7 May 2008

Smells Fishy

I SPENT Bank Holiday drinking on the stone-dappled beach at Brighton, that great big middle aged whore of a city proud to wear a greased, fishy, saline fragrance. Like the hordes drawn almost magnetically to stuff their boots from grim-staffed D.I.Y. sheds come the public holiday, a vast swathe of Londoners cannot resist the kiss me quick pilgrimage to our crappy seaside towns. Occasional opulence in the architecture stands out amongst a concrete cancer ridden shock of ludicrous 60's and 70's buildings which should have met with the demolition ball shortly after completion. As a warning to further edificial spawn.
Dragged along by six friends (French, American, Polish and Italian), despite my intent perverse snobbery, I had fun, albeit fetishistically perhaps...
Of that consumed in view of the perma-tortured West Pier: Gamay from Touraine. Henri Marionet's '05 Vinifera comes from ungrafted wines. A serious, purple wine, deeply flavoured, with peppered cherries on the nose, cassis-coated strawberries on the palate, and evoking boutique balsamic in its finish. I partnered it with mischievously pickled octopodes sold to me as fresh.
From the fourth year of production, '03, Galil Mountain's Yiron acted meditatively as Amarone would (it approaches 15p/c). From the heights of Upper Galilee near the Lebanese border, this Kosher blend of Cabernet and Merlot with a dimple of Syrah, delivered a filling, cedar and ironically bacon scented aroma tally wine with a palate of lush black fruits, particularly blackcurrant, bevelled by vanilla and stroked by melting, but still slightly coarse tannins. The albeit one dimensional aftertaste hung around eagerly.
Pizza at 'Al Fresco' followed where we were marched to a slightly rusting terrace by an elderly gent in a manicured, dying red sports jacket.
No one really talks about "the walk" - the moment when Sherpa leads diner to their fate. If I have booked a special offer via a concierge site, I worry intensely where the seater will put me.
Anyway, the dried frisbie had the texture of de-humidified drift wood. A Pisco sour at Browns rounded off an overall pleasurable day.
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