Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tasting notes #1

Cooked myself a nice sirloin steak the other night with a red wine and mushroom sauce. Definitely a success - accompanied with just a little steamed broccoli. All in all, very pleasant.

It was joined by a £5.99 bottle of Barbera from Marks and Spencer which did not disappoint either. I like a Barbera anyway and this was a decent example. Nice and warm and reassuring - my only complaint, if any, was that it was almost too smooth and easy to drink. Now that really is getting picky...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Brothers in a bottle

You know, there is something in the chemistry of a good night out that I would love to bottle and preserve. You can put all the same ingredients together 20 times and they won't work out. Then one night they all fall into place. This Thursday was a good example.

Yes, when my old co-conspirator of the Grappa Diaries, Martino is in town there is always a high percentage chance of a fine night. In presidential parlance, his approval rating is about 100%. It has never dipped below that, as far as I can recall. Pull up a chair, pour him a grappa and sit back and relax.

However, his presence alone is not enough to explain the magic which took place. There I sat with a local shopkeeper, a fish and chip man, a farmer, a furniture restorer and a water worker and had a fantastic time. The meal was good, naturally. A starter of pasta with Italian sausage followed by pork escalopes in a cream and mushroom sauce. Also, my surrogate father (for when my own is out of the country) kept topping up my glass with a lovely Vermentino. All that before the grappas even arrived!

You know how a conversation just sometimes flows? That was how it was. It was daft, irrelevant, crude, nonsensical and fantastic. That's the part you just never know about.

It inspired me to come back to this blog - I have never really been away. This is my security blanket, I think. I need a little snuggle every now and again and couldn't live without it. Viva la Grappa, ragazzi!