Last night saw the wife and I return to Chester Beer and Wines for the second of five sessions of their tasting course, and the subject this week was the Burgundian grape varieties. Firstly, however, I should say how impressed I am with the course so far, the tutor Mervyn is excellent and the other attendees great company. I was in two minds whether to book myself on it – I like to think I’m reasonably comfortable with at least the main French varieties and regions together with their new world counterparts. What has surprised me, however, is how much you learn by drinking reasonable amounts of contrasting wines in parallel, and discussing it with like minded people. My usual approach is to drink single bottles sequentially, or alternatively attending tasting events where you are given a miserly splash after miserly splash – I can only assume I don’t give off a sufficiently affluent air! Continue reading
A few years ago my wife and I took our young children into Paris to view the tourist sites. We were staying outside Paris, at La Houssaye-en-Brie, and got the train in on what was a blisteringly hot day. By the time we emerged from the busy metro around lunchtime, agitated and sweating (No! Men perspire, women glow, only horses sweat!) we looked for somewhere to eat. I don’t recall where we were exactly, possibly Les Halles, but there was no shortage of cafés, yet to my shame we espied the golden arches of regret and thus my offsprings first repast in the City of Love was a Royale with fries.