Posts in Thinking
Brawn For The Brain

I was fortunate enough to dine at Brawn recently and I enjoyed some of the best food that I have eaten in quite some time. An exceptional dish of grilled duck hearts on fresh broad bean purée was followed by an equally delicious confit rabbit leg served with wet polenta and a delicate gremolata.

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Little Consolations From Giant Consolidations

To bastardise the words of Aeschylus, Hiram Johnson or Oliver Stone, the first casualty of wine is integrity. An almost inevitable result of the spate of mergers and acquisitions that seemed to characterise and redefine the Australian wine industry around the turn of the century was the loss of many of the things that had led to the companies involved being worth so much money.

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Pic Of The Bunch

It's not often that a cookbook impresses me so much that I want to write about it. Le Livre Blanc, by Anne-Sophie Pic, is just such a rarity: a jewel when viewed from every facet. From the stark modernity of the laser-cut, purposely-undersized slipcase and the pages' silver edging to the arresting beauty of the food within, this book encapsulates everything that haute cuisine aspires to be.

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Praising The Raisining

Run by the Boscaini family - for the last fifty or so years headed by Sandro Boscaini, a.k.a. “Mister Amarone” – Masi’s list of achievements rightly sets it apart as one of the most successful and important winemaking dynasties in the Veneto.

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Unreserved Pleasure

The annual carnival of mercenary hype is upon us once again and, as usual, my heart is filled with lament at the prospect of ever greater numbers of lovely wines rendered unaffordable by joyless speculation and hoarding. As good a time as any, then, to open a bottle of Bordeaux bought in slightly less cynical times when a reasonable amount of wine was still bought to drink rather than to resell.

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That's Amarone

One of the funny things about the creative process, at least as far as we left-brainers are concerned, is that what you end up with can often bear little resemblance to that which you set out to create. The travelling is more important than the arriving; the artistic endeavour more significant than the resulting artwork. Even more bafflingly, this is perfectly acceptable. Try to run a business that way and see what happens.

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An Indescribable Folly

This may not be the finest piece of writing on my blog, indeed I haven't actually written most of it, but even voices as eloquent as those of Jancis Robinson MW and Hugh Johnson OBE barely begin to convey the concentration of narrow minded, short sighted and thoughtless decision making involved in the €270 million folly that is the Hochmoselübergang (Upper Mosel Crossing).

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Far From A Fiasco

The importance of Marchesi Piero Antinori’s contribution to Tuscan wine specifically, to Italian wine generally and to the standing of both in the wider world of wine cannot easily be overstated. The figures make impressive enough reading on their own: Piero is the 26th generation of a family whose unbroken winemaking provenance dates back to 1385…

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Prüm And Proper

This evening I opened a bottle of Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese 2009 (7.5% ABV) recently purchased from Howard Ripley, a specialist importer of truly great wines from the homes of some of my favourite wines: Germany and Burgundy. As you’d expect from one of the world’s greatest Riesling producers, this was a hugely enjoyable and particularly well-crafted bottle of wine.

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Giuseppe Quintarelli: Never To Be Forgotten

Giuseppe Quintarelli, the incomparably gifted and inspirational maestro of the Valpolicella region, has passed away aged eighty-four after suffering from Parkinson's disease for some years. Each of his wines, from his Valpolicella to his Amarone Riserva, has such effortlessly beautiful poise, concentration and sense of place that it is easy to overlook the dedication, the skill and the love that the quietly unassuming "Bepi" lavished upon them.

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A Moan And A Wine

I always try my best to support tastings up here in the north west, even if I have to pay for a ticket so to do! A recent, and rather high profile, event caught my eye and I thought that I should pop along to see what it was all about. This was the second in a series of three tastings hosted by the Three Wine Men: Oz Clarke, Tim Atkin MW and Olly Smith, all of whom are perfectly charming and frighteningly knowledgeable.

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