Graticciaia, 2001

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Even with one trouser leg rolled up, £32 is more than I usually spend on a bottle of wine.  About 4 times my average price – how outrageous!  What coaxed my bank manager to clear funds for this bottle from the Wine Society?

Maybe it was a tasting at the Freemason’s Hall in Manchester, where the signal to gain entry was not the usual hand contortions that portray a shadow shaped like an Esther Rantzen vegetable, but a mere Wine Society membership card.


Château Rauzan-Ségla, 1996

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Where better to try a Bordeaux Grand Cru than in its home town?  Problem is pecuniary.  Although restaurants around Bordeaux ask reasonable mark-ups, this still involves voluntary surgery.  To keep my arms and legs intact, my cunning plan was to buy the wine from a local shop and take it to the restaurant which, for convenience, was Le Savoie, bang in the centre of Margaux.


Château Sociando-Mallet 2001 revisited

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

A revisit to this wine that I last enjoyed (immensely) a couple of years ago.  I am almost sorry that I have just glugged my last bottle of Château Sociando-Mallet 2001.  On this form I really ought to order some more, but it has gone up in price rather a lot since I purchased.  Up to £40 per bottle right now.  Ooof – one in the nuts for my wine budget.  Actually, I was one of those footballing kids who used to duck when planted in the wall.  I also made my own a useful, if cowardly, habit of turning around as the kick was taken, to protect my valuables at the expense of seeing the ball.  Oh well, it’s only a goal isn’t it?  On reflection, I am surprised I never made it into the England squad, when you look at the current crop.


And a Rousseau in a Pear Tree

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Christmas day.  Partridge on the menu.  Well it has to be more exciting than turkey, and we don’t even own a pear tree.

Searching for a wine match, I figured a mature Grand Cru Burgundy should fit the bill.  This Domaine Armand Rousseau Charmes-Chambertin is way beyond the top end of my normal wine budget at about £90 per bottle but it IS Christmas so I am happy to splash out.  Is it worth the huge wonga though?  In a single word, erm, not on your bastard nellie.  I would rather have a threesome with two multi-tongued Ood than fork out the price of a brace of afternoon teas at The Ritz to end up with a limp biscuit.

This charming man...

Last time I tried this wine, there was a hint of cabbage on the nose, this time too.  Fortunately, the taste is a bit more refined:  Quince jelly with some orange blossom, but still a bit tart really.  I can think of a large number of Pinot Noirs from Burgundy and New Zealand, for example, that would blow the socks off this wine at about 20% of the price.

Merry Christmas, anyway.  I am going back to my Fortnum & Mason 2000 vintage champagne which is very moreish and goes very well with Dr Who (David Tennant) and the Master (John Simm).  Will the Master Race take over the world?  Not on your bastard nellie!  Can’t wait for the NY Day episode!

Super sale at Sunday Times – but hurry

Monday, November 30th, 2009

I am so excited I could eat a bowl of soup.  And if you want to be as excited as me you have until 11am tomorrow (1 December).  Oh, and you need to be a member of the Sunday Times Wine Club.  Oh, and you need to have a wine budget of at least £100.  I can’t see the same offer on the Laithwaites main site so maybe they will repeat this down the way.

The deal is that if you spend £100 you get 10% off.  Not that special, but if you can find £150 the discount ups to 15%, and if you are in the fortunate position of having £200 or more leaking from your trousers, 20% is your reward!

I’ve just placed an order for 6 bottles of Cheval des Andes 2005, an Argentinean stunner made in a Bordeaux style but with “robust” spinal chord of Malbec.  A well regarded wine, which is more than can be said for the abysmal website.

With a 20% discount, even including delivery charges I have just paid £37 per bottle.  Compare this to the normal STWC/Laithwaites prices of £45, the Majestic price of £50, and the rip-off Gaucho Wine Boutique price of £64.65, I think that is a bargain.

By the way, if you dine at Gaucho Grills, expect to see this wine on the list at £147.95 per bottle – oucho!

Lynch-Bages 2005 – Swans Nil

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Silence please.  There is a time and a place for a little reverence.  I have just opened my first bottle of a very important wine.  Château Lynch-Bages 2005.  A wine that even en-primeur, cost me over £50 per bottle.

Lynch Mob...for some reason

The Sunday Times Wine Club advised me to wait until 2010, but I could be dead by then and I am an impatient man….oh and I have 12 bottles so I can afford to experiment early.  So Fred had a placed a fillet steak on the skillet and I released the special one from its enclosure.


Bollinger Grande Année 1999

Monday, July 6th, 2009

I am not the sort of person to waste money on a premium product unless I see real value.  Vintage Champagne is rarely, if ever, in my wine rack, but this is because I have never really thought it worth extra.  In January, I spotted a bottle of 1999 Bolly at only £58 and that included two free Riedel flutes.  At that price the value test was too tempting to miss, and maybe I reached a L’Oréal moment?

Bolly...and wood for some reason


Guenoc Cabernet Sauvignon Bella Vista Reserve 1994

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

My good mate, Easto, came over for a barbecue at the weekend and brought a bottle he had stored for too many years (or so he thought).

Having recently bought into my two fundamental theories of life:
a) that wine should be drunk at the right temperature; and
b) that your best wine should be drunk and not left in your will,
he suggested I give this a quick blast in the fridge and get on with firing up the coals.

Gurning at Guenoc


Gevrey-Chambertin En Billard 2004 Alain Burguet

Friday, May 29th, 2009

When I bought a cheeky mystery case of red Burgundy “to drink now” from the Wine Society they probably didn’t realise how literally I would take the title of the case.

In barely the time it takes a Tory MP to repay his moat cleaning expenses, I am already deep into my third bottle.

Good job I hid the pornos....


Chambolle-Musigny 2004 Domaine G.Roumier

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Just one day after the final match of the season, the 2008/9 FA Premiership is already a distant memory.  We now enter the silly summer season where silly sums will be spent on sop soccer stars with scant regard for common sense or the common fan.

If there is one maxim in life that everyone understands it is that money does not guarantee success.  I mean, look at Mark Hughes’ under-achievers.  Being a long suffering Man City fan, it is no surprise to me that we scraped in mid table a whopping 5 points clear of footballing paupers, Stoke City, even though one of our players cost more than Stoke’s entire squad.

I have to congratulate Stoke on an over-achieving season.  Based on the resources available to them and being newly promoted to the division, they were odds on to get relegated.  But Tony Pulis had a well thought out strategy and it worked.

Roum with a view

Strange game football eh?  But the same can apply to wine.  This bottle came from a Wine Society Mystery Burgundy Case (average implied bottle price £20 but actually was on sale for £56.75 on the WS website).  Ouch!  It better be good!