Saturday, 17 January 2009

What we've been eating and drinking

Friday 16th January 2009

Got home at 7pm Beverley-the wife- had already put some Pommes dauphinoise in the oven. I had bought some locally reared lamb chops from our village butcher.
Under the grill with fresh rosemary and garlic cloves. Carrots and pettit pois
for veg plus some flageolet beans mixed with coarsely ground black pepper and fresh sage. Now here’s a tip. The finer you mill pepper the hotter it becomes. White pepper is much hotter than black by the way. So if you want your dish to be imbued with a gentle spicy heat don't even use the pepper grinder. Just get some black pepper corns and crush them with the heal of a heavy saucepan or cover them with a tea towel and crush with a rolling pin. Instead of chopping up the sage leaves just tear them in half or quarters. Toss the whole lot into the beans and heat.
For me Flageolet beans and lamb are a marriage made in heaven. Don't bugger around with dried beans just by a tin!
I like to have a glass of Vino when I'm cooking so I was delighted to find in the fridge at least two large glasses left in the bottle of last nights Vouvray.
Until we started stocking this wine I had forgotten just how good it can be.
I personally think that Chenin Blanc is one of the worlds most underrated grapes. It makes both dry and sweet wines and indeed you can get both sweet and dry Vouvray.
This particular one is dry made from old Vines by Bourillon Dorleans. It is just sensational. Dry full with ripping acidity but perfectly balanced with a hint of apricots. Can't stop drinking it.

By 7.30 we were sitting down. The lamb was pink and succulent. The dauphinoise were creamy and fab. The beans orgasmic.

This was washed down with an inexpensive Chateauneuf-du-pape from Domaine Pere Eugene 2005. Light but very fruit driven with good regional character.

Dessert was a lemon cheese cake then of course 'The Cheese' I don't have many vices but cheese and chocolate are certainly two of them. I don't have to do a whole cheese board to get my cheese fix after a meal just one or two really good ones will do. Now this particular one purchased at a local village grocers was an absolute delight. unpasturised farm house cheddar from the Isle of Mull! It was terrific.
Who'd have thought it.Cheese from the Isle of Mull bought in a village store in Kent!
There be women driving lorries soon. Anyway by 10pm I was feeling no pain and had fallen asleep in the armchair watching 'Iron Man' Hey! I know how to live.

Both wines mention are available on our web site
or give me a call on 01580 753487

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Credit crunch wine punch up!

The sale of onions is going through the roof! Demand is massive according to onion sellers and producers. Restaurants are virtually empty and closing down at an alarming rate! These are sure-fire indicators that in these hard pressed times the great British public are choosing to stay at home and cook! Yes dinner parties and that cosy meal for two are on the increase.
So apart from the food and the company. What do you need to make the evening a sure fire success? A nice bottle of wine, or three, of course. And where would you go to buy that wine? Not your local supermarket it seems? Oh no it seems that despite the great opportunity to get the average wine buyer to trade up the big boys who control and dominate the market are peddling even more of their innocuous three quide, and less God help us, utter, utter cats piss in a bottle! My God what are they on?
Perhaps Justine Rose chief ex of Sainsbugs is reading this? Or even Sir Terry Lehey of Tescos? In case they are, here is a little tip boys. PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE AND STILL HAVE A GOOD TIME. SOD THE CREDIT CRUNCH! Instead of going out and paying through the nose for over priced mediocre wine in restaurants people can afford to push the boat out a bit in the comfort of their own homes. Experiment a bit.Once you get above £5 a bottle a whole new world opens up. A wonderful world of great tasting and characterfull wines that you could spend the rest of your life exploring and never spend more than £10.00. So why would anyone want to buy a bottle of Spanish rose at £2.89! Because they think they are getting a bargain?
Look, do the maths. At bottle of wine at £3.00 contains £1.57 duty and 15% vat. Once all the other costs have been paid THERE IS NO WINE LEFT! The only people who benefit from these deals are the supermarkets and all you and your guests will get is pissed and a headache in the morning.

Please. Wine drinkers everywhere. There is so much more to wine drinking than just getting some alcohol down your neck the cheapest way possible. Live a bit eh?

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Is this one of the most expensive bottles of wine being retailed in the UK?

Esteemed fine wine merchants Maison du Vin of Hawkhurst Kent currently have on there shelves for sale one bottle of 'Richebourg' 1993 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti.The price is a mere £900.00 You may fall of your chair but when it comes to investing in wine few wines give a return greater than 'Domaine de la Romanee-Conti.' Situated in the village of Vosne-Romanee in northern Burgundy this small Domaine comprises of five tiny grand cru vineyards. Romanee-Conti, the flag ship wine, LaTache,Richebourg,
Romanee-St-Vivant, Grands Echezeaux. These five tiny plots of land together make up less than 74 acres and between them have an average production of approximately 73,000 bottles. Just over a thousand bottles per acre. The smallest number is that of Romanee-Conti just 6.500/7.500 bottles from 4.32 acres.
Small yields in deed but these wines offer big returns for investors ranging from 64% to 150% since 2004. The best performer being LaTache up by 234%! No wonder with the FT finishing the year with its worst performance ever, more and more people are looking to invest in fine wines. So much so that Maison du Vin are launching there own wine fund and expect to be able to give share holders an average return of between 10 and 15%. An initial 100 shares will be issued at £1000 per share.
For more information contact Kevin Griffin at