- Published: 01 January 2004 01 January 2004
Friends dining out together in the absence of their partners appreciate a little more attendance than is normal, and with my partner entertaining the Spanish on holiday in Seville and Adam’s ensconced in the bosom of her forebears, this was to be no unusual situation. To add to this, it is worth considering that two identically built houses, one built in the backyard of Chernobyl and the other facing a view of forty miles of countryside and lakes, will command differences in price of great enormity. So, it is with this in mind that I commend the management at this eatery for employing staff that carry many elements configured in line with divine proportion. Marry with this, smiles, politeness and efficiency, and you will find two happy and grateful customers!
My fellow diner was discussing at length his interest in procreation and the effects it has on at this most potent period of our lives. This is a time of great pontificating as choices must made, whilst in the background, the body clock chimes with knowing insouciance. As mortal’s choices are best left to those in higher office (the ladies) and as by way of consolation we (the fellers) are presented with wines to ease our suffering. This St Emillion compensated by many degrees. To the nose it exuded the complexity that differentiates (in my view) the old world produce from the new. The soil type was never more apparent and Adam remarked that it reminded him of a sun baked gravel driveway. If ever the terroir was present in a glass and well balanced with a measure (not over powering) of blackcurrant and light plumy tones, then here it is; not too much make-up but enough to tease another bottle out of one!
Having started to enjoy this wine, we were only just counting our blessings when more proceeded to appear. The roast that was served before us was quite scrumptious. I am a self confessed fusspot when it comes to Sunday roasts and can quite happily report that the Cow even cooks cauliflower superbly! The lamb was a good cut and duelled perfectly with the wine. So much so that noises and exclamations from our table were highly audible. The first bottle ended demonstrating once more the brevity of existence and this time as I scrawled an eye over the list, I happened upon a Emina 2003 vintage, from the Ribero Del Duero in Spain at a fantastically reasonable price. The creature of divine proportion was once more summoned to the table and made off with our order brandishing the carefree smile of altruistic service. The second red beverage arrived and was poured… we sniffed… ummed, and tasted. The dark berry fruits of this now almost sacred region shone through and we began this course in earnest.
This second bottle lasted well into the desert; a solitary ball of ice-cream for Adam and an apple crumble or other for myself. The tenacity of the wine mingled with bready-ness of the crumble and kept me in fine fettle. I not sure that another bottle of the Ribero del Duero was not ordered but I cannot quite remember, however, in answer to you on the evolution of the species and continuation of our kind, in your case Adam, I fear it may be a great disappointment to your Swiss relatives that prophesised at your wedding with a washing line and infantile clothing about your fecund nature… best crack on!
Chateau Haut Gravet 2001 Grand Cru, St Emillion: £32
Emina, 2003, Ribera del Duero: £24
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