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

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Nothing to grouse about!

We returned to London from our six week stay in the Scottish highlands on Friday bearing with us a brace of grouse – the UK grouse shooting season always opens on 12th August. The grouse were brought from George Gow, the excellent butcher in Kingussie for £5.30 each, which strikes me as very reasonable. He assured us that they had been shot locally, which I can well believe because cycling up in the hills around Newtonmore and Kingussie a few days before the 12th it was evident that there were lots of grouse around. Flocks would rise up from the heather as I passed. 

Plainly roasted on Friday the two little plump birds were delicious – the best grouse we have ever had, we decided, especially accompanied by a slice of George's Stornoway-recipe black pudding. A memorable bottle of 1979 Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Château de Beaucastel was a perfect match with its soft, cinnamon and spice and heady perfume. Only problem is that Kingussie is a long way to go to get some more grouse!  

 1979 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château de Beaucastel

The hills are alive with grouse or they were before 12th August


Luc Charlier said...

The only grouse I ever had was at Rules, Maiden Lane in London, as a guest of University College Hospital’s microbiology specialist Prof. Grüneberg. Great in every respect. I appreciate you, for one, like Courthezon’s stuff. Still, I didn’t know you had to buy it in Kingussie, as you clearly indicate !

Jim Budd said...

Well spotted McLuc! Post now clarified as Courthezon's finest was purchased at the château in the early 1980s, while the purchase of grouse in Kingussie was thankfully considerably more recent.

Luc Charlier said...

I can be wicked, Jim, but you must agree there was matter to some confusion in your text.
Still, I must pay tribute to you, as you gave me an idea. We had a lovely, but somewhat tiring trip through the tunnels of Minerve today (over 30 ° C). On our way, we stopped at Narbonne’s “halles” (the food mall) and treated ourselves to a – as it turned out later – great piece of “faux filet” (= consider it is either sirloin or rib eye steak) for supper. So far so good, but what did we want to drink with it?
You provided the answer : I still own a few bottles of Beaucastel (86 which is just bof-bof, but also, more interestingly so, 1988). I have no special affection for the Perrin clan, for no particular reason, but their success story and their overall circle of relatives and stratum in society don’t mix up with my life. Moreover, I also consider “contamination” (politically correct, am I not?) is often part of the flavour their wine exhibit. Still, I opened this bottle (level down one inch under the tin capsule) of 1988, correct cork. It looked orange at first and had a smell of “volatile”. Threw it in a decanter and left it to stand in the fridge (!) for an hour. Result (to my confusion but I’m a fair if nasty fellow) : colour went purple again, acidic nose disappeared and ... very enjoyable. Huge “grenache” presence with tarry nose and hints of thyme and orange peels (no John Steed though), plus some mourvèdre undertones (leather, velvetty tannins). I enjoyed every drop of it. So much for not being a fan op people : this wine was damn good! Thank you for the idea.