Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Father’s Day 20th June

Sunday and Fathers day as well, we all have to relax sometime. The boys gave me Gardening gloves, connector for my hosepipe and a watering can, complete with rose attachment. Are they trying to tell me something or is it just love.

This day started with Michael's paper round and then on to a walk on the beach. Some might say this is so mundane, but, and there is a but, this is a time of the week when the three of us are together. Robert joins us for the walk on the beach and we really enjoy that time as well. From there it is on to Tesco, for our Sunday breakfast then shopping and the day begins. Except this is a special day, wedding anniversary day, we have been together for 20 years and I still pinch myself.
I remembered in Tesco and Susan remembered last week and then forgot. This is because everyday is a celebration, of our love and friendship. Those two go hand in hand, without the one the other will wilt and die.

Susan see the clouds from here................

Clouds are not the puffs of angels, you know. They're only clouds. Friendly sometimes, but you can never be sure.
If I had longer arms, I'd push the clouds away, or make them hang above the water somewhere else. But, I'm just a man, who needs and wants mostly things he'll never have, looking for that thing hardest to find – himself. I've been going a long time now, and along the way I've learned a few things. You have to make the good times yourself. Take the little times and make them big times, and save the times that are alright for those that aren't so good. I've never been able to push the clouds away by myself, you always helped.

I know you all want to say this to the one you love, sometimes we get choked up, sometimes we remember but time steals the right moment. There is no time and there is no moment, all there is, is now.

Living with a good Cape wine. 21st June

Be more understanding then you normally would, for everyone you know is fighting some kind of battle.



Sunday, 20 June 2010

Vina Albali 2009 Airen – Felix Solis

Colour: Lightly toasted straw.
Smell: Sub tropical fruit.
Taste: Lightly fruited, smooth with that hint of fermented grape to finish, a fresh wine.

What they say on the bottle: Bursting with fresh fruity flavours and bright citrus aromas.

Verdict: Well those bursting fruity flavours are a little subtle for my palate and the citrus aroma is lost on me. Still a good wine for £3.34 (Tesco 3 for £10).This Spanish wine will be a regular visitor to this kitchen.
Well what can I say, two birthdays in one day and England (Rugby) beat Australia down under, the first time in 7 years. No, we will not gloat, but a little reminder to all those who follow proper sport, we have the Ashes coming up and a one day international against Australia on Tuesday. May the best team triumph and I wish those down under an exciting Ashes Series. The less said the better.
Mika from the Middle Smiths, the Princess Royal, is very eager to see the drawing from Lily Florence, depicting the family of Middle Smiths from the Vale of Mretoria.
Celen from Cookydale has indicated that she will review this wine as an independent observer. I can only hope my review lives up to her exacting standards.

Birthdays a plenty - Baron Saint Jean £2.99 Aldi (18th June)

Colour: Wee straw
Smell: Tropical fruit juice
Taste: Tropical fruit, not much new there

What they say on the bottle: A dry, refreshing Colombard, Ugni blanc and Sauvignon grapes grown in the region.

Verdict: Buy a case, I have reviewed this wine before, grownups fruit juice and stands the test of time.
The matriarch of Middle Earth is old, very old, only in years, always boosting that she will last to 103 she is still strong in mind and body. Her grandson, Markus Smith is entering his 35th year on this grateful Middle Earth and rages against being 35, when he still has a whole year to enjoy. This is all due to the Middle Smiths who lives in the Vale of Mretoria, time is different there.
Three score years and ten is our allotted time and the Matriarch is saying no to that, Markus will follow suit and his two boys will enjoy him for many a decade still. Happy Birthday Granny June and Mark, you are always in our thoughts and remember the song. 'When I get older, I will be stronger, just a waving flag.' The only redeeming feature of this overrated World Cup, is that inspiring song. I can not help but think of Travis every time I hear this song.
'When I get older, I will be stronger, I will play cricket.'
I hope you have enjoyed this special day and will enjoy your birthday year to come, any thing for a party. Lily Florence has drawn a wonderful picture of her family in the Vale of Mretoria, her second masterpiece is not yet completed, but rumour has it that it is all about her great, great granny who lives in the Vale of St Michael. A character study of our Matriarch, walking with her dogs on the beach, Orange Rocks, which she loves so much. Lily portrays her in the light of what we all say in our hearts. Smiley faces.

Best of the Best (17th June)

No this is not wine we are covering today, but an award.

'In many respects, the Governors Commendation Award is the highest accolade the school can bestow upon a pupil. It says that the student is the Best of the Best; a young person who has made such great progress or outstanding contribution to school life that we would like to say thank you from both the Governing body and the teaching staff'

Robert has been bestowed this honour by Poole High School. We will be attending the celebration of the award at Poole High on Monday and I will fill you in.

Middle Earth also has Commendation; we award those who go beyond the call of duty. If you know of anyone in Middle Earth, who might be in line for such an award, please let me know.

Tonight we are eating out in celebration of Michael, he has now completed his formal education and goes on to more rewarding learning.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Blossom Hill (France) Chardonnay – Chenin Blanc £3.34 (Tesco 3 for £10)

Colour: Rich straw
Smell: Melon, sweet and full of childhood memories
Taste: Very smooth fruity bouquet and a vanilla hint left at the finish, a good everyday dancing, singing wine that will not disappoint.

Verdict: Middle Earth this is the best wine I have tasted, no I am not joking, buy it or you will forever wonder what there is.
Today the Postman brought us news from the Vale of Wallisdown. This Vale was thought to be lost to Middle Earth after the Dark Times but we are overjoyed to hear from them. Hathryn of Hilldale has sent us news. Hathryn is a voluntary conservationist for the endangered Leatherback Turtles of St Lucia. This brave lass brings her expertise to the indigenousness inhabitants of this world heritage site of St Lucia. As of now, she has given her thoughts to the project, soon, will be on the ground and running. How these unsung hero's of Middle Earth motivate themselves is a tribute to the character of all in Middle Earth. Hathryn we love you.
Gary of Middle Smiths is thinking of exporting to the outer regions of Middle Earth, the Dark people, who have an inbred knowledge of all that Mother Nature knows and has been passed down through generations. Deliberate and meditate on this venture of discovery, many have chosen this path, few have successes.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Soave £3.29 Tesco

The source wine is from the village of Soave, nothing new there then.

Let's review this old world wine, reminiscent of the Claudosa era.
Colour: Light, looks like diluted wee.
Smell (Aroma): Slightly fruity
Taste: Pleasant

Now we have what is on the bottle:
Floral aromas with a hint of ripe pear. A refreshing dry white wine with apple and citrus fruit flavours.

Verdict: Claudia please let us know how we would pronounce 'Soave'. Claudia is a descendent from the great Claudosa era and has a great historical knowledge of the Vale of Claudosa. If you have some doubt maybe you could ask your father, Bruno is from the Claudosa era is a wise man and I am sure will be of immense help to the young Claudia. Claudia is married to Gary of the Middle Smiths, currently in the Vale of Mretoria. That is where Markus Smith lives, easy to find, just Moogle it on your Mindows Internet Explorer.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

The Middle Earth story starts here.

Once the great plains of Middle Earth were silent. The Dark Time had taken over, because good men did nothing.

After the Claudosa era but before Musmead and Middle Smiths, the Dark Time came gradually and most of us did not even realise it was slowly reducing Middle Earth to a time of silence. A long time of stress, crippling dreams and self doubt prevailed and Middle Earth was quiet.

The love and understanding of family sparked the first glimmer of hope and a candle light of fire was ignited. Middle Earth and the Story Teller started questioning the silence, we started to speak of the old times, before the Dark Times and as a sapling grows a strong root structure, so the people of Middle Earth urged the Story Teller to fight back.
The sapling grew and the Story Teller had only his pen to fight with, which he hesitantly took up. Middle Earth published it's first news, more news came and more wine was tasted leading to more events being shared. Finally the first Chronicle, since the Dark Time, brought recognition and news. Food and wine are now enjoyed, commented on and discussed, taking us back to simple comforts, which is the essence of all life. As more comments come through so will Middle Earth grow.

Merlin is back in control, Middle Smiths have moved again, Lily Florence has walked Kibble and Mus of Musmead has a much better outlook on life. The Faydales have come in from the cold and Cookydales have embraced the noble art of wine drinking. The first comments are coming through the post, creating a postal network for those who lost their position during the Dark Times. More is heard from the far flung Vales, about the Dales. Scattered families are talking and the Middle Earth will reflect this as it grows

Middle Earth Weekly Hit Parade

Middle Earth has now introduced a song of the week.
The four songs to make it through to the top 4 are:

Pink Floyd : Brick in the wall -
Tommy James and the Shondells: I think we alone now - Merlin
Avenged Sevenfold: Bat Country – Robert
Train: Drops of Jupitor – Michael.

Song of the week was - Pink Floyd : Brick in the wall
Great old classic

We need more proposals for the song of the week by all those of Middle Earth, with luck we can get to a top ten.
Merlin comes in later with love me love my dog after I commented on her kissing the dog then wanting TO KISS ME

When I get older, I will be stronger.

When, I get older, I will be stronger, just like a waving flag. (World Cup Football Song)
With this in mind I cannot help thinking of Travis of Markus Smith, who is slowly finding his way through life and will sing this song with countless millions, as I will, but when I do I will think of him and how he comes to terms with this strange world we all live in.
Travis the song for you will always be:
When, I get older, I will be stronger, I will be playing cricket.
So when you dress in the morning to a football theme, remember this.

Tonight South Africa celebrates the opening of the Football World Cup, this volatile country will seem to prosper, for a while from this experience and then the man in the street will pay for it. Already South Africa has drawn to Mexico. Where can I hide!!

No news yet from the Archivist on the vexing matter of where the milkman comes from or Lily Florence on the Kibble matter. Mus of Musmead Manor is much improved and Celen keeps her head down. Markus, Under Dickens and the Middle Smith do have a duty to introduce their children to cricket. Middle Earth must provide for future generation as we have always done, a close eye will be kept on Mika, Daniel, Travis, Matthew and Lily Florence. Their progress will be watch with great interest by Middle Earth.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Post from the Kitchen

It has been a funny old day, cloudy but warm with sunshine coming through whenever there has been a break in the clouds. The clouds today were threatening at stages but seemed to loose the will to rain, almost like they simple did not have the energy left after the build up from white cotton wool bundles to dark brooding storm clouds.

I am going to try a new recipe tonight.
Pork Steaks, fried in garlic and mushroom butter and then making a sauce of cream and basil.
I though I would boil Jersey Royal potatoes and then mash them with a knob of butter, salt and pepper, soft cream cheese and parsley. Broccoli and a fresh salad. You need the greens for a healthy constitution and the salad breaks the richness of the sauce.

Middle Earth has been a quiet, getting on with it, kind of day, Press from Pressprinter is expecting a telegram from the Archivist of Middle Earth on the vexing matter of the milkman and his ancestors. Middle Smiths are delaying the release of the official history of the Merlot cultivar from the Claudosa era and Merlin in her own special way, is preparing a show for Lonald of Legodale. Lily Florence, who has just turned 1, has had teething problems and has not had the will to walking Kibble, much to his despair, "Oh for the life of a dog". So I will leave you with this thought and join my boys in the lounge, must rest my back.
The Clouds are not the puffs of angels, they are only clouds.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Veneto, Merlot – Italian £3.34 Tesco (3 for £10)

Colour: Blueberry
Smell: Subtle fruit with something else?
Taste: Ripe bananas and a hint of basil.

The bottle describes this wine as a light bodied wine with cranberry and plum flavour with a hint of herbs on the finish.

Verdict: I got this one and it does what it says.
This type of wine, I have since learnt, comes from vines originally planted in the Claudosa era. This historical grape grows wild in the north of Italy and this particular cultivar can be found all over Europe.
On another note, Mus from Musmead Manor had an operation yesterday; he has a dodgy eye and is hopefully recovering at the Manor. Mally, go gentle on him for he still has a long way to go and lots to see.
Going back to the wine, maybe the Middle Smiths could shed some light on this cultivar, we shall wait and see.
We have not forgotten the ancestory of the Milkman Feter, our researchers are working around the clock to find his origin, fear not, when we know, we will let you know. Keep and eye on the blog.
Robert hit his first 6 at a school match yesterday and took a wicket, well done child of Middle Earth.

Chilano – Valle Central White £3.34 Tesco (3 for £10)

Colour: light straw
Smell: Fruity
Taste: Sweet, slightly sharp

Verdict: Following on to yesterday Simple Tasting Guide, I have changed the format of my wine review. I have tried to incorporate the 3 basics, colour, smell and taste. Hope it is not too confusing.
Back to the verdict, it is an easy drinking wine but not top of the class in its price range. Normal retail price being £4.95 would be £1.50 too much for me.
Middle Smiths have been travelling, Germany and Port Edward, all in a matter of 2 weeks. They did fly to Germany but the 9 hour car trip to Port Edward must have tried young Dan the Man's patients to the limit. Middle Smiths are made of stern stuff but hats off to them for trying this long expedition with two young children.
Celen of Cookydale has now taken to wine tasting in a big way, an occasion every evening, this is leaving Cark wondering when he will ever see a pint again. Celen just remember, everything in moderation, 6 bottles a night!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Hardy’s Stamp of Australia – Semillon Chardonnay 2008 Vintage Tesco

On the bottle: This wine displays lively citrus fruit character, subtle oak and a crisp dry finish.

In my mouth: Grapes, glorious grapes with a slightly wooded, clean finish.

Verdict: Georgian Smith's, Middle Smith's and Markus Smith, talk to your friendly wine merchant. You may just experience this quality wine with a good chicken and gammon pasta.

Just a notice from the Middle Earth Winemaker:
How to Taste Wine.
1. Colour: Check the colour by swirling it around in the glass, light would mean a young wine, dark it could be aged in oak barrels.
2. Smell: Swirl again then breathe in through your nose and concentrate on the aroma.
3. Taste: Take a fairly generous mouthful, swirl in your mouth and then concentrate on the initial flavour, breath in through your mouth, swallow and breathe out through your nose. Your mouth tastes different in different areas, sweetness on the tip of our tongue, sourness and acidity on the side of our tongue. Bitterness is on the back.

Once you have done a proper tasting, all wine tastes better.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Cape Fairtrade – Chenin Blanc, Colombard. £3.45 Co–op Wine

On the bottle: Combines gooseberry and herbaceous aroma with tropical fruit flavour, fresh and zesty.
In my mouth: Fresh smooth fruity note with a clean finish, a hint of oak helps the character and I will definitely get a bottle or two.

Verdict: Not sure about the gooseberries or the herbaceous aroma, maybe my taste is different to the marketing people. This wine does come from the Cape, so should be available in some guise or other in most bottle stores, buy a bottle and drink it cold.

Celen from Cookydale introduced me to this Cape Fairtrade Chenin Blanc last night at an evening meal with these rugged people. Celen had picked up this bottle for £3.45 from Middle Earth's Co-op Store and a good choice it was. Celen a strong but gentle lady who guides her husband and two boys through the ups and downs of what life throws at them. Cark, her strong, hard working mate, builds endless extensions to their croft, never stopping until he builds the perfect croft for his beloved Celen. In case you are wondering, Cookydale is near to Faydale.
I am afraid that the Middle Smiths, Markus Smith and the Under Dickens will only be able to enjoy this fine wine when gathering at Merlin. In Musmead Manor I have seen an empty bottle of this fine wine and I am sure Mally or Memma will comment on this wine in due course.

Blossom Hill, California White – Signature Blend

On the bottle: Aromatic and fruity. It bursts with pears and honeysuckle aromas and finishes with a zingy hit of refreshing citrus.

In my mouth: Strong fruity bouquet with a smooth finish. Great wine even though it American.

Verdict: Reading the description on the bottle, you begin to wonder about a grape or two. This is still a very good wine for all occasions. Do not be fooled by the Blossom Hill from South African, it is not worth the money.

In my last blog I introduced you to the Faydale family from Brampton. Brampton is more towards the lowlands of Middle Earth.

Well Press of Printerpress, an old established family who have been doing all the printing for Middle Earth since the story began. He made a rare mistake and misspelt all their names. Fulia he named Mulia, it was her 45th celebration. Femma he named Memma, she baked the cake with daisies on. Fessica he named Messica. My apologies to the Faydales, and my thanks to Merlin for pointing this error out to me.
What I did find strange was that Memma is the daughter of Mally from Musmead Manor and we all know that no two people can be called by the same name in Middle Earth. That would just be silly. We are still waiting on news about the background to the milkman that Fulia married; he goes by the name of Feter of Faydale.


Saturday, 5 June 2010

Elsa Bianchi Syrah 2009 – Argentina Price unknown

On the bottle: The wine and our main vineyard are named in honour of our 'Nonna' Elsa Valentin, Bianchi's wife. He is the founder of our winery.

In my mouth: This wine reminds me of blueberries, with the oak barrel wooded detail that is so well liked in a good red wine. This is one you savour, taking time to get to know.

Verdict: Not a wine you will buy over the counter but if you come across this excellent bottle of Syrah, buy it and then do not share.
Mulia Faydale from Brampton, in the lowlands of Middle Earth, had her coming of age, 45th celebration. She was joined by a crowd of Middle Earth folk, with the presence of Merlin to give esteem to the occasion. Memma Faydale baked a cocoa cake topped with candles and daisies. Messica Faydale was on her best behaviour, one of the young maids of Middle Earth is growing up fast.
For those who do not know the Faydale's, the family tree shows them originally coming from a judicial background and then Judge Faydale's daughter married a foreign milkman and they settled in Brampton. Little is know of the milkman but our Middle Earth Reporter will check the births and deaths register of the outer lands.
I will at some stage try and map out Middle Earth, showing where everyone lives and names of course.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

A White Merlot 2009

AAA Veneto and bottled by Equipe SRL Soave – this region is very close to the Claudosa region of Italy

A fine wine, reminiscent of the noble wines made in the Claudosa era. Full of character and fruity fragments from an ancient time in the history of Italy and more importantly, the Claudosa influence. We at Middle Earth are exceedingly honoured to be associated with the Claudosa Family, this link through the Middle Smiths, gives us an insight into the Sicilian tribes, following their own honour.

Middle Smith's are in Germany, Under Dickens are exhausted after Lily Florence's first birthday and Markus is holding our end up in Pretoria. Mally has had enough and Musmead Manor is a buzz.

Merlin is taking time off to relax. Today started with Tesco, shopping for the essentials. She then took the boys to golf, sunned herself on the beach, fetching boys from golf, starting the evening meal. Enough, she has taken herself off to the garden, glass of wine in hand and I am sure is contemplating going back to work to relax.
It has been a fine old day and I look forward to the next as they are all good.

Robert has this fixation with Warcraft, not something that interests me but then again it can not be all that bad, it is only about violence, killing and running, lots of running.

Sleep well Middle Earth

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Lily Florence is 365 day old!!

Baron Saint Jean – Blanc. On the bottle: Vin de Pays Du Gers, a dry refreshing blend of Colombard, Ugni blanc and Sauvignon grapes.
in my mouth: Grassy and grape note and reminds me of the valleys. Good grape note but sharp.

Verdict: On reflection this will be a good drinking, singing, dancing wine, best to drink at a party of friends and family.

Lily Florence is 1 today, this coming year she will walk, talk and become a little madam.

"Happy Birthday Lily Florence, you have learnt not to touch a hot oven and have given your mother her first grey hair."
I think that is a good start to a life of adventure and learning. Some will be harsh and most will be a pleasant experience. Middle Earth will celebrate this occasion with a wee bottle of Aussy wine and some French cuisine.
The Middle Smith's are in Germany, larger and bratwurst and some quality time, enjoy.
Merlin, bless her, is on holiday, again!! Has a new stove and freedom for the week, hope the sun peeps it head out for a day or two.

Cimarosa – Chardonnay Colombard South Africa 2009

Cimarosa – 'Australian Chardonnay Colombard' vs 'Cimarosa – South African Chardonnay Colombard.'

On the bottle:

In my mouth: Sweeter, fruitier and with an intense grape bouquet.

Verdict: This is the second of the two bottles with the same label but different countries of origin. Both are from Lidl ( a European store in the UK) It is a house wine, only £ 3.49. Good, easy drinking wines, very similar to Tesco South African White, I have told you before, please keep up my fellow Middle Earth citizens. Merlin, we love you, uniqueness is a gift, Middle Earth people, 'All Hail Merlin', mother of Middle Earth. Mothers have that inbred ability to know everything, nature gives mother that but little else when they have their first child. I know I am celebrating the ventures of motherhood but we all have those life givers, so join in this salute to nature's brilliance.
I have finished the Chronicle just a litle proofing and then I will publish, it has been a labour of love, love to all those I value and cherish. Life brings many bounties, you are the pinnacle of what all of life can deliver, I am my ancestors, I can only remind you of yours.