Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Is it possible to fall in love with a pub? I don’t mean in any weird, sexual way either. Seldom do people reach climax upon entering their favourite establishment and those that do are promptly escorted away from the premises to never be seen again (as per their restraining order). No what I mean is, have you ever stood at the entrance of a pub you’ve never frequented before, hands on hips and making slow nodding gestures as you gaze at the decal, and felt a rich warmness fill your entire being? If you have, I assure you that’s not custard, but the unequivocal attachment you to feel to a local drinking…er…building.

I don’t think it’s weird at all. Why would you judge so harshly?

Let me set the scene. I walk into a local pub I haven’t stepped into since its renovation some time ago. I pause after the double doors close behind me. The interior unleashes a burst of rejuvenation, like a patient that’s been given good news about an unusual growth. The bar gleams in the distance and bottles and taps wink cheerfully in my direction. I see the chalkboard dailies announcing some equivalent of a regal banquet. The air is bouncing with musical vibrations and a sense of welcome. Also it’s totally happy hour, yo.

"Wooooo!" Said everyone except you because you're totally classy...

“Wooooo!” Said everyone except you because you’re totally classy…

The pub is called The Alb and my god what a difference a building can make to a weekend. Do you not think the discovery of a pub you haven’t been in before is like discovering the librarian you’ve had a crush on also likes ICP and neo-liberal values? Externally she may not have everything you think you want in a woman, but inside she embodies your soul interests and disgusting fetishes.

Sometimes it’s hard to really appreciate what a pub has to offer. I don’t just mean the drinks (maybe). What I mean is, so many places you’ll go into because it gets you out of the rain, or it has cheap food, or the mafia have traced your IP address. But to happen upon a new establishment that simply ovulates personality is a joyous moment. To seek a place of temporary refuge that encapsulates everything you desire in a public house is such a heart soothing sensation.

I genuinely feel sorry for people who don’t drink. They’ll never know this feeling. The closest they’ll ever get to experience this is finding a new brand of flavoured water in between their daily sobs. It’s an immense discovery in most adult’s lives to find that special place where the world is separate from them and they feel a fresh pang of revitalisation that speaks to them in an entirely awesome holy crap you can tell I’ve had four pints at The Alb this afternoon…

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Sorry, I’ve just always fancied beginning a statement that way. Though it’s less of an introduction and more of an exclamation. It’s how I imagine rich folk would swear. You know, if they ran out of monocle cleaner at the worst possible time. I like to think that in extreme cases, they just straight up vomit live pheasants into stovepipe hats.

Now you know why they're so deep...

Now you know why they’re so deep…

I would like to say I’m somewhat couth and cultured. It’s just I don’t have the financial backing to prove it. And my twirly cane has fallen into a river. A river of homeless people. So I’m going to make amends the only way I know how: with alcohol. So for your reading pleasure, I have taken on the task of tasting and analysing some expensive red wines from around the world. Or at least opposite the Cheese Strings in your local Waitrose (probably)…

Château Ducru Beaucaillou, 2007, St Julien

Price: £79

The Wine Society says:

Bruno Borie made a stunning success of the challenging 2007 vintage and this was a standout wine at the primeur tastings. 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, with top-quality press wine adding tannin and body.

My notes:

I bet this is how Jesus’ blood would taste if he hadn’t had a transfusion in, like, months. I like the way the, er, liquid (red) pours into the glass. It’s almost like it fits the receptacle perfectly. Okay, right off the bat it’s obvious I’m not sure what I’m talking about. Also, the waitress keeps giving me funny looks, all because I insisted she address me as Lord Lordington: Hymen Remover.

Almaviva 2008

Price: £75

The Wine Society says:

2008 is a wonderful vintage for the top Maipo wines, with a long, cool autumn resulting in a late harvest of ripe yet fresh grapes. Yields were low (20-45hl/ha). The blend is 66% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet franc from Puente Alto in Maipo for structure and a cedary top note, with 26% carmenère from Peumo, Rapel, for flesh. Aged 18 months in new French barriques. Patience will be rewarded.

My notes:

Okay, apparently you’re not supposed to swallow the wine up in this bitch. I also feel a bit guilty quaffing wine that’s worth more than I make in a day, especially when Strongbow is on offer. This Almaviva is rather refreshing, though. It has a rather rich and chocolately quality about it. Each sip is like a smooth intake with a heavenly cocoa texture and aftertaste. I should probably stop dipping my Mars Bar into it…

Château Le Boscq, 2005, Saint-Estèphe

Price: £29

The Wine Society says:

Generous, modern claret from the Dourthe stable, superb in this ripe vintage, when a smaller quantity of top-quality wine was made. Still showing seductive oaky flavour but with plenty of lush fruit in support.

My notes:

First of all, I’m not quite sure why wines with an ‘oaky’ quality are good. If someone tried to sell me a drink based on its proximity to a Birch tree I’d probably never shop there again. Secondly, what is the fascination with naming wines “Castle” (Chateau for you uncultured vermin)? I’m willing to bet that noble knights and kings drank and ate only the finest, but I’m also willing to suggest they had a room in said castle specifically for poop.

Côtes du Roussillon Villages, Tautavel, Clos des Vignes, Domaine Gardiés, 2008

Price: £14.50

The Wine Society says:

Jean Gardiés is one of the top growers in the Roussillon with vines close to the famous prehistoric caves. This is full-bodied and generous with a touch of spice.

My notes:

This is a bit more reasonably priced, but holy balls that is one giant ass-fuck of a name. Wine tastes pretty good. Could use a 2×4 in it, though. These posh folk love their wine with some willow or some shit. Also, I’m sure our waitress has taken a liking to me. She keeps grimacing at my choice of outfit and wafting me away with a doyley. Which I’m pretty sure is the international symbol for ‘do things to me that put my family name in the gutter’.

Ch Cheval Blanc 1990 St Emilion

Price: £675

The Wine Society says:

We laugh in the face of poor people when we crack this bad boy open. [paraphrased slightly]

My notes:

They…they’re laughing. They are downright chortling right onto their servant’s lapels. They’ve just paid nearly £700 for a bottle of wine and they don’t seem phased by this figure. It’s like you and me splashing out on Japanese beer because we feel domestic stuff is beneath us. Oh god, they’re not even drinking it! They’re just pouring it onto the floor. The poshest one (I just call him Swish #3) has smashed one end of the bottle against a marble column. He’s…he’s advancing on me…shit! I’ve been uncovered. They know I’m not rich! They’ve seen me secretly munching on a saveloy in between glasses. This is it…if I don’t make it out, tell my wife I love her. And the hor d’oeuvres were delectable…

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