Must what? Mash where?

Must? Mash? What is that all about ?

I initially intended this blog to be about everything good for the tastebuds. But then I realised it would become a boring journal rather than a “blog with a cause”. The Must side of things relates to my love of wine. I know that billions of people “love” wine but I think they mainly refer to the drinking of it and let’s be honest, just like with books, the bestsellers are not the greatest. I don’t really know how or why but a couple of years ago I suddenly made the decision to find out more about wine. Where does it come from, how is it made, why does it taste like that and is paying £50+ on a bottle really sensible and rewarding ? These questions started a process that would change a lot of things in my life. Nothing too drastic…so far. But if my spending is anything to go by, priorities have changed. So I am hoping to use this blog as a way to first record, but evidently communicate, some aspects of this journey I’ve embarked on. At the restaurant, at tastings, at friends or at home, when I have a bit of a story and am allowed the time to put it into words, I will try to recount these moments in such a way that I hope some will find entertaining and who knows, useful.

But I also love beer (this is where Mash comes in). Alright, alright I know…everybody else does too (bar a few). And on that one I know an awful lot less so what on earth will I ramble about? Well, whilst I am not as clued in beer as I am in wine the same principle applies. The more you know about it, the better you can enjoy it. And in the last few years there has definitely been a great deal happening on the beer scene. Your local is now probably serving at least a couple of strange looking bottles or you may even be faced with new, aggressive looking labels on the pump lines. Quite a few bottles have seriously (sometimes virtually) knocked me off my seat and I am really glad to see more and more people finally stepping out of the savaged land of industrial lagers and peeking into the wonders of the beer Neverland. So expect a few tales of beery epiphanies as and when they occur.  I am also hopeful that once the Must and Mash house has had some serious upgrade I can finally use a weekend to start home brewing. I have some of the kit already and I am determined. I just don’t really know where to start, all I know is that I am not keen on using a beer kit so it will probably be all-grain. More on that soon, hopefully.

Finally, if you’ve read that far, you must know that good wine and good beer is most often, if not always, enjoyed with good food. I wouldn’t describe myself as a foodie and Manchester has plenty of that to be honest, some of which are likely to be mentioned on these pages. But I cook at home most days, care for what’s on my plate and I am definitely known for my love of food, and eating.

So all in all this blog is mainly about wine, the taste of it but also its reason to be and when possible, the stories it carries and transmit to us about its childhood as a grape, its father the maker and the pleasure it hopes to give. But food will inherently feature throughout and I am looking forward to a few great beers too. Hope you’re with me on this.