There’s no doubt that the way a plate is presented can enhance the enjoyment of its food.  Arranged with art, a meal can be turned into something special.  And while arrangement doesn’t change the actual taste of the food, it gives us a chance to add aesthetic appreciation to our enjoyment of the taste.  I […]

Lindemans Cawarra

This Lindemans Cawarra was a pretty decent south-east Australian Semillon-Chardonnay blend, in that order. It was a decent 13.5% and had quite an excellent nose – difficult to distinguish from some of the better examples from the same region. There’s a very helpful label on the back with two sliders showing how dry or fruity […]

Hotel apples

When I stay in hotels, I’m in the habit of picking up an apple from the bowls that are often found in the lobby, and taking it back to my room.  Any uneaten by the time I leave are brought back with me to be used at home.  I very often make them into apple […]

Sweet herring at home

I returned from my visit to Sweden, and brought back a reminder of its goodies.  I picked up a jar of Mattjessill sweet pickled herring – the sort I like best.  I bought some rye bread, making sure it was the moist, dark kind the supermarket here calls “German Style,” though it’s also prevalent in […]


This was a Chardonnay-Semillon blend from 2008, made by Heritage Road, with subtitle ‘Moonstone’. It was south-east Australian and 12.5%. There’s really only one thing to say about this wine: classy. Its flavours were so similar to a lot more expensive Burgundy whites that I was quite taken aback, having paid only £3.99 for it! […]

Favourite grill

There are many things you can grill, ranging from a cheese-coated mushroom to the latter stage of a cheese-topped shepherd’s pie. My favourite is a chicken leg – drumstick and thigh together. From the fridge, this takes me, on my grill, about eleven minutes on each side, and I prefer to do the underside before […]

New blend

This was new and quite novel rosé, it apparently (from the front of the bottle) being made entirely of Chenin Blanc. Knowing this to be impossible without false colouring (which might well be illegal depending on where it’s from), I made a cursory investigation on the back of the bottle. The label explained that just […]

Raspberry dessert

One of the lunches served at my Stockholm conference looked too good to resist. It was very small, which added to its appeal. On top was a chilled raspberry compote, set above a light, cold custard. The creaminess and sweetness of the custard perfectly offset the texture and tanginess of the fruit. This is so […]

Cono Sur

Clearly the makers of this wine have something of a sense of humour, given the pun on the name. This one was a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, at 13% and from 2009 (nice and young – just how I like them). Although not from New Zealand, this was particularly similar to the better ones from Marlborough […]

Stockholm buffet

I was at a reception held by the Swedish think tank, Ratio. They served rather good (non-Swedish!) wines, including a South African chenin blanc and a Chilean cabernet sauvignon. What impressed me were the sandwiches, however. They came on good tasty bread, including light rye, and featured fillings which included salmon and cream cheese. They […]


This was a Chardonnay – Chenin Blanc blend from 2008, from South Africa. It was an excellent example of the two grapes combined in one, and really pretty good on its own, although also robust enough probably for strong fish, like salmon, and even perhaps lighter meats like pork, but certainly a well-seasoned roast chicken. […]