Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The importance of family (plus wine and life in general)

I haven't posted on this blog anywhere near as much as I would like in recent times, which is down to a combination of circumstances - namely family, wine business and (frankly) sheer laziness. Anyway, by way of an update...........

July and August have come and gone in the blink of an eye, with no less than 5 pallets of new wines (from around a dozen different growers) and all that such activity entails. Not to mention a whole lot of other activity on the wine front - which, thankfully, entailed a decent amount of selling of the stuff(!) And of course we have enjoyed the best summer we've had in many a year, which meant plenty of lazy evenings spent barbecuing on the patio, eating lots of great food and enjoying plenty of good wine. No excuses at all - when it comes down to a choice between blogging and lazing about on a balmy evening, there is only going to be one winner. Food, wine and the company of family wins every time.

I have also to a certain extent been preoccupied with my Mum. Regular readers may know that she's not been too healthy recently. Following a bout of pneumonia in December last year, plus another couple of stays in hospital in Spring, she has been battling ill-health for most of this year. With an ever-increasing cocktail of drugs (Warfarin, Digoxin and a veritable box-full of other stuff), weekly visits to the health centre for blood tests and a constantly uphill battle against the resulting heart failure symptoms, she's had a right old time of it. Although she is 84 and has been afflicted with COPD for a number of years, she has always been extremely active and enjoyed an excellent social life. But this year has been different and - despite the wonderful summer - her illness has certainly taken its toll. Indeed, last week, I was beginning to wonder whether she would see the month out, never mind the year. It was all very depressing - not least for her, but also for me and the rest of the family. But over the past few days, lo and behold, she seems like a different woman. Something is working, and she seems much more chipper than she has in quite a while. Of course, it is still one day at a time, but every sign of improvement is a blessing.

Add to that the fact that my youngest son Daniel has had a promotion at work, oldest son Alex has found a new job, and they are both therefore happier (and better off financially) and it all adds up - for now at least - to all being well with the world. Of course, it cannot last (does it ever?) but whilst it does, I'm going to enjoy it. These are the days.

Chicken marinating in a spicy sauce, with onions, garlic, mushrooms, chillies and capsicums -
- and a rather more-ish red Burgundy to aid the preparation!
When I first started writing this entry a couple of days ago (see what I mean about being distracted?!) I was about to cook a wonderful chicken stir fry, prepared whilst enjoying a wine picked up at a bargain price from a local bin-end supplier, namely, the Blason de Bourgogne 2008 Beaune you see in the picture. Made by a mere "negociant" - or at least a large producer that buys-in most of its grapes, in the form of a co-operative - it is a decent, fruity, uncomplicated wine with plenty of Pinot/Burgundy character. It isn't complicated or even particularly concentrated - in fact, it is almost alarmingly light in colour, and would certainly not go down too well with those looking for bags of fruit or body. But it does what it says on the tin,  with sour cherry, cedar and damp earth aromas and flavours and cracking acidity. And at around the same price as your average supermarket BOGOF, it provided brilliant value for money. Oh, and it went beautifully with the stir fry!

Anyway, now I have eased myself very gently back into the blog, I intend to publish my notes on a rather good tasting of Californian red wines, last week at Nottingham Wine Circle. That will be within the next day or two........ Meanwhile, I am off for this week's edition - a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir special!

1 comment:

Vinogirl said...

Hope your mum is feeling better!
Looking forward to your California tastings :)