay

Friday, August 20th, 2010

I am deeply unfashionable by nature, and may be the last wino on the planet who still finds Cloudy Bay a good slurp and even (gasp), value for money!

Over the last few years, I’ve been experimenting with drinking it at different stages of youth.  I have just opened a 2007 and discovered a wrinkly old fella.  Tastes flat and tired,- no zing or spring in its step.  Notes of cardboard, straw and sour lemon.

Conversely I find baby Cloudy Bay, on release, a bit uninspiring.  Almost too fresh and grassy.

So I have concluded that my favourite time to drink this Kiwi standard is about 12-18 months after release where I find the classic cats’ piss, gooseberries and lots of fresh zingy grapefruit.

Has anyone tried this with other Kiwi Sauvignon Blancs?

Chateau Musar, 2004, White

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

I am self-flagellating tonight, berating myself for being a man.  Claret coloured sores are starting to appear on my otherwise pale and tender back.  And I’ve never even heard of Opus Dei.  And I am not in the mood to tell you about my 6 ft leather bull whip – maybe another day.

I’ve been waiting a few weeks for the right moment to drink a bottle of Gaston Hochar’s finest.  Tonight, I finally reached into the fridge and yanked the cork.  But, being a man, I didn’t read the instructions before chugging a good glassful.


La Fontaine, Aix-en-Provence

Monday, August 16th, 2010

On a stinking hot sunny day, 36 lobster-skin inducing degrees, what is a pale Englishman to do but find a shady spot, some food and a petit pichet of local rosé?


Vocoret & Fils Chablis, 2008

Monday, August 9th, 2010

A London based PR company sent me this fab bottle of Chablis but I can’t find out where to source it in the UK so you may have to go to France if you want to try it (seems to be readily available in the US, however).

As a WART fan member, I was pleased to see the label recommended serving temperature was 10-12 degrees, about twice the temperature of the average UK fridge.

The wine was grapefruity, tangy and yet with the stainless steel flintiness you expect from a good Chablis.  More zingy than a Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc, and with a finish longer than a David Cameron speech (but without the gaffes).

If you can find it in the UK, do let me know.  I’d like some more.  Oh!  It goes perfectly with Camembert.

La Taberna del Gourmet, Alicante

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

The hyper-observant of you will notice that there is a sex shop a couple of doors up from this back street tapas joint.  When I sat down to eat at La Taberna del Gourmet recently, I started to wonder whether “Pikante” might offer better value, and possibly have more edible items for sale.


Rustenberg, 2006, John X Merriman

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

No time for a picture, but you can see the 2006 at Majestic, even though at the time of writing it is the 2007 vintage on sale.

It is a Bordeaux style blend and, having just returned from the home of wine, I wanted to say that this is a gorgeous slurp and much better than any classic Bordeaux I tasted at a similar price, albeit a bit higher in alcohol than I would prefer (14.5%).

If you can still find the 2006 I highly recommend it.  It is drinking well now.  I paid £12.49.  Majestic have the 07 at £12.99.  I think that may be due to Gordon’s wee tax policy.  Any chance the new coalition will reduce wine tax?  Don’t take the piss…