Wednesday, 17 July 2013


I missed out on 1996, 1999, 2000 and I am filled with remorse! So drawn to the astonishing price tag at Tesco I got a bottle of La Grande Annee Rose!

I had to cycle around London to find which Tesco actually stocked it. I must confess that it felt nice to be chasing a single bottle but once I found it, worry engulfed me that it would be corked. I have always had a minor reservation towards Bolly's vintages as Rose and with a grunt, my expectations stayed relatively low, but the anticipation was rife!

My diary has the following entry:

'The colour is salmon pink, with a minor orange and brown hue. The mousse is exquisitely fine as if it were not grande mousseaux but more cremant. I would like to say I am smelling griotte cherries but I am more inclined to say that there is a strong presence of raisins soaked in rum with a dash of strawberry sirup (and raspeberry but only just). There is also a slight hint of burnt glucose, of cream and of sponge cake. There is something 'green'. On the palette it was slightly restrained with pronounced mirabelles and classic Bollinger plum. 3rd glass later (half a bottle) the wine opened up and the hints became ever more distinct and defined leaning towards brioche, honey and slight undergrowth.'

Bollinger in its blurb accompanying the bottle wrote that the wine would age well, which I am not sure how exactly that was intended but with much lower than ideal acidity, and fairly high sugar content in grapes its extended aging potential is debatable. I won't write it off just like that, however, I will say that the aromas could and will develop into something very spectacular. But then is Rose not supposed to be drunk fresh?

Nevertheless a GREAT wine! and a bloody good bargain!!!



It looks like sobriety is increasingly fashionable. 'oh I don't drink' is the new I-am-so-cool-for-being-able-to-deal-with-reality-unaided that ethanol containing beverages are gradually shunned. However, the sale of Champagne rocket. Mumm once declared that 'in recession (hard times) Champagne is the first luxury to go'. I am not sure that it holds true anymore, but my point is truly and yet, still, purely about consumption. The days when I consumed copious amount of Champagne and clad it in the garb of slight delusion of assessing consistency in styles, had, in retrospect, at least that to conclude. I have dramatically reduced consumption based on the conclusion that yes the styles of various producer are very consistent and decided, following a private conference with my liver and kidneys, that it is time to review and reassess the original strategy of monitoring consistencies.

In other words; I am 10 years older now and I can't drink as much as I used to, which of course I don't mind because, naturally, I prefer being sober rather than drunk. But I have developed a strong antagonistic attitude with my body which, naturally, without prior consultation, decided that after certain amount of ethanol enriched drink the recovery process will double. God knows I have tried to disprove that but I later realised that that would be a fight I was going to lose. Still, the failure had a profound effect on me. Fiscally, I suddenly ended up with considerably more cash. I actually experienced again what it used to be like to fall asleep rather than unconscious and I have shed a few pounds. Not that I have ever been obese or fat; on the contrary! I have always had a lean physique, but for a few months I started to feel that on the sides of the waist something strange started have a movement of its own, and worse, but still not too much, I developed ab flab that had a temperature of its own, colder than the rest of the body. Several months later, the words of Kate Moss resonate like the bells of a church: 'Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels'; the relevance of the statement is applied selectively because her passionate interest isn't overly calorific where mine generally is.

I used to see bottles of Champagne with price tags attached to them, now, with the extra cash I don't see those tags anymore, but what beams to my face is the amount of calories which in itself is not that big a deal, but conversely, the problem amplifies once the calories are translated into minutes on the treadmill at the gym. And it is there where all bottles of Champagne are equal!


p.s. I could nto resist and with the extra cash I bought something lovely....but that is next.