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

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Report from the lunatic asylum (now a 5-star establishment...)


Perhaps I should apologise if my posts are starting to include elements of politics but if your country (UK - if you hadn't already guessed) has decided to commit collective suicide it is almost impossible to ignore the current lunacy.

There is now apparently a serious possibility of a No Deal Brexit with the UK crashing out of the European Union without any agreement on 29th March 2019 at 23.00. If there is no agreement chaos is widely expected with complete blockage at the UK ports and almost immediately food and medicine shortages.
We have been told that from next month we will have regular advice bulletins from the UK Government to individuals and businesses on what to do in the event of 'No Deal – Crash Out'. Panic buying emptying supermarket shelves looks a certainty along with miles and miles of lorries parked on the approach to the Channel ports as well as no planes flying. Presumably there will be advice to stockpile food. Perhaps with food rationing in place for the first time since the early 1950s.

There have already been calls to recreate the resilience and togetherness of the wartime spirit. However, the current situation is very different from 1939 - 1945 with the UK very divided. Staying with the 1940s one might see a revival of the 'famous' or 'infamous' wartime Woolton Pie:

'The recipe involved dicing and cooking potatoes (or parsnips), cauliflower, swede, carrots and, possibly, turnip. Rolled oats and chopped spring onions were added to the thickened vegetable water which was poured over the vegetables themselves. The dish was topped with potato pastry and grated cheese and served with vegetable gravy. The recipe could be adapted to reflect the availability and seasonality of ingredients.'

With stockpiling of dried and tinned food it could be time to revive 'delicacies' like spam fritters or corn beef hash. Although tempted I am not going to attempt to suggest wine matches for these two recipes.

However, stockpiling some wine for a 'Chaotic Exit' is a different matter! Here is my small survival, reasonably priced selection – by the time we crash out sterling will doubtless have tanked completely...... No vintages given due to uncertainty...... and mainly from the Loire.

3 bottles of Sainsbury's own label Fino (1 litre)
Although not the best fino available this is very decent in a crisis. 


6 bottles of Crémant de Loire Brut Zéro, Château de l'Aulée
 One of my favourite Loire sparklers and good value. Will have to celebrate having got through another week, month etc..... In less straitened times I might well have opted for Jacky Blot's Triple Zéro, Montlouis. 100% Chenin Blanc   

6 bottles of Touraine Gamay, Domaine de la Chapinière
Very good domaine in 41110 Châteauvieux in the eastern end of Touraine close to Saint-Aignan. The Gamay is delicious – vins des amis.  

6 bottles: Touraine Sauvignon either Domaine de la Chapinière/ Vincent Roussely
Either remaining with Chapinière or moving a few kilometres west along the Cher Valley to Angé to Vincent Roussely's domaine. Both crisp but ripe Sauvignon Blancs.

6 bottles of Saumur-Champigny Tradition, Domaine de la Bonnelière 
Consistently good Saumur and Saumur-Champigny domaine in Varrains run by Anthony and Cédric Bonneau – remarkably reasonably priced.  

6 bottles: En Chenin, Anjou Blanc, Domaine Ogereau
The Ogereau family in Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay has long made excellent wines but the arrival of son Emmanuel after working in South-West France, Oregon and elsewhere has lifted the wines to a new level. A supply of dry Chenin Blanc will be essential to survive the privations of a crash-out Brexit.  

3 bottles: Les Varennes, Coteaux du Layon, Saint-Aubin, Domaine Cady. 
From a well exposed single vineyard on a south-facing slope close to the family winery.  Some sweetness in this grim time will be essential. 

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