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Food and drink - Off in the distance — LiveJournal
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May 2016

The Bellinghman
Date: 2013-02-10 16:19
Subject: Food and drink
Security: Public
Last night, we had an ox-cheek pie (with a herby shortcrust pastry top). I like ox cheek - it's a very cheap cut that cooks up really well given enough hours gentle cooking time.

To drink, we had a bottle of Grant Burge's Filsell Old Vine Shiraz 2000, from the Barossa Valley

Damn, I wish we had a few more bottles of that. I haven't a clue where I got it, but the back label was right is saying that it would benefit from careful cellaring. Online guides indicate it peaked a year or two ago, and that I'd have to pay £30 a bottle to replace it. But I may be tempted to get a newer vintage.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2013-02-10 20:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As it happens, not in this case, though had you done we'd have much to thank you for.

We used to be members of a wine+dine tasting club, based in Hannover Square in Mayfair and founded by a certain Don Hewitson. As a Kiwi and being brother to Oz-based celebrety chef Ian Hewitson, he was well aware of good Australian wine and used to claim at least partial responsibility for introducing the British public to it.

Anyway, back sometime in the late '90s, he founded this club. At the time we lived in Ealing, so coming in to Oxford Circus wasn't too bad a journey (from here, it's a 3 hour round trip). Once a month he'd put a themed set of wines together, usually from a single wine maker, and work out a menu with his chef Louis to complement the foods. And he's have the winemaker (if possible) or a specialist buyer (in the case of a non-single-maker session) to talk to us about the wines while we enjoyed them.

One session, we had Grant Burge. (Presumably in London for business anyway, we'd not be able to afford to fly him over.)

And that's when I got to try that particular wine, in the presence of its maker.

I recall the session that was devoted to the launch of the Mumm 2000 vintage, presented by their new Chef du Caves. Not a bad wine, but a bit young, and I preferred the 1990. Happily for us, the arrival of the 2000 meant that various places that had the 1990 on their shelves then dropped the price to clear their shelves for the 2000. Happy days as I cleared out a number of branches of Tesco of their final few bottles.

Sadly, the club wound down as Don himself wound down. He passed responsibility to some friends in Pimlico, which was a nightmare for us because we'd move up here by then, and that place was a long walk from the nearest tube station. In the end, it dwindled and vanished.
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Laura Anne Gilman
User: suricattus
Date: 2013-02-10 20:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fair enough. The ex-guy turned me onto Burge back around then, too.
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