Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Monday, 30 January 2012

Duo of crus communaux + Finkus Bripp interviews 'This blogger'

Finkus Bripp: "Can anyone tell me why I've got a camera growing out of
my ear and a shade attached to my cap? I thought I did the off-beat stuff!"

Plenty of entertaining this weekend that gave me the opportunity to try out some more of the Muscadet crus communaux and to gauge people's reactions to them.

First on Saturday evening we had friends over for dinner. The willingness of our recently opened fishmongers and butchers – Billings – to take orders prompted me to opt for a first course of mulet aux olives et au vin blanc (grey mullet with olives and white wine) served cold. This simple recipe comes from Elizabeth David's French Provincial Cooking and used to be one of my regular dishes in the days when Richards, a fine fishmonger in Brewer Street in the heart of London's Soho still existed. Sadly this shop along with others like Hamburger (also on Brewer Street specialising in a variety of smoked fish) and Gomez Ortega (a wonderful Spanish grocers on nearby Old Compton Street) have long gone. Grey mullet came hard to find. The dish is very easy to make but served cold and decorated with thin slices of lime and lemon can look pretty impressive. As an experiment we offered the option of some Polish horseradish sauce bought from Topolski in Druid Street. It worked well.

2006 Monnières Saint-Fiacre, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine

With the mullet we drank the 2006 Monnières Saint-Fiacre, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine from Véronique Gunther-Chereau at Château du Coing. The Monnières' quite opulent and rich fruit matched the meaty flesh of the mullet and with enough acidity to freshen the palate. Our friends were surprised to discover a Muscadet in this style and of such quality.

Finkus Bripp

Then yesterday lunchtime Finkus Bripp (wine on the rocks) made his way down from Hendon to South London to interview 'this blogger'. Finkus is normally based in Munich but is over in the UK for a few days. He continues to be a busy boy having recently launched his own 'pointless' wine shop and making a wine in Portugal's Douro Valley.

Miolo Brut, Franciacorta, Villa Crespia

In preparation for the rigours of the 'on the rocks' interview we had a glass of the full textured Miolo Brut, Franciacorta from Villa Crespia with its toasty and honeyed notes balanced by good, ripe acidity. Sadly this was the last of our half bottles that we brought back from our October visit to Franciacorta for the European Wine Bloggers Conference. These halves have proved to be a very useful and practical size providing an evening apéro for two or even a glass each for three people.

Then over a light lunch – baked omelette with bacon, potato and cheese and salad – we tried another Muscadet from Véronique Gunther-Chereau – the 2005 Château de la Gravelle from Gorges. This proved to be more mineral than the 2006, which was somewhat of a surprise for the vintage but may instead be a reflection of the terroir of Gorges. The Gravelle, however, did have enough buttery weight to partner the omelette.

Finkus prepares to interview 'this blogger'

Lunch over it was onto a wide-ranging interview with Finkus (shot using a Canon EOS 7 with a 16-35 L lens) – to be released at some date in the future.

The trademark Bripp cap – 'the Bripp effect'


the fly in the web said...

I went back to soho after an absence of many years....where had everything gone? No fishmonger, no decent Italian grocery stores...just bars, everywhere.
Very sad.
I used to shop there every week when working in London.

Jim Budd said...

Fly. Yes in one way sad but fortunately there are now a growing number of vibrant food shops away from the old haunts of Soho and a revival in the suburban areas that were badly hit by the success of the supermarkets in the late 1980s and 1990s.