Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Birthday Drink

This weekend saw my 28th birthday; goddamn it’s getting to close to 30. So I had family a friend up for a night on the tiles and Sunday lunch. I’m not a big birthday fan but as my birthday is close to my little sister’s I let her have the spot light while I wallow in self pity. You can always guarantee that once a year your family always tries to buy a birthday gift and has difficulty, for me its simple really a bottle of wine of something very expensive. Last year I got wine and true to form my mother had another go at buying me another bottle of red. With her knowledge of me loving the Napa Valley and having visited there last year, when she saw this little gem on the self of the local bargain booze she thought she was on to a winner. Hmmm im sure there will be merlot in there somewhere but have my reservations about its appellation, she did however buy a lovely single malt for when the cold sets in. On another plus side I did get some vouchers for a favourite little wine shop in my home town, I think a visit to Leek in a couple weeks is in order.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Building bridges

Those that have read my blog for a while will know that my relationship with my father have been more than rocky over the past 8 years but more recently the last two have been a complete break down. As we started to drift apart more and more it’s been harder and harder to fix the gap that has kept us apart. People who know us both say that I’m very much like my father and just as stubborn, i have the same mannerisms and similar interest and skills as if those were past down in the blood.

I was 10 when i first took a drink of my fathers red wine and from that point i was hooked, interested in why someone would drink this stuff that sucked all the moisture out of my mouth. I had a taste when ever i could sneak it. Then when i was a little older around 17 my father shared a bottle of wine with me and this would be regular event when i went to stay with him on odd weekends. Most fathers and sons share their first pint when they turn 18 and for many years i was gutted that my father never took me the pub and bought me my first pint but looking back he did one better him introduced me to wine, red wine.

A couple of weeks ago my father and his partner came to visit for the first time since i left university and more importantly since i moved in and made a home with tenbellies. This was a big deal and i admit i wanted to cancel but by then end of the night i was glad and relieved we did it. We all shared a meal and then partook in our ritual, only for the first time it was my wine in our home and what made it even more special was the wine i chose. At this point i want to thank Vinogirl and Vinomaker for producing an excellent wine, the Claret was bottled on my visit Napa last year. This not only created excellent conversation but bought back great memories of a summer in Napa and in my eyes helped build bridges.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Simonsig and talc powder

This weekend was the Autumn ball a little tradition that we have back in the sticks to see off summer. So monkey and Tenbellies scrubbed up and stuck on their finest threads and dancing shoes for a night of fine food and in the words of friends “a right ruck of ale". A nice surprise was the amount of fine wine we had on offer and more so was the syrah, Simondsig is South African and had me completely taken aback by its deep ruby colour, so much so that I ordered two bottles, it had that great vanilla oak flavour that makes it so more-ish with a hint of spice and accompanied the sirloin very well. Unfortunately it's seems it may not have impressed one guest as a full glass ended up covering tenbellies dress. Which brings me to talc powder, its bloody amazing stuff for careless individuals, as it removes the wine instantly. Forget white wine, soda water or the sap from the Walla Walla tree because this actually works. Why there was some in the restaurant is a whole other story but this stuff works, the only thing was the ladies loo looked like coke heads dream. Sniff sniff.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chateau Paveil de Luze

Well it seems as though the summer is well and truly over as the cool air is starting to blow and already we have had our fair share of rain. Another indication is that I’m back at work, so the new term starts in a couple of weeks and id better go buy a new coat. To take the edge off the cool nights I opened a bottle of Chateau Paveil de Luze 2004 which was given to me for services rendered and what a great bottle of wine, its a blend of three of my most favourite varietals. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot go together so well one or two shy of a claret but all the same this was a lovely tipple, with spicy flavours and warm nose with subtle hint of herbs I could surely drink this when the cold really sets in with a could pan of scouse. Hmmmmm not much longer till we can start with the scouse and roast dinners again, I’m kind of looking forward to the winter cold this year and ill have to look up this one again.

On a similar topic we seem to have a mole in the proposed vineyard so before we can start sorting the soil monkey will need to go trapping.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hellooo…is there anybody thereee???

Time to blow off the cobwebs I think. It seems as though the wine blog has been neglected for some time but not forgotten, the chances of that is very slim with constant reminders from a far. Its been a little slow on the wine from for oneself not in the consumption but more in the motivation to write about my drinking habits. Therefore a re think into my little space here is needed. I will occasionally drop in a wine or two but the future is looking toward a have a go vineyard that Thud and I are going to plant over the water. Between the pair of us and friends and family who have obtained exceptional knowledge in Viticulture we plan to plant and grow wine grapes in the north west of England. As you can see my recent attempt to grow was less than successful but a school boy error and dreams of growing the great Cab will have to remain a dream. Our little plot will only be hobby size but enough to try and produce a few bottle of what we hope to be drinkable wine, Thuds past experience of producing cider have been successful and it seems as though they will be more this year with his new apple trees, enough to keep us ticking over as we start to prepare the land and start planting early next year. This will be a lengthy process and I’m sure we will run into one or two problems along the way, and for certain you will get to hear about it

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Torrontes and Apple Pie

There are two main factors for getting apple pie right, the first is the pastry. This needs to be the right consistency not too short, enough to hold it together when cream is added and just the right amount of sweetness. The second is the apples, these need to be selected so they give just the right amount of tartness and sweetness, cooked for the right amount of time to ensure there is no crunch in that first awaited bite.
But after tonight maybe there should be a third, that being the selection of wine you choose to enhance the experience. I have in the past, found it difficult to find and enjoy a good white wine, as I have said on many occasions. The taste has not always impressed me and often reminded me of drunken females drinking in sweaty bars, although I would occasionally take part in drinking such wine I could only handle a glass or two before the taste became too much. However tonight has been a revelation in itself as I have not only enjoyed a surprisingly good bottle of white wine but it was cheap too. It was Vinomaker that planted the seed, and Thud who found the wine and made the pie. The grape is Torrontes and is produced from one of my favourite countries of wine, Argentina. This bottle happened to be Norton’s Torrontes and its flavour was as subtle as I would have designed a white wine to be, its colour, nose and alcohol matched its character in that it was pleasant from the pouring to the finish, that was not evasive but inviting and could be experienced at any time of the year but I guess at best in the evening sun on a deck in Napa (no wonder this is Vinomakers favourite). I had tasted some nice Pinot Grigio over the summer but I was so impressed by this wine that its effect as left me wanting to buy a bottle to keep in the fridge in the strange event we may have guests or more so we have a heat wave. Great wine, great pie and even better company, all we need now is the weather and we have a cracking recipe.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Wine, Brandy and an Open Fire.

It’s been some time and some wine since I last posted on here but I suppose a post for the New Year is in need. Last night I spent a rather enjoyable time with Family OTW, where we ate great food and drank very good wine. Thud, Lord Roby and I had tucked into two fantastic bottles of wine, one new world and the other old. And what a difference, I refer to Vinogirl and Vinsanity as she very recently met the producer of one of these very fine wines and through just reading her blog my mouth began to water at the thought of opening a bottle of the Smith Wooton Cab Franc. A bottle that I’m sure is a very hard wine to come by over here, so much so that Thud had brought this back from the Napa Valley and with it Napa Valley in a bottle. We spent some time Thud and I comparing it to the Cab Franc of Chateau Liles, and although Chateau Liles being an extremely good Cab Franc with its rustic feel the Smith Wooton just snatched it. With its precision and refined levels of taste you get a history and a stiff upper lip. Which would I prefer? Well you would think the Smith Wooten with the elegance and smooth lines but I’m not over sure. There is a lot to be said for the rustic and edginess of the Chateau Liles Cab Franc.
The second wine of the evening was a long awaited sample of the Chateau Chasse Spleen from Bordeaux; this was completely different to what I had just sampled and needed time to reset the buds. There came age with this wine and you got that in the nose, It gave the impression of experience and maturity over the Smith Wooton, you could say that it stood there with its Top Hat and Tails compared to the more preppy style of the Napa Valley. I got Roast Dinners and open fires compare to the mountain sunset and Californian sun, a complex wine but in a way that feeds your interest and begs you drink on until the bottle is empty. We ended our evening in a way that seemed highly appropriate, with a Cognac and not just any. It had to be the type that would follow such class and sophistication and in true Thud style he supplied the very best, Hine Antique XO.
Overall the evening was a success from scouse pie to the wine babble, drinking two fantastic wines to bring the New Year in gave me the spirit to want to try more, and the Cognac? Well that just opened a whole new taste.