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Chaokoh drink

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I just had an unusual Thai drink – young coconut juice with jelly. That’s what it says on the can. It tastes ok, in fact it’s quite nice and refreshing but it looks rather… odd, to say the least. Sometimes it blows my mind when I realise how exotic my life is… [/sarcasm].

F*** O** restaurant

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I often walk past a place called Foxtrot Oscar, which I think is a marvellous name for a restaurant serving English cuisine. Finally, tonight I went for a dinner there.

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The place is typically Chelsea posh – local, with a no nonsense, laid back atmosphere and very pleasant service. Interestingly enough, the paintings on the walls were on loan from various galleries and museums.

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And before you wonder ‘what’s the point of paying for English food’, let me say that the meal was very palatable. My lamburger was deliciously melty and for dessert I had the most amazing banofie pie I have ever come across.

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The place is not exceptional for a one-off visit, it’s a place to be frequented and adopted as one’s favourite local hang-out.

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And now you can Foxtrot Oscar

Fine wines of Burgundy

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To balance out my geeky exploits, tonight I have engaged in a wonderfully snobbish, intoxicating and refined on the finish experience. Yes, I left my laptop behind and I went to Burgundy 2004 tasting at Handford Wines shop in Old Brompton Road, South Kensington.

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A line formation of Burgundy heavy-weights…

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The scene was set for some serious tasting, with appropriate appliances…

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…and expression of ‘I know what I am doing’.

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Drinking wine in such rarified, musty air of a wine merchant’s cellar, I am reminded of how little I still know about wine. Nevertheless, one thing I do know – what I tasted tonight was certainly not the Australian table wines although most of the wines were for laying down and avoiding… until they mature to their full exquisite potential. Here are some that were enjoyed tonight.

Of the whites it was Rully 1er Cru Grésigny 2004, Domain Michel Briday, a nice little buttery surprise, and, of course, Meursault 2004, Domain Joseph Matrot which was no surprise, just pure pleasure.

For a red wine person like me, it was hard work – I didn’t know which cluster to attack first.

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My favourites were Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru les Chenevottes 2004, Jean-Marc Pillot.

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Puiligny Montrachet Vieilles Vignes 2004, Nicolas Potel.

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Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes 2004, Domain Amiot-Servelle.

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And finally, the memorable Grand Echézeaux 2004, Domain René Engel, of which, alas, there is no picture. I was too busy enjoying it. Described in the tasting notes as…a rich core and a thick texture, ripe tannins, hints of wood tannin, bags of mineral, slate and gunflint with the shy red fruits. My own tasting notes during the evening included comments like ‘overtones of wet hamster’ and ‘catwalk wine’. One does get into the spirit of things… Salut!

I’ll have what she’s having… or a shiksa in a Jewish Deli

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I spent Saturday roaming downtown Manhattan starting with a knish in Yonah Schimmel – good food that ’sticks to your ribs’ as they say.

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Accompanied by a friend knowledgeable in such matters we moved to Katz’s for a feast of corned beef and pastrami sandwiches…

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..complete with sour kraut, pickles and Dr Brown’s sodas (you can see the sign in the picture on the right). Katz’s is a real New York institution and we sat two tables from the (in)famous Meg Ryan moment seat.

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Tonight’s festivities… and booze

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Champange lovers… eat your heart out!

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Happy New Year!

In the begining there was… apples

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One of best thing about travelling to Central Europe is the amount of (good quality) alcohol that gets consumed. It’s the opposite of binge drinking, a steady raising of glasses of various shapes – from shot glasses to wine glasses, with occassional beer thrown in for a good measure. It comes with conversations, cakes, reminescing and arguing – the usual family fare.

This trip is special as I got the chance to visit underground cellar where the best calvados known to man (and to this woman) is produced.

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Let’s see some potent potion made of apples. Well, mostly apples

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Behold the second distillation…

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It bubbles happily. 70% alcohol you say? Now we are talking…

Stone bridge

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A little inn that knows its priorities.

Screw or unscrew

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Last night I had a most pleasant dinner with Rachel and as I was pondering what to drink, I thought that the blog-famous Stormhoek wine is a perfect drink whenever two or more bloggers are gathered… I discovered that in some ways I am more traditional than I thought.

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I can’t get to grips with those modern screwcap thingamies…

Wine marketing a la Bratislava

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11:23  31 October 2005<br />
31102005
11:23 31 October 2005
31102005




Funny bottles of wine. I am sure that behind that is some vague idea of differentiation and attracting attention. Alas, in my case, it serves as a worthy blog fodder and basis for some snarky remarks about tackiness of it all.

Perhaps the content would redeem the packaging but I never got so far, I prefer to stick with what I know, which is wine ’served’ straight from a barrel, into a plastic bottle that you have to bring with you. I had passable red (of Slovak grape variety called Blue Franc, apparently nothing to do with Caberent Franc in the West) for a princely sum of £1 a litre! On the other hand, go to the main supermarket in the centre, which is Tesco, and a bottle of Tokaj can be steep.

Time to choose

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Just got two bottles of Stormhoek wine, red (shiraz) and white (savignon blanc). Although I am definitely a red wine person, I find Stormhoek wine very drinkable and it has become my ‘house white’. It is in interesting company as the other whites I like are gewürtztraminer, tokaj and anything my friend Julian brings to dinner.

Fermenting juicy goodness

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Talking about wine…a rather sinister looking shot of what happens to it before it goes into more familiar shaped bottles. Fortunately, wine is not like sausages and knowing what goes into it is worth blogging…

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Looks delicious to me…

Stormhoek red

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Very drinkable! Tasted at the 2nd London Girl Geek Dinner at Texas Embassy. Thanks to Jason, Hugh and Sarah.

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