Monthly Archives: November 2012

Reserve Wines Christmas Wine Fair – A wino evening in Didsbury

Wow, Wednesday in Didsbury was the wino’s equivalent of a Chinese Jigsaw. If you like wine, you live nearby and you were not busy elsewhere – watching stupid TV does not count – West Didsbury was the place to be. You could choose between three events, all of the utmost interest.

In reverse order of announcement, or rather when I heard of it:
1. You could go sample some fantastic modern British food in one of the best restaurants of Manchester and drink a carefully selected range of Portugese wines to match each dishes, no doubt ending with a classic Douro Port. The place to be was The Rose Garden. I also heard that Simon Woods, was in attendance. I’d love to know Continue reading


Estouffade de boeuf and Graves wine – A Friday night at home

Last week was a bit of a downer I’ve got to say. You know these weeks when every day is a Monday, you keep hitting barriers whatever it is you are trying to achieve, the weather is moody, sad news here and there…ok, maybe not that bad but basically when you get to Friday, you pull a big sigh, breath it back in and you decide to have a brighter outlook, that the weekend will decisively be great and starting with tonight’s dinner, it will make up for it all !

I have recently been offered a bottle of Graves 2007 from Chateau des Gravieres and I know for a fact it’s one of my friend’s favourite wines of the moment as he keeps recommending it to everyone. I specifically received the order to make this bottle proud so it was forever destined to be opened for a good meal.

A word or two on Bordeaux wines just so we can understand the choice of dish. First let me say that for reasons going beyond style and taste, I am not a big fan of Bordeaux wines. I don’t really want to get into details here as this would the subject of a completely separate issue so let’s leave it at that for now. They are, however, wines that undisputably have the potential to show great flavour and complexity and they famously need some ageing to reach their full potential. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are Bordeaux’s two trademark grape varieties and are well suited to a bit (and often more than a bit) of oak ageing which defines the world renown Bordeaux style. This Graves from Chateau des Gravieres definitely is a fine example. Merlot dominates to the extent of 80% and Cabernet-Sauvignon makes up the rest. Looking up a recent vintage chart, it tells me that 2007 red Bordeaux is good for drinking now. Juicy black fruit (cherry and currant) with soft and subtle smoky and vanilla undertones bound together by the tannins which bring strength and tightness.


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Didsbury Beer Festival 2012…a sample

I don’t know why but I love this beer festival. I was there when it first started in 2008, missed 2009 and went to all subsequent editions since and it was always a success for me. I have been to a few others, Altrincham, Bent & Bongs Beer Bash… all great events but Didsbury someone has an edge. Continue reading

Manchester’s first official homebrew meet


Yesterday was the first official meet organised by the guys behind @Mancshomebrew (also here: As I mentioned before, I have a great interest in well crafted beers, interest equally shared by Miss Mash (which means it is really hard to keep a healthy diet in these cold days as we both easily reach out for something comforting be it a nice dinner, Continue reading

Classy seafood…at home

As I mentioned previously, Miss Mash recently had an epiphany and opened up her mind to one of the best kinds of food the world has to offer. I’ve got to say, the conditions were ideal.  I will get around to writing about this trip properly soon but for now, picture this…We’d just spent a superb week in Burgundy, been mesmerised by Dijon and Beaune, Continue reading