18 Mar 2007

Treat 'em lean, keep 'em keen.

I KEPT returning to my Mercurey 1er Cru 'Les Crets' from Dom. Suremain this lunchtime, a coquette on heat from a heatwave year. Whilst my experience of this bright, forceful local with a twinkle, here dolled-up in posh frock occured at a good - not great - French fish restaurant in picture-postcard middle England, it was not our first meeting; only last year I sampled a younger vixen from the vineyard, tailored by other hands.
Although the walls are toned taupe, the cooking can be daring at Maison Bleue, Bury St Edmunds. But it is so buttered-up! -So much so diners need to be craned from their tables, hence handles on the chairs... Surely with regulars it is best to treat 'em lean, keep 'em keen (or at least alive?) For example: Scallop Carpaccio should have been a brine breeze, although its bloated creamy-countenance made me wheeze.
Employed as fat-burner (or culinary personal trainer), an '05 Pouilly-Fumé from Dom. Pabiot had acidity, although it screamed less than a panting Kiwi: raw white asparagus with an assured peppery minerality.
The highlight was the cheeseboard, an 'abondance' of pristinely-preserved curds, including 'Crottin' de Chavignol which ironically translates as dung.
Have you ever been accosted by a 'Water Sommelier'? Type the phrase into Google and you may be surpised to see 404,000 results yielded. Certainly texture and the periodic table water slides into play, although London ice will blight any recommendation.
Pictured, free range pigs, snapped from the road on my return. I have a friend who lives on the next farm to agro-celeb Jimmy Doherty's. I particularly like his cheekily titled rare-breed 'Essex Love Sausage' from the latter.
Tomorrow PM I present a wine programme on BBC Local Radio. I wander what questions listeners will pose...