EXPLORING THE WORLD OF WINE – GETTING MORE OUT OF EACH GLASS

You may enjoy a good glass of wine and find that it helps you to relax after a long day at work.  However, if you aren’t able to truly look into the wine you are drinking or pull out particular flavours  then there is high chance that you are not enjoying it as much as you could be. But there some easy ways to improve your wine drinking experience.

Let your Glass of Wine Sit

When you pour a glass of wine, don’t taste it right way. Instead, you need to let it sit for anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes. I like to do this because it really opens up the flavour and aroma, which both change over time.

I do this with nearly every wine that I can because it offers a completely different experience with every bottle opened. Try it, see if you agree.

 

Wine glass being filled with red wine.

Know your Wine

 

Use the correct Glass

I would never consider drinking Oddbins champagne out of anything other than a champagne flute. For that reason, I think that it is important to make sure that you drink your wine out of the correct glass.

This is because the shape of the glass changes how the wine smells and tastes. It is well worth investing in some quality wine glasses as it will completely change your tasting experience. Some flavours will jump out over others and it will also make you feel as though you are focusing on the specific wine you have.

 

Two wine glasses with white wine

Exploring the World of Wine

 

 Write Things Down

I have to admit that I had never really thought about doing this until I started to learn more about wine, but writing things down is crucial. If you have a nice bottle of wine then although you are sure you will recall the label and the name, there is a high chance that you will have forgotten it all the moment you try to buy it again.

This is completely normal, but if you write things down then you can avoid all of this. Jot down the price of the wine, the brand, the flavours and the shop where you purchased it.

Of course, it is important to know that sometimes you won’t be able to taste the same flavours because not every bottle of wine tastes the same however this is a great way for you to see how the flavours can change and even how your own palette changes as you drink the wine.

Of course, the above tips are super fun when you try wine with friends!

 

This is a collaborative post.

IS IT TIME TO STOP TAKING THE TABLETS

I’ll admit it, I’m lucky, I’m in my mid 60’s and I haven’t taken a single prescription tablet for the last 5 years, and I’ve done all I can to avoid the Doctor. If you are currently pill popping, is it time to stop taking the tablets?

Stethescope

Avoid the Doctor!

But is it really down to luck, or more about my refusal to go to the Doctors with some of the same symptoms that might make other people my age get their surgery on speed dial for an appointment as soon as possible.

I’m not saying for one minute that I’m never ill, but if I’m in pain or feeling uncomfortable,  I just take a pain killer and wait for it to go away, and clearly for the past 5 years at least, that’s exactly what ‘it’ has done!  (more…)

THE UNCHARITABLE LUNCH

After a couple of weeks of ‘settling in’ it was time to venture out and about and meet some new people, and by coincidence, I found myself at the same restaurant four times in as many weeks.

By now, I don’t have to even read the menu, or wonder what their paella tastes like.  But at 9e for a 4 course meal including wine, it would be churlish to refuse an invitation.

IMG_1040 (3)It was the last two visits that have really given me food for thought ~ no pun intended ~ MUCH!

I think I mentioned before that the ladies of the village are very BIG on fundraising for good causes, and so on visit 3 to the restaurant, I found myself at a lunch with 23 complete strangers, to raise  funds for a ‘much needed white board for the local school’.

The group were all very welcoming, an even mix of mature couples and some single women.   I chatted with a couple of ladies, and we swopped numbers with good intentions of meeting up for coffee.

It was all very nice and kind of well, ‘safe’, nobody swore, and nobody got pissed.

But then I’m not in Essex any more.

Things did get a bit more interesting when they had what us common people call a ‘whip round’.  This was in fact a little basket, which was passed round the table for everyone to donate something towards the ‘much needed white board for the local school’.

You can never be sure, at times like this, what is the right amount to throw in. It’s like the collection after a funeral at a church.  Do you put in all your old shrapnel, or is it only polite to pop in some bank notes at the appropriate moment.

I know the 72 virgins waiting thing won’t apply to us lot, but if there should be 72 fit blokes waiting, then I don’t know about you, but I want to be in with a chance, and you don’t know whose watching from on high.

So anyway, I’m thinking, OK, this lunch is for a ‘much needed white board for the local school’.  There are 24 of us here, I’m not sure how much a white board is, but collectively, we could get some helpful cash in the kitty, so I chuck 10e into the mix.

IMG_1041Of course I couldn’t be sure, but I’m probably the one with the least amount of money in the room, but nevertheless it’s all for a good cause as someone once said.

The 4 course meal, (including wine!) is only costing 9e, so worse way, along with my donation, that’s a total of about £15.00 in old money and in the UK I’ve spent  more than that on JUST a posh sandwich and a couple of glasses of Prosecco, and the only ‘board’ in site is the one saying ‘Specials’.

I know, I KNOW, champagne taste on my lemonade salary.

Using my fingers and toes, I do some elementary sums in my head, and I reckon that with 23 other people round the table, conservatively, we could end up with in excess of 200e and in my mind’s eye I can see little Maria and Jose being dazzled by their new, all singing, all dancing ‘much needed white board in the local school’, very soon

The ladies who organised the fund raising lunch, play it dead cool and to abide by the charitable rules, decide for some reason NOT to count the money at the table in the restaurant, but to count it privately in front of a chosen few.

Don’t get me wrong, the fundraising ladies are doing a fantastic job, but I have to point out here that we were in fact the only people in the restaurant at this point, it wasn’t like we were in Maccy D’s in Dalston, the risk of a mugging was fairly remote.

The results of the count up were to be posted on Facebook (where else) and I found this hilarious; anyone would think it was some kind of haul, to be tipped out of a swag bag and counted over candle light, somewhere in a dark tunnel. Talk about making a drama out of a whip round, it’s a wonder Securicor wasn’t summoned to oversee things.

Later that night, the scores on the doors were indeed freely available for all to see, and it turned out, that with 24 people in attendance, the 4 course fundraising lunch that cost just 9e per person (including wine) raised just 98e for that ‘much needed white board for the local school’.    H60 Purse strings.

 WHAT THE FUCK?

I personally put in 10e of that, which left 88e, raised between the 23 others.

Now YOU do the sums!

At this rate, it looks like Maria and Jose will be using chalk and a slate for some considerable time yet. Bless their little sombreros.

And visit number 4 to the same restaurant?

Surprise, Surprise, it had the lot, tears, laughter, camera’s and the very same Paella, BUT the very same 4 course menu (including wine) costs 3e more in the evening.

Bloody Hell, I won’t see the whiteboard fundraisers there after dark then

Charity swear box

THE NOT SO CLEVER KIR ROYALE!

 

DSC_0326I’m lucky enough to work at a very lovely wedding venue, where, on arrival guests are served with a variety of welcome drinks. This might be something like Bucks Fizz, a lovely summery Pimm’s or very often a drink called Kir Royale.

Traditionally, Kir Royale is made from Crème de Cassis, which is a gorgeous rich dark syrup made from blackcurrants.  It is usually mixed with sparkling wine or champagne, and served in flutes.

Last week a collegue was trying to be helpful and laid out all the essential items for us to make our large serving jugs of Kir Royale. She also kindly poured the fruit syrup into the bottom of the jugs, ready for us to top it up with a chilled sparkling wine.

Corks were popped and the fizz was fizzing.  However, on this occasion something had gone very wrong.  Our usually lovely, pale pink cocktails, had a distinct look of Tizer about them and were in fact bright orange.

We scratched our heads and sniffed and sipped, until all was revealed.

GRENADINE was the culprit.  Our ‘helper’ had mistakenly used Grenadine instead of Crème de Cassis and we’d already made up several jugs of the stuff before we noticed.

Well, as you can imagine, being an alcoholic drink, it seemed a shame to pour it away, so we hastily found some empty bottles and decanted the strange looking potion, which we decided couldn’t be ‘that’ bad and to save any waste we would take it home and focus on the sparkling wine part of the drink rather than the Grenadine.

It was an any old port in a storm situation really. If it contains alcohol, it’ll be fine…..that kind of thinking.

Trust me, words cannot describe how horrible it was.   Such a disappointment!