Like football teams, fishing reels and expletives, every man has his favourite steak-house. One eatery where the smell is that of animal flesh being expertly grilled, the atmosphere unfettered by any sign of gastronomical pontification or superiority and where the knowledge prevails that what you are going to eat is bloody, meaty and good.
No, please. Don’t tell me I have turned into a wine ponce….not now. Not ever.
One of the features of homo sapiens vino wankerus is his or her preconceived idea that the use of new wood in the fermentation and/or maturation of wine is nearly as big a crime as to imply that South Africa makes decent Merlot and that oxidised white wine from old vines is not brilliant. I have seen this species, noted them sniffing at a glass of Shiraz, almost to inhaling point, until the tiniest whiff of mocha of smoke is detected before putting down the vessel with a shake of the head and a “tut-tut….over-wooded”.
If some kind of vinous catastrophe – other than the 100pt scoring system and mandatory screw-cap bottling – hit the world and I was down to having only one bottle of wine left to choose for drinking by myself, it is : Calon Ségur. Château Calon Ségur from Saint-Estèphe.
A good hamburger is a thing of greasy, bloody beauty. Lambasted and mocked for its status as the junkiest of all junk-foods and its supposed representation of American imperialism, the hamburger simply does not get the recognition it deserves as a great contribution to the culinary arts.
And as a partner to good wine, well, here the humble burger does not receive much air-time, commentators preferring to discuss wines paired with exotic hunks of organically-procured wagyu beef scrotum, simmered sous vide style and drizzled with a jus made of herb-fed, spa-raised deer carcass. On the side, rocket-infused crushed Peruvian blue potatoes drizzled with white truffle oil.