Thursday, 24 January 2013

Shit wine lists

You know how it is, you've been back and forth over the channel to source your chickens from just the right Brittany co-op. You've spent hours toiling over getting your special house marinade just right. You've put loads of effort into getting the design of your special cooking system spot on and sorted the brand identity so that you'll be able to expand.

All of that was, I'm sure, time very well spent.

However, I'm not going to visit. Why? The drinks selection is properly shit.

A couple of the biggest production, blandest wines you could list from probably the biggest UK supplier. Couple that with Staropramen, Estrella and London Pride as the beer selection and you have the most stultifyingly boring drinks list I've seen in a very long time. I'm hoping that you negotiated the hell out of the prices (plus sorted some listing kickbacks) because if you didn't, well, then that's just poor.

Anyway, feel free to ignore me, I'm unlikely to pester you as I won't be visiting.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Everyday sexism...

Sexy, sexy chip blow job pic
Just a short post this one. The Observer arrived this morning and as usual I was somewhat keen to have a squizzle.

What can I say about the front page, there it was, the classic lady seductively eating a piece of food, lips all a red, mouth just a little open. It's not like we're consciously aping the mental ideal of a blowjob. Perfect lips, the idea of slightly naughty satisfaction on receipt of oral pleasure (I accept that this could be implying that eating chips is a satisfying as sucking cock, but I doubt that was thought about when the image concept was first hit upon).

Then I got to thinking, have I ever seen the same image but with a male face being used? No, and for me, therein lies the rub. I honestly thought the Observer was a trifle better than this, but it would appear not.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Old Chablis

Early January in London can be most pleasant. Clear skies, bright sunshine and the spring in our steps that comes with the knowledge that Burgundies finest will all soon be visiting.

Sadly when it comes to the finer bottles from the Cote d’Or I tend to feel like a runner helplessly watching a much better class of athlete energetically showing me their heels. The prices seem to creep up every year with equal clamour for all the interesting wines.

There is one little corner of Burgundy that I hope will still remain approachable, that august hillside that hosts the grand crus of Chablis. 


Now, many other people have written knowledgeably about the different crus and the different growers. Rosemary George, for one has written an excellent book on the region. So instead I’m going to talk about the thing that excites me most about the little Union de Grand Crus de Chablis tasting that always kicks off my wine tasting year. The older bottles that the producers bring along for comparison.

Please don’t take this as my not being interested in the new vintage, the 2011s were looking quite lovely, with a great depth of minerality and acidity closer in style to the 08s than I’ve seen recently. There were some stand out wines, Simonnet-Febvre’s 011 Preuses being one such, fair glimmering with white flowers while on the palette all a quiver with nervous minerality. Really though to single out wines so early on in their lives is a little unfair.

I digress, at the UGC tasting all the producers bring along something older for us to taste, a little window into what the younger wines might become, it’s these bottles that really make my day. There’s something about the mealy creaminess and mushroomy dankness that gets me everytime.

Drouhin Vaudon Les Clos 08 brought to mind visiting old castles as a child, there was a sense of something ancient and worn, like the smell of old moss on even older walls.

Albert Bichot’s Moutonne 01 (from magnum) dazzled with it’s youthfulness, lean and lithe with a twist of citrus peel still prominent in it’s bouquet. A sculpted mineral core was paying just lip service to the savoury wild mushroom risotto notes that were probably still to come.

Servin’s Blanchot 99 delighted, wearing it’s 13 odd years of age with some great poise and vigour. Savoury mushrooms and starchy creaminess, a glorious velouté of kimmeridgian chalk. What more is there to say, old Chablis, properly love it.