‘After some exciting changes, we’re setting off on a new adventure’, says the new Oddbins. If hitting the rails and imploding could be called exciting, the 36 branches that survived the debt-ridden crash engineered last year by ex-Oddbins boss, Simon Baile, must be breathing a sigh of relief simply to be alive. Today’s chain may look a little anorexic compared to the 150-odd high street branches of two years ago.
The Seventh Earl of Longford was mercilessly lampooned for his trawl of Copenhagen’s red light district. He argued that in the interests of his porn-busting research, he simply had to visit one of the city’s raunchiest nightspots so that Christian morals could be upheld. On the same basis, it could be argued that like the so-called holy fool, I really should visit, not Copenhagen, but Bordeaux and taste the 2011 vintage in barrel next month if only to critique it as not worth buying en primeur, or pre-release. I don’t think so.
It’s deathless prose: 52% cabernet sauvignon, 45% merlot and 3% petit verdot. The bald back label tells you everything and nothing about the 2007 Château Brown, Pessac-Léognan, £25.99, Soho Wine Supply (02076368490), an enticingly spicy, blackcurranty Bordeaux grown in that wears its cloak of oak lightly over a perfectly proportioned body. It’s the 3% petit verdot that’s intriguing.
MANY factors determine the price of wine, but it is possible to find wonderful vintages offering value that approximate the world's most expensive wines. All it takes is an open mind and a willingness to avoid following the crowd. Anthony Rose raises a glass.
‘We’re here because we want to be, not because we have to be’, proclaimed Baroness Philippine de Rothschild theatrically, as resplendent in pure imperial purple and ram’s head necklace as Caesar’s wife. The press corps were also there because we wanted to be as we tucked into lasagne of Dorset Crab and Venison Wellington at 2-star Michelin restaurant The Square. Accompanied as it was by a mouthwatering array of wines including a 1996 Sassicaia, a 1953 Vega Sicilia and a 1961 Château Mouton Rothschild, it rapidly turned into a Michelin 4-star lunch.