A tall skinny bottle, not good for cellaring in a wine fridge. . . 12.5%; whole bunches, though it's hard to tell. It seems straight and narrow and entirely conventional, pure and driven. Lime and powder, salt on the tongue, some unresolved green phenolic crunch to conclude.

Expecto petronum. . . The wine in question is warm and the nose a little diffuse; but it's completely disarming, lush and lip smacking. Raisins and lift on the nose, it's bright and soft, large with few bones. Bold with a seam of acid to offset the power. Yes.

Unfiltered and at first I thought impure. It's certainly very extravagant and flamboyant, nothing restrained or held about this. . . Funky skin and stem - it smoulders and seems struck. . . curry leaf, spice, game and musk. Bracing and tart to open, but it improves and is more forgiving - while remaining unrepentantly brisk and sappy.

Beautiful, fragrant and poised. Soft and for a moment I thought this might be a Beaujolais - macerated fruit and stems, but then more depth and spice, mushrooms and earth. Light, delicate - but sure. It grows and is both quick and expansive. Bold, but contained, sappy and savoury. A perfect mid week wine.


I started them all, but only finished a pair. That's what happens when you pick your library books at random.

Here are some of my favourite lines:

The Buddha of Suburbia. 

In the suburbs people rarely dreamed of striking out for happiness. It was familiarity and endurance: security and safety were the rewards for dullness. 

Like many spectacular bores, his thoughts were catalogued and indexed. 

Gould's book of fish.

This bottle is almost at the end - the label peeling, the level dropping and the cork leaking, shrivelled and black, its final act - a plunge into the bottle as soon as it was touched. . . The liquid is still enjoyable - nutty, tired, mead like sweetness and a faint but defiant sting.


A trio of wines, all large in frame. Though I mostly enjoyed them, my palate has moved on to things slimmer, quicker and less bombastic.

Pierro Chardonnay 2007. In wonderful condition, screw cap and from a cool cellar. Fatty and creamy, butterscotch. Round and wiggling. Before.

Elderton Command Shiraz 2008. 14.5%, screw cap. Puffed and inflated, a wine with no bones. Smooth and rich, vanilla and cream, sweet, warm and totally disarming.

Henschke Mount Edelstone 2002.


Start with a large enough pot (I used my tagine) and 2kg of beef ribs, ask the butcher to saw them into 3 inch strips, so each strip contains several ribs. Fry in batches, rendering off some of the fat. When all the meat is well coloured, set aside. Pour off most of the fat and add some fresh olive oil and then the spices - 6 cloves of garlic (peeled, flattened), a small knob of ginger, 3-4 small dried chillies, 8 cloves, 3 star anise, 15 black peppercorns and two sticks of cinnamon.

The prettiest of the Foillard wines? Superb perfume - earth and spice, strawberries and just the right amount of animal. Delicate curves and sense of motion and beautiful minerality. Playful, serious, lithe and fleetingly chiselled. This manages to be several contrasting things at once.