The last two bottles I tried were from a warm cellar, in contrast this bottle has been in my wine fridge since purchase. The cork was crusted with tartrate crystals and mostly I thought the shape was better, though in the end my opinion was unchanged. The opening few minutes the most convincing. The nose in particular is deep and satisfying, layered and not immediately cliched. Spice, rosewood, menthol, Margaret river, bramble and boot. Much later it is the rosewood and boot that linger. It's full and bursting at the seams, the lines have been breached and it feels diffuse, warm and languid. It's fractionally better the next day.

Image - the completed meal.

Treachery in Bordeaux. Book one of a wine maker detective series. The protagonist Benjamin Cooker is a wine maker, critic, buyer of modest works of art / wine paraphernalia and part time detective. He spends sleepless, tortured nights struggling over his tasting notes (?!) and he even writes harsh words about his own wines (the slings and arrows).

Somewhat belatedly I've invested in a tagine and heat diffuser. Till now I've been making do with my trusty Le Creuset cocotte. . . I suspect the difference in the meals I cook will be fairly marginal, but the sounds and smells of my imaginary Morocco already seem clearer.

Seven, the magic number.

In summary - brown the meat and while doing this prepare the spices, vegetables and herbs, then construct, seal and cook.

A recipe for gado gado.

I started off with a 450g pork tenderloin, after salting it was down to 340g and now after a month of drying, in the controlled environment of my spare fridge, which doubles as my white wine store, the meat weighs 260g.

It is acceptable. I was concerned it might be slightly sweet from the sugar in the cure, but it's mostly salt and paprika and it does remind me of my home produced duck ham.

Mint (soft tips only) from the garden, feta (marinated) from Kytren of Gidgegannup, sugar snaps (blanched in boiling water and split open) from the market and peas (defrosted and rinsed in cool water) straight from the freezer. . .

I dare not hope for apples, but both sides of my grafted tree have now produced flowers, though a few weeks apart. I don't want to pressure them or the bees, that seem more interested in my fecund olive tree that needs no help, but some action today or tomorrow please before the window shuts.

I think this is stylistically closer to the Arthurs Creek than the Tarraford. There's more stone than creamy augmentation and something green springs from the glass. . .

The mouth is greater than the nose. . . The sensory impact on the tongue more telling and demanding than the scent which seems to belong something else. It's bitter and pith like, with grapefruit, grip and length. The nose reminds me of a riesling - flint, powder, pollen and crushed lime leaf.

I made too much Marie Rose sauce and so it was back to the fish shop to purchase more prawns. I wanted to share a childhood memory with my own children. My Father would cook a batch of cutlets and we would devour them, I can still remember the fizz as the prawns hit the oil. . . I bought a score of Jumbo kings, may be 70 grams a piece, then - removed the shell, taking care to leave the tail segment in place.

A mostly successful rendition of this recipe for feta stuffed flat breads; though my daughter, hand pictured, did managed to eat much of the feta before it could be placed into the bread.  My dough was a little too watery and sticky, and not the easiest to handle, so the resultant 'flatbreads' were several inches thick. . .

For future reference (and a less sticky dough). Dry ingredients - 400g spelt or whole meal flour / 400g white flour / 1 sachet dried yeast / 1 large pinch salt.
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