Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category

Hochar, 2003

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

The wines of Château Musar are often thought of as a tad barking mad. At #EWBC 2008 in La Rioja, delegates were presented with a blind tasting. Not one person out of 50 odd wine buffs got even close to identifying this Lebanese woofer. So is it really so weird?

Hoch aye the NOO!

I bagged a bottle of the second wine, “Hochar” 2003 from the Wine Society at a reasonable £10.50.

It tastes like a cross between a Bordeaux and a Burgundy. Very subtle and fine tannins, some barnyard, and loads of fruit. A Pinot Noir on speed? The Bordeaux is represented by cherries and cedar wood.

Trouble is, it is not even close to barking mad. Actually it is quite classic French. But, it is priced at French levels, and that makes it a direct competitor.

If I am wrong, I have a couple of bottles of the first wine in my cellar which I can’t wait to try. If I am right then maybe I shouldn’t drink it at all, instead focus on finding the right moment to sell at enormous mark-up to a Chinese speculator, who will probably end up enjoying it with Coke when the fine wine market finally implodes.

Sharrow Bay, Ullswater, Cumbria

Friday, March 25th, 2011

If you have just scaled England’s third highest mountain via Striding Edge, slipped and nearly died, wished that you owned a pair of crampons, nearly shat yourself, and in the process built up a hunger hole the size of one of Sherpa Tenzing’s footprints, you could do worse than get your scram at one of the poshest hotels in the lake district, the self proclaimed inventor of sticky toffee pudding.  Make sure you take your Amex Black Card, though.  And check you are still in possession of your arms and legs on the way out.


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.


Mediterranean Café, Soho

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Deep in the heart of the bustling part of Soho, there are a number of back street food places, some cool and trendy, some cheap and snacky, some boring and yucky.

The Mediterranean Café on Berwick Street has been there for yonks and that’s because it’s good.  If you are on a date or looking for a romantic meal with a difference you must try this place.  Don’t be put off by the slightly shabby exterior. The food is great, the welcome is so spot on, and the value is unbelievable.

Very funky, romantic and cool.  Mediterranean Cafe, Soho.