Faldeos Nevados Chardonnay

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Our money pit has had a leak for years.  It’s not pleasant when water pours in to two of the bedrooms.  It’s also expensive, and many ££££s have left the bank account trying to find a fix.  We are making a final bid to cure the leak with a swimming pool like construction that has involved rebuilding most of the flat roof above the bedrooms.  We use this roof as a balcony, half open and half conservatory.  It’s a beautiful feature of the house and worth trying to improve no matter the cost, and no matter that the beautiful travertine floor must be ripped out.

Meanwhile in my wine rack, Argie wine keeps getting better and better and it is far from costly.  This is the third one I have tried by the hand of Susana Balbo, under the Faldeos Nevados brand which, as far as I can tell, is exclusive to the Wine Society in the UK.

My beautiful travertine floor (about to get ripped out) and a bottle of Faldeos Chardonnay (for some reason)


Laguna – Lugana – let’s call the whole thing off!

Monday, October 1st, 2007

A quiet Italian restaurant in Manchester.  Maybe not the best place to expose one’s ignorance.  I mean, how could I possibly confuse a tacky MTV reality show, with a beautiful lake in the north of Italy?

If, like me, you are over 40, and approaching the early stages of senile dementia, you already know where I am going (although you probably won’t remember by the time I reach the end of this sentence).

So for the record, the Lugana wine region is on the southern shores of Lake Garda, and I would also like to say that….er hang on I’ve forgotten again, where did I park my car?

Lugana with a bucket of water (not from Lake Garda)


Can o’ wine fails to shine

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

What a great sporting weekend.  The English winning at cricket (handsomely defeating India), and promptly, but not all that convincingly, despatching the USA at rugby in the World Cup.  Even the hapless Steve McClaren had his moment in the sun sending the Israeli football team packing having thrice, without reply, rubbed their noses in the excrement of their sloppy defence.

But the résultat du jour was on Friday.  The French were humbled by Argentina in the opening game of the Rugby Union World Cup - a triumph of gritty Malbec over refined claret?  So in my own personal campaign to cheer up the old wine nation I nipped down to a British supermarket (Tesco) and bought some French produce – a can o’ wine to be precise.

Can of red wine…and some seedling hostas for some reason


Lazy day trip to Marbella

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Taking a bus from Banús, Paul managed to work out that we needed to get off after 11 stops.  “This looks very like the centre of Marbella!” I shouted as we passed the 5th bus stop.  Paul made us stay on board and was awarded the title of “knob of the holiday” when we finally alighted in the slums, some 2.5 kms past the centre.

On reflection though, I always say if you want to experience the true culture of a place, go into the back streets where the locals live.  We found Bar Parquesol on the Avenida Navel Una first – very “local”.  The owner of the tabac/newsagent across the street was cheerily drinking his profits at the bar.  Overheard voices were unsurprisingly Spanish and I imagined the word mañana being the most common in use.  We had a couple of beers then decided to move on to the more touristy part of the port.

Back street Marbella - are we safe here?


Balbo Baggins Goes to Egypt

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

In the interests of fairness in my search for the best cheap Malbec I unearthed this little number at Tesco.

Anubis Malbec on some step ladders (for some reason)

Now you might presume that Anubis comes from Egypt but in fact it is from Middle Earth (aka Argentina).  I can prove this is the case because I discovered that Susana Balbo (aka Balbo Baggins) had a hand in making this wine.


Torrontés – Malbec’s Little Sister

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

I admire Malbec because it is classy, very tasty and compares well to many old world wines.  But there is another Argentinean grape that makes wine so far from the norm it makes me shiver.  It’s even better than a cup of tea (or did Boy George already do that line?)

The grape is Torrontés and as far as I know it may have originated from Spain.  Now Spain as we know are football’s great under achievers, whereas Argentina cheat, for example the “Hand of God” incident in the 1986 World Cup.  So I am going to assume that the grape came from Spain and that the Argies stole it.


Asda Malbec post script

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

Just a quick post to say that in an earlier post I mentioned that I had found a pure Malbec at Asda for only £3.78 and now I have tried it I can report that my new found love for Asda’s wine buyers has flourished again.

They described the wine as a “delicious glass of smooth juicy pleasure” and for once I agree with the label!


Opposite Ends of The Malbec Value Spectrum

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Everyone who knows me, knows that I think that Malbec is the best thing to come out of Argentina since news of Maradona’s (drug abuse enforced) retirement.

On my last Malbec post, Denis requested a recommendation for a good starter bottle.  This prompted me to think about both ends of the value spectrum.

I have just tasted a superb Malbec from Asda (UK subsidiary of Wal-mart), at time of writing on special offer at just four of our English pounds (I think it’s still less than a fiver at full price!).  The wine is Malbec Reserve, Famatina Valley 2004 which the label says is produced by some outfit called “La Riojana”.  I guess it must be blended from a variety of sources then, but no harm in that if it tastes good.  And my hand of god says it does!