Mid Week Drinking Thread - 7th to 10th March


I’ve opened a bottle of this old friend for this evening - a 2018 Thymiopoulos Naoussa; to go with some sausages, rice & bok-choi cooked with soy & sesame. Not the most obvious accompaniments I’ll be the first to confess, but it works, rather to my surprise. I just fancied a bit of that tannin & tomato leaf & dryness thing, with some nice fruit peeping through; and I certainly got it :~}

This is my third one of these so far in 2022, and this one was ready pretty much from the P&P; not been so much that way with the others. Seems in perfect balance to me, I must say. Just a shame it’s a school-night with an early train tomorrow. Ho-hum.


Drinking Kir Yianni Ramnista 2017 tonight, with a spatchcock poussin marinated in cinnamon and pomegranate molasses and a aubergine/tomato/thyme/feta melange inspired by a dish in the excellent Aegean book by Marianna Leivaditaki.

The wine is lovely - lots going on with cherry, camphor, anise, dusty earth - fairly full in the mouth and needed a decant to calm down a bit, acidity overwhelming at first but now perfect. Solid pairing with the food but also good solo.’


First negative lateral flow after the dreaded covid called for opening something nice. This is just what the doctor ordered - bright and full of energy with a long zippy finish. Lovely stuff


Looks delicious and I’ve just ordered the book.

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Thank you! It’s a great book - one to sit down and read for a while and you will come away feeling interested and inspired. Goes far beyond ‘Greek food’ and is a really great homage to an amazing place (I have worked/spent a lot of time in Greece so very biased but the flavours can’t lie!).


This caused some discussion here. Andrew’s revised tasting note was excellent

I’ve not had a bad bottle of this.

I have a diminishing case of this in reserves. Since the initial bottles the fruit is quite quickly departing for a wine that is still quite young but what remains is very interesting and full of character. It has not lost its charm but the source of the charm has changed.

First wine to christen my new Gabriel Glas wine glasses. I do prefer the Zalto universals but these are very good too


Our reserves anniversary is this month so we are now overflowing with various goodies and couldn’t resist a sneaky peek at this….late last evening

Definitely needs time and at this age a prepared decant but the tannins did ease and we were left with a robust cassis, hints of spice and mildly vanilla finish. Great purchase and a rest now for a few months and years on the balance of 6.


I should also add a well done :+1: to TWS and @Freddy for collaborating with a well known estate in Margs.

Is there a 2019 on the horizon?


I too took the test case - I didn’t get the wine you show, but my thought about the wine echo yours.

Re not signing up to be an angel - they don’t explicitly say so but after 30 days assume you are happy to be an angel and will take your money. You need to leave the scheme, which - all praise to them - they make very easy to do so on their website.

Apologies if you already know this.

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Monday first Monday of month is when the Grumpy Old Men meet. The choice this month was Little Marrakech*, second time I’ve been there with Grumpies. As is my wont, as it is Moroccan cuisine I chose a Moroccan wine to have with my tagine.

N.V. Chais de Sidi Brahim (Morocco, Beni M’Tir)
I was a disappointed when it landed on the table to see that it was a Merlot Cabernet blend - I was expecting some indigenous Moroccan varieties, but it was very drinkable. However, I have decided Moroccan cuisine is not for me, for all the dramatic showmanship of whipping off the tagine top to release puffs of steam lifting to the ceiling like Red Indian smoke signals…

Tuesday Mrs M was playing Bridge on-line so we had dinner earlier. Time to make puttenesca sauce in which to immerse penne,

with which we had mixed salad and no-brainer™

2020 Casa Vinicola Roxan The Wine Society’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (Italy, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo)

Wednesday chilli sin carne (with roughly crushed chickpeas instead of mince) served in pitta bread pockets. Opening the pitta packet I found a mould spot on one, so I carefully examined the rest already on oven shelves ready for warming and found one more. Urghhh. And the packet was opened before the Best Before Date…
With the chilli I opened my first 2019 vintage Kadette.

2019 Kanonkop Pinotage The Society’s Exhibition (South Africa, Stellenbosch)

It seemed a bit lighter than previous vintages.

Thursday I made bread dough with OO flour and left it to rise while I took the mouldy pitta back to M&S where I got a lecture on the necessity to keep the receipt. I replied the that they should not make not giving a receipt their default. The entire packet only cost 50p and I wasn’t returning something because I didn’t want it. What I really wanted was for them to pass it back to the producer because I didn’t want to get mouldy bread again.

Anyway, they’d sold out on the shelves and had to wait for a staff member to locate more ‘upstairs’. I was there so long, my my pizza was brought to the dining table 20 minutes late. Usually Mrs M is banging her fork on the table if dinner is delayed but she was in an equitable manner, probably brought about by me pouring her a hefty measure of

2020 La Crotta di Vegneron Petite Arvine (Italy, Valle d’Aosta)

Many years ago we had Petite Arvine for the first time sitting outside a restaurant looking down from a lofty position to a lake below. I thought it was in Switzerland but it may have been northern Italy, can’t remember where exactly but I remember the wine…

Mrs M thought it was like Viognier, but I find that oily and flabby. Although aromatic this wine was taut and crisply dry and I liked it. But would prefer it was closed with a screwcap rather than cork.

And so ends the second week when I don’t want to read the headlines in the papers, watch TV news, and leave the radio off at news time.

*no link given for Little Marrakech because Norton says the site is trying to download malware. It was OK in the past.

(Sidi Brahin from Little Marrakech, others from good ole TWS)


The Moroccan syrah “Tandem” which TWS is pretty good if you decide to get yer tagine out again one day…



Jerusalem artichokes are apparently quite ‘windy’ - or so I’m told. Something to do with Inulin ?

Spot on. Inulin, however, is promoted as a valuable “pre-biotic” foodstuff to promote gut biome diversity and in powder form, is indicated for IBS sufferers.

I grew Jerusalem artichokes last year because I never saw them in the supermarket and they are an ingredient in Jamie Oliver’s ’ Jools’s favourite beef stew’ that I regularly make.

Ouch, I was in such discomfort from them. When I recovered I dug up the rest and binned them all. Never again. But Mrs M had no reaction.

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I’ve had that. The Syrah field is very crowded and that would not be top of my list.

But, colourful tho the tagines were, I won’t be having one again.

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I share your pain. Quite literally. I can’t eat them at all without being doubled up in pain for 24 hours (and somewhat “aromatic:” to say the least). A real shame as I love the flavour. Have you tried chervil root as a substitute (not easy to come by, but if you’re growing things), they’ve got a similar flavour but don’t cause (at least me) anything like the discomfort of the artichoke.


Interesting about Chervil root - not something I have encountered.

But I was happy with the beef stew without Jerusalem artichokes I made before and I’ll continue to make it that way. Bottle of red, beef and lots of thick chunks of veg, slowly cooked. Yum

I believe - though I stand to be corrected here, because the internet is a scary place when it comes to exactitudes - that turnip-rooted Chervil is the edible form, but ordinary Chervil root isn’t meant to be good for you. Information, is however, contradictory (I read this information in a book many, many moons ago).

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The first time my wife and I cooked them, we were unaware of their reputation. The next 8hrs were an experience neither of us wish to repeat.

Apparently there are ways of treating them to reduce the effects, but frankly I’m not willing to risk it. It’s a shame, as they are delicious.


Yes, thanks, good advice - although I spotted that I’d been signed up as an angel straight away when placing the order. It was easy enough to disengage from this, but I might have not noticed in the first place!

I had one of these in February. Very enjoyable indeed!

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