16 Jan 2008

Power of Charm

'"Charm" - the power to effect work without employing brute force...'
[Havelock Ellis, social reformer]
I PRESENTED a collection of hand-picked wines yesterday (in selection and viticulture), the common criteria: charm. Included, suave Soave, the '05 Classico from Stefano Inama, who it transpires, is a friend's father. Last year, benchmark producers, Pieropan showed me that the region's white grape, when treated with respect, may be enticed into an enchanting form. Inama's porthole into the range (which later, lovingly adopts Carménère) proffers a simple, but meticulously crafted rendition which again illuminates the potential within the 'steep hills and meagre basalt soils' of the region 'carpeted with Garganega'. A little late harvest, in evidence in the colour: golden tulip with flecks of Chartreuse Yellow. On the nose, leek, boiled celery, sunflower seeds, chopped, topping nuts, limoncello and greengage notes are released. The enduring, undulating palate yields a plush texture of more (waxed) lemons and salted almonds, washed ultimately with a lime bitter curl.
I follow the generally straight-talking gastronomic reviews of Philosopher, Ben and Scientist, Howard at the accurately, but unimaginatively titled blog, Food and Drink in London. A recent observation about the nation's 'Protein Protagonist', Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's installment of Channel Four's latest shock-doc, Chicken Out reads:
'...he threw a curve ball by responding to the negative reaction from the intensive chicken farming establishment to his requests to film a real working farm by opting to set up his own. In an admittedly dramatic gesture, someone as committed as he his to the ethical and responsible husbandry and welfare of livestock had decided that he was prepared to raise four thousand chickens under precisely the conditions he wants to phase out ... powerful, brave and quite possibly important television.'
Meanwhile, Jamie Goode at Wine Anorak feels:
'...this program may backfire ... I'd expected battery farming to look a lot worse than the vision of it presented by Hugh ... The emotional bit in the program is when Hugh breaks down in tears because he has to finish off two sick birds in the same day. Look, I would hate to have to kill a chicken. But this is the man who raises pet pigs for the pot. I thought he was made of sterner stuff.'

-Is it just me, or are other members of the public worn thin by this kind of issue television driven by magpie commissioning editors at Horseferry Road?

Indeed, might this series be interpreted as a veiled vitriolic stab at those too poor to afford posh nosh?

People forget, charm, or oxymoronically, 'a charm offensive' is a powerful means of acheiving something...

Can there be such a thing as a stolid, but elegant revolution?