Friday, 17 December 2010




On a desert what is vital fluids or thoughts?

Descartes was wrong. Because we don't owe our existence to thoughts but to fluids. And the most salubrious fluid water is in a very dominant proportion in any Champagne. Oh yes I do concede: it does have side effects. Well I am quite content to live with that thought.

Friday, 3 December 2010


Psychoanalysis is dead! Fortunately, Champagne is not!

I attended a public debate at London School of Economics on whether or not it should remain only in the clinic; the word clinic is important as it defines the place where psychoanalytical process takes place, that is that the process has to happen between the analyst and the analysand. The whole point however was dull. Well actually not so much because, and in the end, the panel started discussing the point of purity of psychoanalysis which infers 'that it is not sullied' but not by political influences as depicted on the example of Nazi analysts post WW2 but more like influence from other disciplines of 'psycho' field, such as therapy, psychiatry or psychology. At any rate the public debate was not so much a debate but more of a public reading of the recent works that people who had lovely academically decorated names, recently publish, for what seemed, a last bark of the dying soul of psychoanalysis. And thus I concluded that psychoanalysis was dead (in that not only who established it Herr Freud, but also its relevance to our lives).

Champagne is so much older (as a drink) and it is nowhere near retirement or its dead; and I doubt if it ever dies (Global warming? - increasingly, almost every year is declared as a vintage!)

So in early, and very frosty evening in London I went to the usual shop to get my dose of 'purity' unsullied or tarnished by any thought, any one, any where. Once I got it I thought I was being dull but for the prices I was keen to research the consistency, so I got another bottle of Bollinger La Grande Annee 2000 (because the price went down) and rode Lady Di home with one pit stop in another newly discovered shop where Comtes de Champagne is bargain so I had too bottles and in the end I was infused by own sense of purity.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010


What? 1998? The shop had on display the 99 vintage and I got the 98! I feel betrayed! 

Do you suppose I care? In a way I do. But not to such an extent that I would fly back to the shop and complain about the fact that the bottle was not what I had wanted. If there is one reason why I would fly back to the shop it is only to get another bottle. That will not happen this evening because I have got a back up in the fridge. Sadly not the same tipple but something different and by the time I would get to the shop it will have been shut.

In truth, if I were to rant about how great this wine is I would be lying. Simply because I am somewhat inert in respect of smelling anything or tasting anything which I think has something to do with my psycho-spiritual inertia which I m experiencing now (simply phrased 'I am bored'). Perhaps it will take a few more sips to achieve the contrary.

I would hate to rob you of some info though!

Comtes De Champagne is a great tipple and not always does it reveal itself in its full glory! I recall 95 being just as refined, and that was all I got as is the case with this 98. Now when I first tasted the 98, sneakily sniffing to the wine at a posh restaurant which wanted to hire me but in the end did not (for whatever reason, and I am glad they did not!) I was taken a back by roasted walnuts and limes which were just like a slap in the face! (similar to white Corton Charlemagne)

Anyway, the point is that this wine is so pure you can drink the whole bottle and don't feel any effect of the alcohol. There are several champagnes like that but Comtes dances. 

Naturally, because it is a straight chardonnay the effervescence will not be that great (I mean that the saturation of carbon dioxide will be proportionately smaller that that of any standard champagne - this is a standard practice in champagne and I think the precedence was set by Mumm's Cremant de Cramant which is a legendary tipple too). This results in a much more mellow fizz and when at the right temperature the wine just flourishes as does any more expensive Burgundy.

Straight Chardonnays from Champagne have not really been to my great liking but there are few exceptions which rule the scene light years ahead of its counter parts in Burgundy. Comtes is one of them.

About 40 min after opening the wine has warmed up and just tastes great and refined and I m about to finish the last glass and I continue to be coherent (at least so I think). 

So if you get the chance get it. If you don't have the means for it get someone to buy for you and even if that fails, just save up though if you want to get a good deal you will have to be a pretty good bitch or a dog to sniff one out. I did! But about good deals and where to find them next time!

Enjoy and YUMMMM!

p.s. my last mouthful of the glass displayed the nutty nose!

p.p.s. since I could smell something, does that indirectly imply that drinking makes me less psycho-spiritually inert (less bored)?

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


Since the day of the last entry on here I have not purchased a single bottle of champagne! This is due to a self imposed embargo on purchasing champagne. I was told 'that's great, you ll be sober then' but my friend stood corrected after I uttered 'just because I'm not purchasing champagne does not mean I won't be drinking it or drink at all'. So since the second letter in my alphabet is B (first is C -hampagne) Burgundy has been lubricating my thoughts.
I will continue with the embargo for at least the month of October and likely November, during which I'm relying on my self control to abstain from any nectar with side effects. This however does not mean that I am particularly strong willed.

Thursday, 2 September 2010


You can clearly imagine that I am lounging somewhere comfortable and drinking champagne feeling slightly merry and wanting to share my joy with the rest of the world. True!

Today, I got paid and the first thought was 'how shall I reward myself after a horrid few weeks of depravity?'
Our thoughts drifted to the direction of Pol Roger to reassess our opinion of what we tasted on ICD however given the time of arrival and the practicality of venturing with a magnum from the 'town' to 'home' with a gym session in between, we opted for a service of which I availed for the first time despite the fact my usual shop had offered it before. So I rode in with Spencer (my bike; aka Lady Di - btw nicknamed as such by my friends not me!) and ordered Bollinger's La Grande Annee 2000 in magnum, to be chilled for I wanted to collect it after my work out at the gym. Little did I know, that a chat at the gym, would entirely deprive me of the energy to continue with my work out I set out on the mission to do the basic shopping (for food) and then collect my precious cargo and continue the journey back to one's abode. Cold sweat covered my forehead one's I realised that I had left my debit card at the shop in which I had bought all the food, so I took flight from 'the usual' shop only to realise that I had slotted my debit card into a different compartment of my wallet (if a wallet is what I have). Drenched in sweat yet relieved, I returned to the usual shop and paid for the magnum.

The best glass
A dilemma ensued once I realised that my fridge couldn't accommodate a magnum in its erect position so the champagne wine did not spill yet remained cold. Solution: drink more from a larger glass!

The wine
Hmmmm, when I tasted this tipple from a single bottle I decanted the wine as it was so rich but I regretted afterwards. The magnum style actually suits this specific harvest more! The Burgundian wood is smacking you in the nose after about an hour you opened the magnum and tone of roasted nuts (more like fresh walnuts and slightly toasted hazel nuts come forth once you taste it. NO PLUMS! Shocking! On opening somewhat creamy texture promised itself to reveal something different, but now, irrespective of the state I may be in, recalling the tasting of 96 at Bollinger, I concluded, very much to Bollinger's surprise, that the wine had undergone MLF (malolactic fermentation). Was 2000 really that high on acidity? By comparison, there was weird dullness about the single bottle version of the 2000 harvest (which I, probably by mistake, decanted), however, the magnum shows a some sort of resemblance but retains 'good lips' (good lips is an expression I conceived when I tasted a bottle then licked my lips and a very vivacious feeling prevailed - my assumption of a good acidity; I could feel the tingling on the tip of my tongue).

Settled in the sofa, infused by almost 3 4ths I am happily declaring that the wine is developing nicely. Despite that, I would dissuade anyone from decanting the wine. Very much unlike what I would expect of a La Grande Annee, Nuts are the key feature of this tipple. It is not that I don't like it, on the contrary, given the speed in which I am consuming it, it is indeed an unlike La Grande Annee. Where is the greenery of 99 or even more pronounced 97? Where is incomprable accacia wood of 95? These questions can only be answered by one simple answer 'each harvest has its specific characteristics'.

The Point
An Inebriated View - the title originates or in fact is inspired by a work of a psychiatrist (Claudio Naranjo) who published his work 'Character and Neurosis; An Intergral View'. So I thought why not title the book That I have been writing in a similar fashion!

Pragmatically speaking!
Go for it! Bollinger hardly ever fails! Its vintages show different character in different styles i.e. RD or La Grande Annne but nevertheless they deliver that is why Sutcliffe, Stevenson or Juhlin declare it as their 'favourites' and my opinion does not differ.


Thursday, 19 August 2010


So here we go. 

The 7th ICD is over. As much as I thought it would rather be a somber event Pol Roger 1999 in Magnum could hardly be regarded as such. Fortunately, I had help from friends. This year was the first time I actually spent ICD with someone. All previous years were exclusively in the company of the bottle and since 'there is always a first' (in any respect) I thought: 'Well why not'; an unusual reason to break a habit of 7 years. Nevertheless what a blast!

The wine was quite impressive but so are most Pol Roger vintages (save the 1995 which was just 'fine'). First I tasted the 99 in a single bottle which my friend gave me few months ago and the first prominent notes were smoky and delicate. Somewhat mushroomy on the nose after the initial smokyness drifted subsequently tailed with hints of honey and slightly earth-like aroma. In the magnum this was not so pronounced or easily discernible and but both, the bottle and the magnum, had a classic Pinot Noir based drive and delicate acidity. 

Pol Roger does not have a very distinctive character (such as, Bollinger or Gosset )on the palette but what I noticed it is very well balanced and very refined with ordinary vintages topping even Krug Grand Cuvee. The word 'fine' describes it the best.

Recommendations: just drink it. 
Will I buy it again? yes, and probably very soon. May my pay day come!