Le Café Anglais, London

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Armstrong and Miller in Gay Threesome Shocker” read the headline, admittedly only in my head, as the comedy pair walked past us with an unknown accomplice, perhaps a BBC commissioning editor?

“I didn’t know they were gay” Fred said.  “They aren’t” I replied, “so far as I know anyway”, although judging by their choice of fruity shirts one cannot be 100% certain.

Eat here twice nightly?

We had a decent table near the magnificent bay window atop the ageing Whiteley’s Shopping Centre.  The stars were enveloped by the bay.  The atmosphere is light and airy and the service prompt, efficient, courteous and professional.  Our mop-topped waiter looked like an early 60’s Beatle, so I assumed he was French (as a nation they do like old music – I mean, walk around any public space in France and Phil Collins persists like a 1980’s itch that is weeping puss).  When he described the cheese I realised his French accent was completely fake “erm….. I is Polish” he admitted.  Nonetheless, serve he did, and he was knowledgeable about wine as well as food.


Chablis Domaine du Cèdre Doré 2006

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

Another from Virgin and you may recall me sampling a range of wines from a mixed case I took as an introductory offer.  The results of my samples have been mostly good and my conclusion on Virgin is that for everyday glugging wines, if you choose carefully you will find value rather than fine wines, drinkability rather than complexity, down to earth language rather than pretension.

This Chablis, though, tasted most unlike Chablis.

Cèdre Doré Chablis with a couple of mates...for some reason


Chablis Grand Cru “Moutonne” 2001

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Another mixed bag of news in the last couple of weeks.  I spent several hours in hospital but not as many as Mrs Wino who suffered another miscarriage.  On a much more positive note, Man City completed a glorious double over some lowly team from Stretford.  Throw into the mix a really busy time at work and I almost missed Confessions of a Wino’s first birthday.

Don’t be sheepish - try Moutonne.


Petit Chablis 2006 Jean de Chaudenay

Friday, November 9th, 2007

Perennial problem isn’t it?  Matching wine and food.  Which wino has never deliberated over what to serve with foie gras (easy one – Chateau d’Yquem), or mature Argentinean Steak (I would do a Malbec)?  But what about the really tough dishes like chocolate desserts, for example.  What if your dinner party plan includes serving beans on toast?

These thoughts swirled around my head like a pair of boxer shorts in a launderette as I drove back to the flat for my evening repast, which happened to be, due to forgetting to stop at the shops, beans on toast.

Petit Chablis - seen the light?


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)


Grand Cru Chablis – Worth the extra? Part deux.

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Do you remember my post about Grand Cru Chablis?

I finally got round to sampling the Premier Cru from the same stable albeit a different year (2004 vs 2002).  Perhaps the most important difference is the price.  The Grand Cru at £24.99 and the Premier Cru at 13.99.  So the question is, should one pay the huge difference for the Grand Cru?

Chablis on an outdoor table (which is indoors for some reason)


Grand Cru Chablis – Worth the extra?

Monday, June 11th, 2007

I am in danger of teaching my Grandmother to suck eggs.  Not my real Grandmother, I mean you.  You are probably aware that generally, whilst in Bordeaux a Premier Cru is better than a Grand Cru, in Burgundy it’s the other way around.

Anyway, I was curious as to the difference between a Chablis, a Premiér Cru and a Grand Cru so I’ve started an experiment.  I decided to pick a brand and try all three.  So I waited eagerly for the Sunday Times Wine Club to deliver my mixed case of two of each from the Domaine Long Depaquit stable… I was badly let down.

Don’t try this at home - a Grand Cru Chablis balancing precariously on my lawn mower (for some reason)

The six bottle case actually had two bottles of Premiér Cru and four bottles of Grand Cru.  I decided not to complain, albeit that this is hampering my test.

So to the question of the title.  The short answer is that I don’t know yet – I have only tried the Grand Cru.  To give it its full title “Domaine Long-Depaquit, Les Clos 2002 Albert Bichot Chablis Grand Cru”!  It tasted of rich creamy butterscotch and oozed class from every sip.  An elegant wine with lots of complexities to savour but at £24.99 a bottle it should be bloody good!

The 2004 Premiér Cru was £13.99 and the 2005 bog standard £11.15.  When I have tasted the PC I’ll get back to you.  In the meantime I’ll just ponder why the Domaines of Bourgogne put so much information on their wine labels whilst the Bordelais so little.

Anyone who has tasted the “ordinaire” from 2005 please leave a comment…

How do you Solve a Problem Like Veltliner?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

I haven’t managed to get a ticket to see Connie in the hottest show in town just yet.  Connie Fisher’s prize for winning a BBC talent contest was the lead role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic at the London Palladium.

But I thought I would get in the mood anyway by trying an Austrian wine whose reputation seems to be growing faster than The Sound of Music revenues.

My Grüner Veltliner came from the Wine Society’s “Exhibition” Range.