Sunday, November 28, 2010

skip, Beaujolais, sardines

Posted by PicasaComposition in a skip.

If there was one red wine-growing area in France which used to seem rather boring it was Beaujolais - at the southern tip of Burgundy north of Lyons. Perhaps what put me off was the fashion for Beaujolais nouveau, the new season's wine, which despite its red colour has to be drunk chilled, because of its harshness.  There was even a race between Lyons and London to see  who could be first with the new wine released on a particular day. Or else the fact that Beaujolais, with the exception of the crus - named communes with their own appellations which do not as a rule acknowledge Beaujolais on their labels, is usually drunk before it is two years old. But recently I have begun to find  its light and easy style, increasingly attractive, particularly when it is compared with  rich, fruity New World wines based on old world grapes, notably Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Syrah or (Shiraz). Whether it is Beaujolais Village or one of the crus, I am happy with the freshness and lack of nonsense in the wine, no oak on the palate, no layers of meaning.  You do not find much of the Beaujolais grape, Gamay, planted in The Antipodes or North or South America. The crus, of course, are at the luxury end of this non-luxury wine. Their names alone are worth lingering over.  Before even tasting them , it is hard not to go a bundle on Fleurie, Juliénas, Moulin á Vent, Morgon or St-Amour. Beaujolais and some of the generic and less expensive Burgundies will be our tipple this Christmas.

Sardines in tins or  fresh ones barbecued  are one of the things I could live off if there were nothing else to eat.  But sardines are sardines or used to be. It's hard not to be surprised  however by the extraordinary variety of  forms in which you can buy sardines nowadays. In Sainsbury's, this morning, I noted tins of "boneless" sardines, "skinless" sardines "grilled" sardines and  "wild Scottish sardines. All of these come preserved in brine, sunflower oil or olive oil. On the fresh fish counter meanwhile I spotted filleted "kippered" sardines.

1 comment:

20th Century Woman said...

Sardines mashed up with a lot of Tabasco -- yum.