Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Babes in the Wood

..........not quite a pantomime!

Once upon a time (as all good stories begin), a jolly band of walkers set off along the Wind in the Willow-ish River Wey. They wound their way with much huffing and puffing up into the leafy hills to view their Surrey kingdom - and to ramp up the calorie burning before the Red White & Rosé wine tasting lunch.

All was well and happy until, just past a three-pronged fork in the woods, it was noticed that two of our travellers were missing! Chris and Janet (those are their real names as we only protect the innocent), had stopped to make a frivolous phone call and lost the party and the plot as they then took the wrong turning in the track. Meanwhile, Heather A (for it was she who was leading the vinous expedition), was frantically scouring the hillsides and scaring the wildlife with her hollering in search of the missing minxes. 

You will be relieved to hear that our missing maids made it in the vagueley right direction having followed their nose for wine - and by walking downhill, where they were found in the nick of time for lunch. The moral of this story is......actually we don’t do morals, just learn from our experiences. The happy ending is that everyone had an enormous appetite from their exertions, felt fit and full of energetic endorphins and enthusiasm for wine and lunch and laughter. 

Pre and during lunch we sampled several Autumnal wines including Vesevo Greco di Tufo 2008 at £11.75 from Greco bianco is one of the ancient grape varieties found in the Campania region of Italy. As the name “Vesevo” suggests, the area is rich in minerally volcanic soils from nearby Mount Vesuvius, which add to the depth and character of this satisfying mouthful of a wine. We felt it was just right on a dampish autumn day and a great wine to match chicken or game bird dishes even with a strongly flavoured or creamy sauce.

Most people agreed that the favourite wine enjoyed over lunch was Villa Tonino Nero d’Avola 2007 from Sicily and also available from Slurp. It's made from Nero d'Avola, Sicily's foremost native red wine grape. Bright and aromatic, it's what you might call a kind wine - in that it is easy drinking and goes with most foods, roast lamb perhaps being the optimum choice. It is also easy on the pocket at only £6.95.

We finished our meal with what we could topically describe as a “Halloween Wine” in that it is deep blood red, and has something of the rusty blood taste about it, as well as a great name. D’Angelo Sacravite Aglianico 2007 is from Basilicata, the “instep” of the boot of Italy. Aglianico is not just an old wine variety – it is an “ancient world wine”. Sacravite will slowly draw you into its clutches with its seductive aromas of horse blanket, graphite and suction-like tentacles of tannins (hey - this is meant to be appealing to our dark side)! You can buy this distinctive and chewy vampiric red from Majestic at £9.99....if you dare!

What must surely rate as most people’s nightmare is the ordeal experienced by the Chilean miners trapped for so long in the dark underground recesses of the earth. As this article went to print, we are joining in the universal celebration of their safe return to the surface and we will be opening a delicious Chilean wine, Viu Manent Chardonney – £6.99 from Caves de Pyrène, to mark this amazing “Victory snatched from the jaws of death”. Like so many people we were moved by their plight and this simple poem goes well with the wine.

Out of A Copper Mine ~ by Lucy Berry
When the whole world shifts and creaks
In the press of the rock above you;
And there are no doors from the night
To the ones who love you.

(and the silly, bright metal you prized
And the zeal with which you mined it
Is part of the dark, and the dark,
And the dark of eyes blinded).....

You yearn for the sameness of light,
And a breeze. And your parents faces.
And the kiss of a loving child.
And your wife’s embraces.....

.....and hailing a friend on the street
As if there was nothing to it;
The ordinary things which are blessed
Though you never knew it.

And long after you have been freed
From that outer and inner night
As an old, old man you’ll recall
Your first new glimpse of the sight
Of human faces – and hands –
And the blessed greatness of Light.

Enjoy the darkness of Halloween for just one day. Try our some spooky sybaritic suggestions for a haunting Halloween happening and for a bacchanalian bonfire bash on the Event Ideas page of our website (

Due to popular demand we plan to make our Walks with Wine a regular feature so do phone us or check out news and dates on our website. It is a great way to meet people and you don’t need to know a thing about wine...or walking...just enjoy it. It is a great way to tone up physically and gives you the feel good factor in all sorts of ways. Oh and by the Wey (excuse the pun) we would particularly like more men to join “the babes in the woods “!

Be seeing you
for all your liquid assets

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