27 Feb 2007

Shaken Snowglobe

AT AN UNPREPOSSESSING Vietnamese amidst the bright lights of Lewisham, sweet coconut water rinsed away the slightly elastic texture of battered frog legs whilst London rain poured outside. "The chicken of the rice paddy" tasted just like that, but crossed with crocodile, spiced with chillis and suffused with lemon grass. The aftermath of small bones evoked a charnel house.

Coming to the end of the water, the coconut segments which had danced like a shaken snowglobe, looked like teeth.
A visit to Decanter Magazines' runner-up for 'Best Independent Wine Merchant', Theatre of Wine, Greenwich, buoyed my spirits. For my wine course, I purchased several Spaniards, from a distinctive dinosaur white Rioja - Lopez de Heredia Vina Gravonia '95 [£13] to an exuberant new wave Albariño, from Pazo Senorans '05 [£12.40]. Did you know Albariño is a distant relative of Riesling? I will uncork the mystery in these bottles on Thursday...

My housemate, Anna, followed my advice, buying an ABC (Accessible, Beautiful and Competent) Pinot Noir '05 [£15.90] from the Santa Maria Valley, with its slow ripening season, where patience makes perfect sense. We planned to drink this today, having purchased a bottle of Château de la Garde '04 [£8.99] from Sainsbury's for yesterday's Spag Bol frenzy. However this double-oaked (IE. fermented and matured in oak barrels) Supérieur was far from it, being more DIY shop than fruiterers. We found sheets of marine ply on the nose, with dulce de leche and neolithic dig on the palate. Overall, this tight, sulking soldier was as much fun as a court-martial. Click on the passport-style pics on the right to see my reaction.
The Pinot therefore was opened, providing aromas of raspberries, tomato leaf and tuber roses after warm autumn rain. On the palate, posh lipstick still on the warm lips of an honest beauty tousled jelly block. It wasn't quite perfect mid-to-end palate, although isn't a flaw carefully woven into Middle Eastern rugs? -The Islamic philosophy being that only God can be perfect...

Incidentally the last mouthful tasted great as a chupito (Spanish for shot) taken at breakfast time with blueberry sprinkled muesli...

Further Link: Dulce de Leche