Archive for June, 2011

Wimbledon Wine, Rosé d’Anjou

Monday, June 27th, 2011

If ever there was a wine that tasted of strawberries and cream (maybe with some rose hip syrup thrown in), this Anjou Rosé is it.  OK, so rosé is rarely going to make it onto your fine wine baseline, and to make a good food match point you are probably thinking “serving fresh shellfish on a warm, sunny terrace in Monaco”.

But this is not just Wimbledon fortnight, it is barbecue season and for once, Thor has kept his weapon in his pants.  So take advantage of these lazy warm nights and dip your toe, your racquet, or preferably your tongue in the rose coloured water of Anjou.

Anjou pigeon...erm rosé

I got mine from the Wine Society at £6.25 (my balcony cost considerably more even though in Manchester, and not Monaco).  And as a post script may I add that the berry fruit sweetness offers a love-all counterpoint to salty blue cheeses, of the sort you might find on Thor’s weapon.

The Mark Addy, Salford

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Since reviews of the Mark Addy across the web seem to have divided opinion, I thought I would split my own personality and visit twice before drawing any conclusions.

On Mayday I returned to my Manchester flat and found blackbirds nesting on the balcony.  What better way to celebrate this joyous event than go to the only place in the city that is serving hand picked (maybe ‘nest robbed’ is a less elegant but more accurate description) gulls’ eggs.


River Restaurant at the Lowry Hotel , Manchester

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

In the world of dining out, if there is one place in Manchester where you could pretend you are in London, it is on the banks of the dirty Irwell.  I say dirty in the sense that if you jumped in a canal barge and headed south you would find yourself at Old Trafford, home to a certain team that plays in red.

This is exactly what the majority of residents of the hotel were doing on Sunday 8 May.   Not all by boat.  Some chauffeured by limousine, taxi, helicopter or rickshaw.  Chelsea and United fans altogether, all up for the day from London.

But it is more than the famous and rich patronage of the hotel that is capitalesque.   The restaurant ambience, service and food bring to mind upmarket places in Notting Hill and Knightsbridge, rather than Cheetham Hill and Chorlton-cum Hardy.

The River Restaurant is styled a bit like Boxwood Café (RIP) with the atmosphere of Scott’s of Mayfair, only with more daylight flooding in, and a larger ratio of famous faces to plebs.

My choice of aperitif exposed my desire to join the elite, an aspirational effervescent bubble short of London pricing, Billecart-Salmon at £10.50.


Portuguese Man of WART

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Delighted to see that my WART campaign has hit Portugal with the ever dependable André Ribeirinho writing about the importance of wine serving temperature.

Portugal is one country where I once had to pick a waiter up off the floor as he made a goalkeeping dive to try to prevent me from drinking red wine at an inappropriately warm temperature.  Good stuff!”

You can read André’s article here.

Wine Society own brands

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

At two separate Wine Society events recently, one wine has stood head and shoulders above the rest for me, and I have been looking for an opportunity to shout it out.

However, it raises a wider issue about wine branding.  When it comes to certain wines (mostly French if I am honest) I like to think that I should be able to choose the original wine over one badged by a retailer.  So am I being immodest to think that I can do better than an institution that has been around since 1874?  Am I <gasps> a “wine snob”?  And worse, an ill-informed one to boot?


Spring in Amsterdam (The Restaurant)

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Situated in a lovely part of Amsterdam with a village feel that reminds me of certain parts of New York and London (but with more canals and lower rise buildings), Fred had telephoned ahead to strong-arm them into giving us a good table (on account of it being my birthday).  They delivered on that front, with the best table in the house in the corner of the window.  But did the food and wine follow suit?