Archive for December, 2011

Nicole Chanrian, Côte-de-Brouilly, 2009

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Beaujolais 2009 seems to be getting better and better. I’ve still got a case or two, supposedly improving with age but, in reality, finding its way into my belly faster than the breaking of a New Year resolution.

Take this Côte-de-Brouilly from Nicole Chanrion, which I got from the Wine Society for £9.95. There is full on fruit in a way that makes it hard to believe it is crafted from the Gamay grape, that in poor hands can taste of little more than Bazooka Joe with Cherry Coke.

By contrast, Chanrion has delivered an intense boost of full on fruit. Not so much lipsmackin’ as tonsil tingling and jowl jiggling. It’s a really good beans-on wine match (remember to use Branston Baked Beans if you are an adult).

The Wine Society looks to have left 2009 behind, in favour of the subsequent vintage. The good news is, 2010 is another super year for this lovable, reasonably priced, yet often overlooked region.

Rib Shakk, Leeds

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Anthony Flinn Jnr is blazing a one man trail in this part of the world. Not necessarily with his cooking, although we’ll come to that. No. Mostly in being the powerhouse behind saving the most beautiful building in this metropolis, Leeds Corn Exchange.

Not content with opening a bistro, a champagne bar, a fromagerie, and a café/patisserie, Flinn has now thrust American cuisine into this arty setting, otherwise populated by eclectic and bohemian shops of the sort your lost cousin from Hebden Bridge would sacrifice a goat to be seen in.

With the help of the Flinns (other family members are part of the team including his dad, Anthony Snr, who does “the finance”) and the retail footfall they have encouraged, even generated, this building is back to its beautiful, stunning, decadent self.

Rib Shakk - and a Corn Exchange...for some reason


What to buy a Wino for Christmas

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Do you know a wine snob? I bet he/she has so many hectolitres of wine in various nooks and crannies of their house that they have considered converting their lawn mower to run on ethanol.  Buying them another bottle seems superfluous.  In any case, choosing a wine for a wino is a bit intimidating and a very personal choice, so, in an effort to ease your pains, and maybe bag myself an odd Xmas present, here are a few non-wine items you could consider.


EWBC needs a rebrand

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

The popularity of the European Wine Bloggers Conference is growing so fast I am expecting it to be leading the voting on X-Factor next week.  Yet it is going through something of an identity crisis.

For a start, I am not sure any of the attendees would define themselves as bloggers; such an old-fashioned term that covers perhaps 10% of social media these days.

It is not really a conference and struggles to find themes that blend the wide varietal of participants together, other than the ubiquitous enthusiasm for drinking wine. As one of the forefathers from 2008, I was a bit confused as to why I enjoyed the event so much and I am still not sure why I find it so compelling, having now attended all four.

I must admit that I did question, and was shocked by the defensive reaction, that the 2011 edition had attracted about 50% of its audience from outside Europe. Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered this week that the 2012 “conference” is to be held in Turkey, which is neither politically nor geographically part of Europe (not yet, anyway).

I even hear rumours that the scope is being widened to include those that use social media to communicate about things other than wine – food for example.

All fair enough, but if it is not in Europe, attendees come from all over the world and are not exclusively focussed on wine, blogging forms only 10% of content, and it is not really a conference, don’t we have a problem with nomenclature?

As if to rub salt into the wound, the European Wooden Boat Club has stolen the acronym.

So, I propose that it should be renamed “Social Media Unconference on Taste”. But do Gabi, Rob and Ryan have the balls to turn EWBC into SMUT?