Members 45. Middle-Age 5. Posh drinking

I’m getting into posh drinking. I wrote last week about alcohol.

Last night, I was out for dinner and had two beers and a cocktail. By my standards, that’s very light. I was sober and good company. I felt fine this morning.

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Living the Dream 39. Zambartas Wine Tasting

“Zambartas.”
“Bless you”, rejoined Margaret.
She’s a wit, my wife. Zamabartas is indeed a winery, a short drive from the mountain hideaway. I had booked us “Experience 3” for the afternoon of Margaret’s birthday.

Background

I am fond of a glass of wine. In fairness, I’m fond of a glass of pretty much anything, but sensible, grown-up me tends to gravitate towards a glass of wine. I am a long way from expert, but I have, through practice, gravitated beyond the adjectives red,white and pink to describe wine. Over the years, I have struggled to find wines in Cyprus that I enjoy. Initially, I could only find local wines that were very cheap, and frankly, barely drinkable. Fear not, I persevered. Gradually, the choice increased. I was able to enjoy barely drinkable wines from all over the world. Of late, it has been possible to find good imported wine, at a price, and in one of our favourite restaurants, we were served a lovely crisp white; from Cyprus, called Zambartas.

Experience 3

We drove into the village of Agios Amvrosios. I was suspicious, there are unambiguous, prominent signs directing visitors to the winery. Reading road signs in Cyprus is usually more of an art than a science, but not even I could get lost following these arrows.
Experience 3 is a tour of the winery followed by a tasting of five wines with matching canapés. The naming could obviously do with some work, but that is my only criticism. We were hosted by Adriana, a witty, personable polyglot with a passion for people and wine. Mags and I joined a young couple visiting from the UK, and the four of us had a cracking time.

The Wines

I’m not going to write an extensive, detailed review of each wine. I lack the expertise and the inclination. The detailed appraisal of individual wines has no joy for me, I’m all about the combination of company, conversation and wine.

Our first was Xinisteri. Exquisitely described by Adriana as a “Veranda wine.” Light, easy drinking, either alone or with lunch. We worked through another white, a rosé, up into a couple of reds, the last of which is a big boy new world style Shiraz. I was going to write, “these won’t win many awards”, but actually, some of the wines are winning awards. What I mean is, that not one of the wines struck me as exceptional. They all struck me as good and approachable. There is sufficient variation across the line, for me to be confident that every guest to the mountain hideaway will find something that they like.

I left with boxes of wine of different shades and tastes, and fully expect to go back to Zambartas and try some other Cyprus wineries.

The last drop

Everyone sees #livingthedream differently. For me, a group of friends on the terrace, the coals burning, wine glasses full, IS the dream. There is nothing better.

Y is for Yank

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Yanks. They are just such a nightmare.

Loud, uncultured, ignorant peasants. Always have been. Always will be.

I know this, as I was taught it from a young age.

Then, I met some.

Some loud ones. Some quiet ones.

Some uncultured ones. Some cultured ones.

They even came in a multitude of colours, races, creeds and religions.

Annoyingly, I have met some spectacularly amazing people that, God forbid, were born and bred in the USA.

On the quittrain.com there are some folk who are genuine, bona fide superstars from the States. Nancy, Babs, Colleen, Ava, DD, MQ, Sonic. Joe, Rez, Bakon – all on my bucket list of people to visit, thank and raise a glass with. (There are more too on this incredible site.)

I once posted on a golf site about having the possibility of tacking a day or two onto a trip to the US so that I could play a golf. Within 24 hours, it was arranged that I would be staying at someone’s house in California with guaranteed tee times on Pasatiempo, San Juan Oaks and…Pebble Beach. – Yes. THAT Pebble Beach.

The host was a Yank.

A Yank with exceptional taste in left bank Bordeaux.

I met a wonderfully intelligent, hospitable, humorous couple whom went out of their way to ensure that I enjoyed every second of my time in the USA.

It all came as a bit of a shock.

My eyes were opened to the enormity of the USA. Are there some bad things about the US? I am sure that there must be – guns would be an immediate question mark in my mind. However, in my experience, there are an incredible amount of positive things too.

Most importantly – the vast majority of Yanks seem to be ….well, quite normal people really.

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O is for Oenophile

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Oenophile. Not a dastardly criminal.

The mighty Wikipedia informs;

“Oenophilia (/ˌiːnɵˈfɪliə/ ee-no-fil-ee-ə; Greek for the love (philia) of wine (oinos)) is a love of wine. In the strictest sense, oenophilia describes a disciplined devotion to wine, accompanying strict traditions of consumption and appreciation. In a general sense however, oenophilia simply refers to the enjoyment of wine, often by laymen. Oenophiles are also known as wine aficionados or connoisseurs. They are people who appreciate or collect wine, particularly grape wines from certain regions, varietal types, or methods of manufacture. While most oenophiles are hobbyists, some may also be professionals like vintners, sommeliers, wine merchants, or one who tastes and grades wines for a living.”

I am not incredibly knowledgeable about wine.

On occasion I enjoy it in such volumes as to prohibit realistic memories of characteristics of nose, character and taste.

I do however truly love it. I love what goes with it, whether that be joyful sparkling times with friends or quiet contentment with a rounded velvety red.

I am an Oenophile.

What is your favourite wine?

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Magyar Medcalfs

 

 

“This very interesting surname recorded in the spellings of Medcalf, Metcalf and Metcalfe, is English. It is chiefly recorded in the county of Yorkshire, and there have been claims that it represents the very first hereditary surname. This is arguable, but there is no doubt that it was one of the very first. It is probably topographical, but may be occupational, and in either case derives either from the Olde English pre 7th century word “mete” meaning food or meat, plus “cealf”, a calf, with the translation of “a calf to be fattened for eating (at the end of the Summer)”, or when the first element is written as “med” it may derive from “mead”, and describe a pasture or meadow where calves were fattened.”

Read more:

While looking up the origins of my family name, I thought I might check where the name Medcalf came from.

Last night we hosted our dear friends the Medcalfs. They live in Hungary and ‘Magyar’ is the Hungarian word for ‘Hungarian’.

Mr Magyar Medcalf was christened Matthew, giving rise to a lot of Ms for this post.

It was great to catch up with Matty and his wonderful wife Edith.

Matty and I were able to put most of the world’s problems right last night.

Unfortunately, neither of us was able to recall any of the solutions this morning.

We were both reminded that taken in sufficient volume, even the best wine can give rise to a cracking headache.

Both wives were able to confirm that it is neither big or clever to drink too much.

They were able to confirm this repeatedly.

A lot.

So that’s nice.

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C is for Covent Garden

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A poor photograph, but an excellent string quintet.

Thank you to all of those people whom have taken the time to drop by, read and even comment on my posts.

If you have been paying attention, then you will recall that yesterday I was travelling to London to have a professional work on my hair and my beard.

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” Perhaps the most famous quote from Samuel Johnson.

On the train, I asked Twitter for any suggestions on where I might get a decent glass of something white and bracing and a bite to eat.

Isn’t Twitter incredible? Within minutes @CoventGardenLDN read my tweet and came back looking for detail on what type of wine I was looking for. Astonishing!

@BeaBTCharles, a friend from #writingchat came back with a specific recommendation for The Crusting Pipe, where I went.

As promised, I sat on a terrace that felt outside, but was inside. I listened to live opera, with a cool glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Chile in hand.

Between the arias, I could catch snippets of conversation in German, in Italian, Spanish, French and many more languages that I can only vaguely recognise. It truly felt like the World’s capital.

Energy, enthusiasm and fun. I could not help but be caught up in it.

When I lived in London, I found it frenetic and exhausting. Now that I don’t, I find it energising.

Tired of life? Not at all. Take me to my Beard-Barber!

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