Midweek drinking 14th to 18th Nov 2022

If you look at the picture he’s actually used a combination of screw and ah so prongs. Sometimes both are needed together. If the cork is very old there is a possibility that the prongs can actually push the cork in instead of sliding down between cork and bottle. In this case putting a corkscrew in first holds the cork up whilst the prongs are inserted and then it’s primarily the prongs that do the pulling out. A bit fiddly but not too difficult.

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Ah yes - I remember now from the Musar video you shared. Every day’s a school day

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Been too busy to post for a bit…also away in Mallorca for a couple of weeks (see other post for wines sampled there).

Was in London Mon- Wed this week and took advantage of the Hawksmoor Monday BYOB corkage deal to take along first bottle of this

It didn’t really get much time to breathe, but the temperature was about right (I’d travelled down with it, and then walked half an hour on a fresh evening with it!).
Quite deep colour for Burgundy, and a mix of stewed red fruit and some spice on the nose. Still quite a tannic edge to it, which was good with the food. Not quite in the fleshy, voluptuous mould that other Tollot Beaut have had. Certainly ready to broach - this was the first of 6. It went well with the bone marrow on sourdough, we then moved on to a rather good 2017 Malbec which one of my companions brought. Can’t remember the details.

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Umm sounds very ‘cultured’!

Yes I did think after writing it that it might give the wrong impression…for avoidance of doubt, this wine was not corked, brett affected, or mouldy in any sense! It might in time develop the mushroomy notes of mature Burgundy.

Those damn homophones :slightly_smiling_face:

Wines of the week….

Our first try of an Austrian red….ambivalent , did not work for Mrsadb.
The Tuscan on the other hand was delicious and a perfect accompaniment to our cote de Veau last night.

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Beaujolais nuvo (in a bag) from Le Grappin

an uncomplicated yearly ritual!

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Unexpectedly I’m in Stevenage. So making the most of it, Planning a visit tomorrow to tws fine wine cave and bin end shelves if they are back in play.

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Yes its where i got that tip from

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Ah, I will be going to the showroom tomorrow as well

Some nice wines on the oenomatics this week

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Thanks, that’s my Friday entertainment sorted!

Plus rampaging through the Chablis, the c card will be sorely abused.

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Good Carignan is just too yummy in a blend

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Hello from Santiago! I got in yesterday to be met by my friend and one time housemate (back in the day), last seen in person in 2012! A little Espumante here, a little Carménère there, and soon it was 3am and the rumoured trip to the Pacific was looking doubtful. The cynical might say that perhaps this was my plan all along…




… As we found ourselves driving out instead from Santiago into the Maipu Valley, swiftly past Concho y Toro in favour of a smaller producer, Alyan…


A mixture was bought, sadly without tasting, but it was encouraging to see that releases were being made by vintage and that we were currently on the 2017 for the signature range. Given this dedication to holding back bottles I felt it was worth a punt and I haven’t been disappointed at all. From my limited experience, I started with what felt a very typical Chilean Chardonnay from a warmer climate vineyard. There is some cooling influence off the Andes, which gives me the excuse to upload another picture…

…So there is still enough steeliness amidst the oak to have a really fresh and enjoyable wine. I’ve now moved home to the Cabernet Sauvignon, and this is a wonderfully oaky and - in a certain sense - Riojian [that’s not a word] charactered wine, with the aged oak combining with time in bottle leading to a smooth and unctuous wine. Fabulous stuff!

All in all, a wonderful day and couldn’t be luckier to have some old friends to help me go about it.

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Monday - to London’s Haymarket for a meeting of the Pizza Club, a regular gathering of ex-IBMers. Well, regular except in the Covid years. It’s the first I’ve been to since 2019, and only the second since Covid. The original host now has health problems and the new host books Haymarket’s Pizza Express. Can’t say I was impressed - out of 5 pizza orders they delivered two that were incorrect and had to be remade and the doughy pizza sat heavily in my stomach that night.
We had

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2021 Cusumano Arenzia Nero d’Avola, Syrah (Italy, Sicilia)

Decent red that Pizza Express says is exclusive to them.

Tuesday Mrs M’s online bridge evening so we had an early dinner of puttenesca sauce and penne with a mixed salad and no-brainer™
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2020 Casa Vinicola Roxan The Wine Society’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (Italy, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo)

Wednesday Wednesday after an overnight soaking, I used cannelloni and butter beans to make Greek-style slow-cooked beans with a mixed salad and warmed chunks of home-made seeded bread.
And of course

N.V. Greek Wine Cellars (D. Kourtakis) Retsina of Attica (Greece, Attica)

Thursday I flambeed chicken breast strips, added onions, tomatoes, and some secret ingredients to make a sort of cassoulet with the remainder of the beans, served with new pots, cauliflower and carrot batons and opened

2019 Giant Old Vine Red (USA, California)

Mrs M took a mouthful, grimaced and asked if I had tasted it. She asked me to open something else…
I bought it on the strength of the mix of varieties and this positive shop tag around its neck

and missed the clues there as I missed the last three words on the back label

Urghh - it was as if there were a couple of spoons of sugar added to the wine glass. Awful.
Mrs M asked if we could have a ‘decent’ Zinfandel, so I rushed to the cellar and dug out

Truly excellent.

(Arenzia from Pizza Express, Montepulcano and Once & Future from TWS, Giant from
Gwin Llyn Pwllheli)

@adbdorset I agree with @Alexander-C0855’s

Perhaps when you get back some notes on how you planned it all…would be much appreciated.

@m4rk - Ah So is a manufacturer’s brand name used in the USA for this opener - I prefer the British name Butlers Friend because it aligns with Waiters Friend and also refers to the ability to remove a cork without making a mark, so the butler could enjoy expensive wines, replace with plonk and reinsert the cork.

@MikeFranklin - combined use of Butlers and Waiters Friend is what I used on a bottle of 1988 Chateau Musar opened earlier this month.

I don’t often use the Butlers Friend because it frequently pushes the cork into the bottle. It’s more use in the USA where corks are waxed or polished and the prongs easily slip down the sides.

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This, from last night.


Bodegas Altos De Torona Godello 2021

The winery is almost on the Atlantic coast between Vigo and the Portuguese border in Rías Baixas.

This was a Manager’s recommendation at small chain wine shop Vinalium - about €7 from memory. 100% Godello

Lemony, refreshing, perhaps stone fruits on the palate.
We drank it with salmon steamed with soy and sweet chili sauces.

I think we prefer the Virgen de Galir Maruxa, which is also 100% Godello I believe, but this is still very acceptable, especially for the price. Can’t help thinking it would more have suited a summer’s day, instead of a rather autumnal Spanish evening.

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Keeping the Spanish vibes going, albeit an autumnal East Lothian.

2016 Do Ferreira Cepas Vellas was excellent last night with sea bass. With age the natural acidity has receded and this is more mineral and complex. Bay leaves and fennel notes but still the signature salinity of albarinho. This was probably better a year or two ago. Not a long ager unlike the Senoras vintage wines.

I had the previous vintage of the Priorat a year ago and really looking forward to this with sausages later. It’s very light on it’s feet for Priorat and good value.

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