Older wines in a hot climate

Martin Field 2009-04-13T05:52:34+00:000000003430200904 Wine

by Martin Field
We had a few birthdays in the family in March – always a good excuse to open some decent bottles of wine. The chosen whistle-whetter was the value for money Pol Gessner NV. There was a brilliant 2001 Penfolds St Henri. The 1997 Penfolds Bin 707 was good and black curranty but showed, I thought, a smidgin of advanced age – no doubt due to our warmish ambient cellar temperature in Noosa.
Surprisingly classy was the McWilliams 1969 “Sauterne”, a blend of Hunter Valley semillon and “white hermitage”. It opened a tiny bit tired then improved as it aired, with a fragrance of new apricots, and Seville marmalade. The palate was not too sweet, showing a hint of citrus blossom honey and just enough acid at the finish. Then, just as the wine started to lift, it started to fade – so we finished the bottle hurriedly.

Star drinking

Martin Field 2009-04-13T05:48:31+00:000000003130200904 Wine Tasting

by Martin Field
Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch Whisky 10 Years Old – seen for $80 and more – *****
Isle of Islay, Scotland. In his book, Whisky, James Ross relates that as an advertising gimmick in the late 19th century, the Pattison Brothers trained “hundreds of parrots…to cry out ‘Drink Pattison’s whisky.’” Apparently with great success. Jump to the early 21st century, where the blurb on the packaging of the Ardbeg, modestly quotes whisky expert Jim Murray: “Unquestionably the greatest distillery to be found on earth…” With a rave like that, you don’t need parrots.
The whisky is pale in colour, intensely smoky and malty on the nose. The palate hits you (to paraphrase a well-used cliché) like a diamond claymore in a silken scabbard. Flavours are peaty, complex, and full, with seaweed, iodine, a smidgin of sweetness, and smoky, mocha-like edges. Alcoholic warmth (46%) is upfront – a splash of water will soften that a little and also bring out phenolic, estery aromatics.
Malamatina Retsina – non-vintage – I paid $12.99 for a two litre bottle – **$
Thessaloniki, Greece. Retsina has had a bit of bad press over the years in Australia. Admittedly, some of the Oz produced versions smelt a tad of the turps bottle, but times have changed. This one is a delightful dry white, displaying a grapey bouquet with the faintest fragrance of Aleppo pine resin. The palate is light, fresh, and nicely balanced, with medium acidity. Drink well chilled with starters. I decant the two-litre bottle into recycled screwtopped bottles. Top value for money – equal to approximately $4.88 the 750ml bottle.
Hungerford Hill Hunter Valley Semillon 2008 – up to $25 – ***
Fruity nose with hints of lemon. The palate is quite dry, fresh, and tangy, with plenty of mouth-watering, food suiting acidity. Will do well as an aperitif.

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3 Aprile 2009: Villa Boschi

Luca Risso 2009-04-04T21:41:58+00:000000005830200904 Degustazioni di vino

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Avendo a disposizione un giorno solo ho deciso di evitare di fare la maratona tra i padiglioni del Vinitaly per concentrarmi su un gruppo di produttori più omogeneo culturalmente, radunati dalla manifestazione a Vino, Vino, Vino tenuta nella splendida Villa Boschi a Isola della Scala, presso Verona. Si tratta di produttori a vario titolo biologici, “naturali”, “veri”, biodinamici e chi più ne ha più ne metta, con forse l’unico denominatore comune nell’opposizione ferma al mondo del vino “normale” visto principalmente come “industria” e come tale massificata, globalizzata e capace di ogni nequizia.

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Ti amo bastardo

Luca Risso 2009-04-01T10:29:49+00:000000004930200904 Degustazioni di vino

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Avevo anche il biglietto (grazie Fiorenzo), ma poi pensandoci bene mi sono chiesto: cosa c’entro con Vinitaly? Cosa può fare un piccolo navigatore se non perdersi in un mare troppo grande da attraversare in un giorno solo?
E allora è deciso: parteciperò a Vino, Vino, Vino, a Villa Boschi, dove potrò incontrare contemporaneamente il gruppo di Vini Veri, i produttori Triple A della Renaissance des Appellations e un nutrito elenco di produttori indipendenti, vignaioli un po’ sporchi e bastardi, un po’ duri e puri, in bilico tra paradiso e inferno!
Anche questa volta mi avrete tra voi.
Luk
PS A Vino, Vino, Vino i Blogger possono richiedere l’accredito alla mail oliviero@wellcomonline.com e avere così l’ingresso gratuito alla manifestazione!

La Petite Maison, Cucuron (Eric Sapet, Provence)

Mike Tommasi 2009-03-15T20:28:21+00:000000002131200903 Restaurant Reviews

Eric SapetMy last visit dates back to October 2007, at the time I had sent my friend Eric Sapet to the Istrian Truffle Festival in Croatia, and on his return he had prepared a meal inspired by white truffles in his then new Petite Maison. I have since tried several times to book a table, mission impossible! No wonder, when a restaurant serves such “passionate” cuisine at affordable prices, success is guaranteed.
This Saturday, I was lucky to find a table for 4. We headed for the Luberon with our friends Michael and Marie Rose, about 1.5 hours’ drive, to the village of Cucuron, one of the most beautiful in Provence, with its clock tower, its walls and the immense pond on the main square surrounded by old plane trees. La Petite Maison de Cucuron (Place de l’Etang, Cucuron, 04 90 68 21 99) is right next to the pond. It is Saturday noon and Eric is conducting a cooking class on the ground floor, we happen to arrive during the preparation of a soufflé pancake.
The restaurant is small, the kitchen is only 4m2 … It is well known that to make good wine you need to keep yields low in the vineyard, but in restaurants yields can be very high, this minuscule kitchen is sufficient to treat 40 guests to a cuisine as generous, honest, tasty, creative and cheerful as its author, the dishes are always perfectly cooked and well presented, the service, thanks to Patrick and Camille, is friendly and competent.

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La Petite Maison de Cucuron (Eric Sapet)

Mike Tommasi 2009-03-15T10:24:37+00:000000003731200903 Restaurants

Eric SapetLa dernière visite remontait à Octobre 2007, à l’époque j’avais envoyé mon ami Eric Sapet à un festival de la truffe d’Istrie en Croatie, et à son retour il avait préparé un repas convivial inspiré de la truffe blanche dans sa nouvelle Petite Maison. Depuis, j’ai essayé plusieurs fois de réserver, mission impossible ! Pas étonnant, quand une maison sert une cuisine de passion à prix doux, le succès est assuré.
Ce samedi, j’ai eu la chance de trouver une table pour 4, avec nos amis Marie Rose et Michael. Et nous voilà partis pour le Luberon, dans ce village qui doit être un des plus beaux de Provence, avec ses lavoirs, sa tour de l’horloge, ses remparts, et son immense bassin de l’étang entouré de vieux platanes. C’est à côté de cette piscine que se trouve La Petite Maison de Cucuron (Place de l’Etang, Cucuron, 04 90 68 21 99). Le samedi à midi Eric anime des cours de cuisine au rez-de-chaussée, nous arrivons pendant la préparation d’une crêpe soufflée.
La maison est vraiment petite, la cuisine fait 4m²… Si dans les vignes les rendements doivent rester faibles, en cuisine ça doit être le contraire, puisque quatre centiares ici suffisent pour régaler 40 convives d’une cuisine honnête, goûteuse, créative et joviale comme son auteur, les cuissons toujours parfaites, les plats bien soignés, le service de Patrick et Camille amical et compétent.

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Qui si diventa ricchi

Luca Risso 2009-03-13T10:08:16+00:000000001631200903 Vino @it

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Ogni blogger (e quindi anche il food-blogger) cova nel suo intimo un sogno: trovare un munifico mecenate che lo copra di soldi per illuminare il mondo con i suoi post arguti e folgoranti, o alternativamente, visto che il mecenatismo è una pratica oramai fuori moda, che qualcuno finalmente si accorga della sua capacità di manipolare le coscienze e di educare le masse e lo assoldi a caro prezzo in una qualche campagna di comunicazione.

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MooM Restaurant, Six Fours

Mike Tommasi 2009-03-06T18:21:34+00:000000003431200903 Restaurants

Je suis toujours curieux quand un nouveau restaurant ouvre sur le littoral Provençal, tout près de chez moi. On ne s’attend pas de voir un projet ambitieux se concrétiser sur la Plage de Bonnegrace à Six Fours les Plages [1]. L’aspect extérieur et le nom du Moom Restaurant (56 promenade Charles de Gaulle – Six Fours les Plages, 04 94 07 16 54) invitent à approfondir. Moom : qu’est-ce que ce palyndrome peut vouloir dire ? Une recherche rapide : est-ce le mot Thaï “moom” (มุม) qui veut dire “coin” – un coin d’orient à Brutal Beach ?
Moom: maki
L’architecture du cabinet Architec de Michael Shorm est intéressante, en bois et béton, avec des larges baies vitrées et une grande terrasse donnant sur cette magnifique Baie de Sanary. On a presque envie d’y vivre… Une cuisine ouverte émanant des senteurs d’épices orientales, des cuisiniers en tenue noire, un comptoir à l’ambiance « hip and happening», le lieu est attractif, je l’imagine en été avec les vitres ouvertes sur la terrasse avec des parasols, un peu pour oublier le Mistral glacial qui souffle ce soir dans ce « spot » bien connu des véliplanchistes… La salle est pleine, heureusement que nous avons pensé de réserver notre table pour quatre. Sous le plafond assez bas du côté de la terrasse, la salle est un peu bruyante, mais on s’y habitue.

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Amo quest’uomo

Luca Risso 2009-02-26T21:10:17+00:000000001728200902 Vino @it


Senza parole
Luk

Barcelona: Mon Vínic – restaurant, wine bar and wine library

Mike Tommasi 2009-02-26T12:53:24+00:000000002428200902 Restaurant Reviews

On Wednesday evening February 18 I met Joan Gómez Pallarès to discover this incredible laboratory of wine and taste sensations, certainly unique in this world, called Mon Vínic (c / Diputació 249 Barcelona – Eixample, +34-932726187) – in Catalan, “The World of Wine”. Surprisingly not very well known, despite the level of ambition of the project and the huge investment required, it is a sensational place for wine lovers, made magical by:
• its rich collection of wines, thousands of bottles from all over the world, including some very old Malaga bottles reaching back to 1795, all available for tasting or meals at prices barely above what you pay for them at a wine merchant’s, even those that have rested in the cellar for a few years (aging is free!).
• its incredible architecture all in wood, concrete and stainless steel signed Alfons Tost,
• the documentation center, a library of books and magazines about wine from around the world, with several terminals to connect to the internet or the place’s wine database.
• the extraordinary competence and kindness of its sommeliers under the leadership of César Cánovas and Isabelle Brunet,
• the creativity strongly rooted in terroir and tradition of chef Sergi De Meià, whose dishes may be enjoyed in the “culinary space”, where some forty guests can be seated at two long white tables to enjoy their meal, with wines selected for this incredible cellar by means of touch screens on tablet PCs that provide access to the cellar’s database, including photos of the labels, information on the winery, etc..
• the selection of wines by the glass or half-glass: every day fifty labels are available in the restaurant or at the wine bar for ridiculously low prices.
• the class or conference room, used as a tasting workshop space
• the wine bar, a relaxing place for tasting wine
César Cánovas in the wine library

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