14 Dec 2007

Bottle with Throttle

Pictured: emerging opalescence, Edinburgh, filtered from my bay window at The Scotsman, North Bridge, early yesterday. This stylishly reconditioned hotel - former HQ of The Scotsman newspaper - has fine, fully equipped, tartan-free bedrooms with 'privacy hatches' (for discreet room service), non-clouding bathroom mirrors, a lady reading in bath coffee table in the lounge, and even a cinema. The delivery of a breakfast menu confusingly composited to resemble a newspaper homage, was one gimmick too far, however, as were the signs instructing 'ESCAPE THIS WAY' (referring to the so-titled spa).
Working with the Cellar Society, I helped fulfill a carte of grape expectations, including a younger sibling of Spain's 'first growth', Vega Sicilia. Bodegas Pintia '04, a fabulous Tinta del Toro (superior strain of Tempranillo) from rugged DO Toro was suprisingly balanced despite 15P/C of confidence. I am told that further alcohol inflaton would actually be illegal.
Never urgent, this dark cherry, smoked, spiced cedarwood, chunkily densely tannic, but simultaneously fresh and poutingly fragrant ebony star in the ascendant will bloom in about nine years, but already impressed, caught in its youth. It is a bottle with throttle; the Pintia has pelt. A culinary match becomes a mission. But maybe Spanish blood sausage (Morcilla) is the answer?
Frangelico (named after 17TH cenutry Northern Italian ecclesiastical mixologist, Fra. Angelico) is a gorgeous liqeur with tangible texture made from crumbled wild hazelnuts mingled with cocoa and vanilla, aged in oak. I tried a little doused over Affogato (ice cream flooded with hot espresso). Bingo, and Bellissimo!