Sunday, 8 July 2012


I have decided that I should include a bit of 'lifestyle' in this blog.  People like that, don't they? And it seems pretty easy, you just take a load of instagram pictures of the tidy bits of your house and your adorable children and splendid parties.  Then everyone thinks you have a perfect life and gets very jealous. 

The only problem is, I don't have a tidy house, or adorable children, and I can't remember the last time I went to a party.  And in truth, all those people who look like they have all these things probably don't really.  Well, OK, if they feature their children then chances are they're not lying about that bit, but they're undoubtedly little shits most of the time. So perhaps, rather than making you jealous, I should show you a glimpse of what the day-to-day Sod Nigella house is really like.  That way, when I start showing you little, carefully photographed insights of my occasionally quaint and pleasant life, you know that it's all LIES and can feel a jolly lot better about yourself. 

1. One of many piles of books around the house, as we can't be bothered to buy/construct more shelves

2. Hole in the kitchen ceiling, which the shower leaks through everyday.

3. Kitchen cupboard sans door, as it keeps falling off (poly filla apparently not permanent solution to everything)

4. Omnipresent ironing pile, with omnipresent unhelpful feline.

5. Pile of post which is too important to throw in the bin and risk identity fraud, but we are otherwise unsure of what to do with. 

6. An OCD picture of my hair straighteners.  I do this quite often on leaving the house, to stop myself flipping out when I get to the end of the road wondering whether I remembered to switch them off.  OCD seems to be quite fashionable these days though, so I don't feel any need to address the fact that I have more photos of my GHDs than I do my boyfriend.

So, as you will see, behind the lens of each blogger's iphone lurks a shit-tip of admin and un-done chores.

Anywho, some aforementioned 'lifestyle' for you.  Last week, Ben and I went to a wine tasting.  As you may have guessed from Ben's guest post, he knows a lot about wine. He's in the booze business after all.  I, on the other hand, know sod all, other than that Lambrini is generally considered a bad thing. This is not through lack of trying on Ben's part. Whenever we have wine (quite often) I am told all about it, nod intensely, and then a few glugs and hiccups later I have forgotten almost everything. 

Ergo, wine tastings aren't really my thing.  Mainly because I have a terrible fear of being That Sort of Person.  In my head, wine tastings are full of ruddy cheeked, booming chaps in corduroy trousers, and timid women who play bridge and go to the hairdressers because they actually enjoy it, rather than because their fringe is about to take over the Universe.  These couples almost certainly have a pair of Bang and Olufsen speakers, go on holiday more than once a year to their own villa in France or Italy and have been on the brink of divorce for the last three years. 

This perhaps wasn't true of the crowd we were with, but I'm not sure I entirely fitted in.  In the first ten minutes I had been told off for looking bored during the talk, snorted Rioja through my nostrils when Ben described something as tasting like 'a summer meadow', and on being asked what I thought of Number 11, I slurred to one poor gentleman, "God knows, I'm a bit shitfaced now to be honest".

If you would like more, or perhaps less, info on the 12 wines from Spain which we tasted, then I have helpfully included for you mine and Ben's notes from the night (yes, they made us take notes).

1. 2011 Herederos del Marques de Riscal, Verdejo, Reuda (£9.50)
Ben: Light and zippy, lots of grassy lemony flavours, not quite to the extant of a Sauvignon though, with a touch of under ripe melon.
Morgan: Necked it. Too busy trying to concentrate on the talk

2. 2010 Mariona, Moscatel de Alejandra, Alicante (£8.00)
Ben: Really interesting wine, extreme nose of apricots, fresh and dried, and jasmine, taught palate with a hint of bitterness underlying the rich peach and grapes.
Morgan: Tastes like Schloer, but with alcohol, bonus!

3. 2010 Izadi, Rioja Blanco, Rioja (£11.25)
Ben: Well balanced, good length, but ultimately quite uninteresting.  Unoaked.
Morgan: Very lemony.  I like lemons, but apparently not in wine.

4. 2010 Valminor, Albarino, Rias Biaxas (£13.75)
Ben: Broad, prawny, yeasty nose, incredibly precise lemony palate, much more focused than the sesame-toast-like nose would suggest.
Morgan: Crab? Distinct aroma ofThai cuisine.

5. 2010 Ailala, Treixadura, Ribeiro (£10.50)
Ben: Muted peach aromas.  Well balanced and Rhone-like, but not as sweet or rich.
Morgan: Nice label...

6. 2011 Mas Amor Rosado, Massard, Catalunya (£9.25)
Ben: Nose of Campinos, strawberries and vanilla, palate of bright red fruits.  Nice, but a bit girly and silly.
Morgan: Werther's Originals and rare veal (Rose, of course)

7. NV Brut Cava Rosat, Castillo Montblac, Catalunya (£10.50)
Ben: Brilliant.  Incredible spicy nose, red orange skin, clementines, grass, and a long palate of red fruits and tangerine.  Methode Traditional.  Lively fizz in the glass, but the bottle lost its bubbles quite quickly.
Morgan: Fizzy Ribena

8. 2010 Mariona, Alicante Bouschet, Alicante (£8.00)
Ben: Very light but full and fruity - raspberries, lime, nettles on the nose, soft but inky and dark fruit palate. Great length.  Interesting wine as it's made from the only grape variety to have red flesh.
Morgan: Meh

9. 2010 MasDelmera, Monastrell/Tempranillo, Jumila (£7.75)
Ben: Quite young.  Strawberries and blackcurrant aroma, with a little cheesy feety sort of overtone, carries over to the palate with plum skins, fresh blueberries and a hint of Edam...
Morgan: Really quite drunk now.  Why is nobody else this drunk?

10. 2006, Lezcano - Lacalle, Vino de Reserva, Pago de Valetaima, Cigales (£19.00)
Ben: Like arriving at a hay-filled meadow with your loved one, unfurling your blanket under the nearest oak tree and unpacking the picnic basket only to realise the strawberries have bruised in the heat and the raspberry and almond trifle has all but melted away.
Morgan: Whiff of rotten bananas. Taste of cotton wool.

11. 2008 Pago de los Capellanes, Tinto Crianza, Ribera del Duero (£22.00)
Ben: An incredible wine of precision, power and potential.  Pencil shavings, straw, dung, fresh red fruit and a palate of black fruit, roses, globe artichoke and lemon.
Morgan: You know when you've had asparagus and then you go for a wee? Yeah, that smell. Or artichokes.  Definitely green stuff.

12. Finca Santa Sabina, Tempranillo/Cabernet Sauvignon, Somontano (£14.90).
Ben: Slight come-down after the last wine, but still good.  Clean, inky nose of red fruit and strawberries.  Rich tannins and dark wood mingle with summery fruits.
Morgan: Mr Muscle furniture polish. Don't know how I know this, never polished anything in my life.

Then we had steak and chips and all was right with the world.

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