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Everything posted by primowino

  1. primowino

    Mosel Wineries

    In a couple of weeks I will be holidaying on the Mosel, staying at Bernkastel. Does anyone have recommendations of which wineries to visit, especially within walking distance of Bernkastel !! For example do JJ Prum and /or Fritz Haag allow unannounced (or any) visitors. Recommendations for good restaurants will also be fully utilised. Thanks
  2. Are you sure you can't grow one there? I've grown various citrus plants all over the world. You might have to take it inside in the winter, but I'll bet you could grow one. Next time you go home, take a couple of the fruits back with you. God knows they have plenty of seeds!! They're really pretty plants as you know. In the US, they're sold as "ornamental citrus," and as a houseplant in cooler climates. I was told by a nurseryman that "nobody grows them for the fruit because it's so small - the plants are popular because they're pretty and smell nice and they're easy to grow." I'd recommend you give it a try. Whacha got to lose? Calamondin Orange ← They are very hardy, in Australia they have been grown for years under the name of "Kumquats", now that true Kumquats are being sold they are marketed as "Australian Kumquats". The make superb marmalade. ← Adam, are you telling me the delicious kumquat marmalade you made me was not from real kumquats but some Australian imposter? Actually I don't like the real things and can't imagine they would make anything as good as your marmalade.
  3. primowino

    TN: Aside

    Jim, As an obvious riesling fan I'd like your opinion on a bottle I have tucked away, a 2002 ZH Clos Hauserer. It has been pretty well stored through its life I think, when would you choose to drink this wine? Thanks
  4. Well said MaxH. Whenever I want someone to try an unoaked or lightly oaked chardonnay to contrast the stuff they don't like, I nearly always choose something from the Maconnais. I'm actually doing that tonight in a tasting with a Saint Veran.
  5. If i'm allowed to move away from France and CA, one of the best value Viogniers I've had (several times) is Yalumba "Y" series from Australia. it is about £8 in the UK and shows all the right characteristics for viognier without the slightly bitter aftertaste that some can have.
  6. primowino

    Pinot Envy

    Pinot Noir and Merlot - that is so wrong. Are there any other examples of this traversty in the US and do they ever produce something better than the sum of the parts?
  7. Adam, interesting though these discussions are, it's about time you posted some photos of your cooking since descending to the Isle of Cricket. From a British admirer.
  8. Adam, Glad to see you've settled in and back to your main pastime. I will continue to follow your culinary adventures till we meet again.
  9. Craig, I've acquired a couple of bottles of a Greco di Tufo (Terre degli Angeli, Terredora 2005). Not having had one before, what can I expect and how long should I keep them. Thanks
  10. I usually make coffee with my espresso machine, but take a moka pot on holidays and camping etc. The moka makes very good coffee and I've always been confused why because I would have thought that the water passing through the coffee would be at or very close to 100C and scald it. Do you think the water cools significantly on its way up the tube to the coffee?
  11. I have had a Francis Francis X1 for about 3 years making espresso and lattes every day. I have nearly always used pre-ground coffee, usually Lavazza - or Illy when I'm feeling flush. I have usually been fairly pleased with the results. However the X1 is getting a bit tired and leaky and it seems a good excuse to upgrade. I may get an Isomac Giada or splash out for a Millenium. Everyone that writes about machines like these on sites like coffeegeek (a good title from the posts that are there) are grinding there own coffee fresh each time. So my questions: i) For very good quality machines do you think I will notice a big difference if I start grinding my own coffee? ii) If so are there any recommendation for where I can buy good beans in the UK? iii) Are Isomac machines the way to go? Thanks
  12. I am holidaying down in this corner of the country in a couple of weeks and I would like to have at least one memorable restaurant experience while there. Any recommendations in the area, bearing in mind we will have our three children with us (6,10,13 years), who are interested in good food. Thanks
  13. I'd suggest that Edinburgh's brief fad for deep frying everything was, in the main, publicity driven. Offering deep fried (insert random word here) was a very easy way to get a small business into the local paper. It's the same procedure used by all those Birmingham curry places offering the world's hottest vindaloo, or by London eateries that charge £85 for a sandwich. ← Deep frying everything is still populat in Edinburgh. Here is the menu from Edinburgh's finest. Deep fried scotch pie, that is an experience. ← Of course the Scotch Pie is called Mince Pie on the menu because that's what they're called in Scotland (no need to call them a Scotch Pie here). Now a Mince Pie sounds like something that should have mincemeat in and be eaten at Xmas, which is why these are often called Xmas Pies in Scotland. Still with me?
  14. Well it's a radical move but at least someone has found a use for vegetarians. In the chippies in Birmingham you can get a slice of potato deep fried in batter called a scallop. Whilst this label has obvious comic potential, I've never seen it fully exploited. Possibly those Brummies who genuinely believed that Nicky the Greek was battering shimmering molluscs have died out through natural selection. Either that or they moved to South Queensferry. ← Just as a bit of regional detail. A battered slice of potato is, or at least was in my youth, called a dab in Lancashire.
  15. Thought I would add something after my experience last night. I opened a 2003 Cotes du Rhone from a pretty good producer, Saint Cosme. I had a glass immediately on opening and it was lovely with good fruit and the perfume (the much referenced violets?) of a probable syrah rich blend. However, I went back an hour later, half of this time having had the cork back in the bottle, and it was very dull in comparison. This was a wine that I would have guessed would have benefitted from at least some breathing. The morale of the story is, you sometimes just don't know. Although I recommend doing as much research as you can to find out about any interesting bottle you are going to drink, you really need to give it a taste on opening and make a judgement and if necessary drink it immediately or quickly get the cork back in until your ready.
  16. I was quite impressed recently by Ninth Island PN from Tasmania, at £9 a bottle. It was fairly burgundian in style - a bit short but what can we expect at this price. Certainly much better value than most of the New Zealand PN I've had. Don't know if you can get it in the US but I guess it would be $15-18. One burgundy appellation that often produces decent stuff at that sort of price is Mercurey and red Chassagne Montrachet can be a bargain if you don't mind your burgundy a bit more rustic than fruity.
  17. I hold wine tastings at my tennis club a couple of times a year. My first theme was Old World vs New World and I used this theme again this weekend for some friends. It is similar to what you suggest because I have one wine style or varietal from (you guessed it) the Old World and an equivalent from the New. It is a good theme because you can look at the differences in style, but also any similarities in the wines. I had rieslings from Germany (a Kabinett) and Australia, a Sancerre and a NZ Sauv Blanc, a Macon chardonnay and one from California, a Champagne against a Sparkling Chard/ Pinot Noir from Australia. Then for reds we had a red burgundy and NZ pinot, a Crozes Hermitage and South African Shiraz, a declassified CdP from Domaine Pegau against Rosemount GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) and finally a cab-dominant Bordeaux against Wynns Black Label Coonawarra Cabernet. I keep the food simple and have cheeses with some of the whites e.g goats cheese with the sauv blancs and nutty gruyere with the chards, then various hams and sausages/salamis with the reds. People couldn't believe how much better the whites tasted with their cheeses and obviously many thought red wine with cheese was the norm. The theme is good because you can discuss the origins of the grapes/styles (obviously mainly French) and the New World take on them and why for instance choose to blend Cabernet with Shiraz. Be warned that this theme can lead to lots of wines (16 in my case) so people may get a bit tipsy - not always a bad thing - and it takes a while. Both times I have done this it took nearly 4 hours, especially as people get more chatty aa the night progresses.
  18. primowino

    Burgundian websites

    The only good site I know that specifically relates to Burgundy is www.burghound.com. It is mainly one man's opinion and experience, but it's fairly extensive and links to other things.
  19. Despite the general adage that you shouldn't cook with wine that you wouldn't drink, I think these wines are too good to use in cooking. I suggest getting a much cheaper bottle for the cooking, you could get a similar style of wine. The remainder of this could be kept for another night or alternatively try both wines to see how the "bang per buck"(using the US expression) compares.
  20. I'll add my recollection of what Lancashire hotpot should comprise, although I am only from Blackburn rather than the apparent culinary centre that is Bolton. It is always lamb chops and I think usually neck chops. I also think it should have carrots in and each component (chops, potatoes, carrots and onions) should be in separate layers. This is rather like potjiekos (pot food) from South Africa where the different layers are ordered so that the ingredients that take more cooking are at the bottom, although I don't think that is the idea with hot pot because you can have more than one layer of each component. The potatoes, I think are usually a waxy type and the slices are well browned on top of the hot pot, but still a firm consistency. As for herbs and spices, I doubt there is very much in it usually apart from salt and pepper - possibly parsley.
  21. Thanks for the insight. I have a bottle of 1986 Ducru 0my wedding year) waiting for a suitable anniversary. Your notes confirm what I suspected - that I should definitely wait for our 25th, instead of 20th later this year.
  22. Adam, Surely the markets can't have been better than our very own German market on The Mound. Perfect if you can't be bothered to walk to the nearest real chip shop, or to a supermarket for your jar of Nutella !!
  23. The largest event I go to each year in the UK is the Oddbins Wine Fair. The £20 entry all goes to charity, there is no hard sell (no wine is on sale on the day) and the advantage of living in a non-wine producing country (if you ignore the mediocre overpriced English wine) is that wine from all over the world is reasonably represented.
  24. I haven't left a WTN for a while, but thought I should warn people about this wine. The Verse 1 range includes a delicious Sauvignon Semillon blend and I'm sure I have had some of the reds and thought they were OK. Each wine in the range sells for about £8. This wine is completely dumb. However, I don't think it is going to come round because it doesn't have any aggressive tannin left - not surprising as it is 4 years old and probably at its "design" peak. I think the problem is mainly the level of alcohol compared to the level of fruit. It is 14.5 % (why do they do that) and the main impression from the wine is heat from the alcohol. It reminds me of a cheap port that has been open for a few days so that all the fruit has gone. There is a feint hint of merlot in there somewhere but you have to look hard and it's not worth the effort. I have tried it over two nights with no improvement and now thrown half the bottle away - I don't do that often.
  25. Jim, I couldn't find out much about the producers , any info gratefully received. Hospices de Beaujeu, Regnie, 2001 Domaine Rastin, Moulin a Vent, 2002 Domaine Pardon, Fleurie, 2003
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