Some may recall, on my post about natural wine, a brief discussion with Fabio of Vinos Ambiz in which he agreed to send me a bottle of his wine as long as I was brutally honest about it. This post is the culmination of that bargain. I agreed to be honest, Fabio, and I most certainly will be, which is a bit of a shame as I had hoped for either a lot more or a lot less… When sampling Fabio’s wine we tried some variations on Scotch eggs, namely Heston Bulmenthal’s suggestions for their preparation.
Those of a warped bent will be pleased to know I have set this article to be published right when I’ll be going under the knife on Thursday morning. If the anaesthetic gets me or the surgeon cuts the wrong bit out you’ll know the last bottle I popped just as I’m popping my clogs. I would have hoped for something significantly more terrific for my terminal tipple, truthfully.
Garnacha 2010, Vinos Ambiz
This has a very ripe, alcoholic and fruity nose. And that’s it. It’s not dirty, faulty, complex or interesting; it’s just a rather ripe, rather young Grenache of supreme simplicity. I’m a bit let down by that, I was expecting either fantastic fireworks or florid flaws. It’s just a well-made, ordinary wine and I think such things are really boring. The palate has a surprising level of acidity for it’s ripeness level and varietal, but that’s all that is surprising about it. It is quite fruity, quite tannic and quite alcoholic. If you want me to tell you the things it has to excess those would be simplicity and lack of dimension. There is nothing at all bad about it, indeed it is a well-made wine of this style. It’s just not a style I give two hoots about. So thank you, Fabio, for showing me that natural wines can be clean, lack faults and well-made, but next time we get into an argument send something that has more complexity that I can get worked up about, eh? I’d prefer a lot more interest-value of even the ‘flawed to buggery’-type rather than simply ‘dull’.
Just to note, this is bottle number 213 of 300 made, so I have poured away most of 0.3% of the entire production. Hmmm… 213 bottles, that is about how many I made in total from fruit when a teenager. I sold most to fellow pupils at school – that seemed just fine to me. I did it just to cover costs and for educational reasons, you understand. I wanted them to tell me how I should improve future batches I made. I never got any coherent responses to that question and I was far too naive to know why…
We drank the small tastes we had with some Scotch eggs; indubitably orbs of the moment. These used Greenfield Pork Products sausage meat. It was perfectly adequate, but not as good as the best we’ve used.
The major changes were those suggested by Heston in The Sun On Sunday last weekend. Not that I read a dreadful English rag of a newspaper you understand. Well, apart from The Economist. He suggests that the best way of boiling eggs is to put them in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil, then take off the heat and leave for 6 minutes before cooling the eggs. As you can see from the picture, this resulted in eggs too well-cooked to have runny yolks.
His second suggestion was to only deep fry the orbs for 2 minutes then finish them off in an oven at 190 Celsius for 100 minutes. This is supposed to make them more golden, which I am not convinced it did. All-in-all, nil points for Heston and his egg bonkersness, it seems.
Fabio, I’m sorry I didn’t either love or hate your wine any more than I did. It was good-ish, but in a manner that holds no interest at all for me. Many thanks for sending me the bottle, though, and I hope you enjoy the bacon that finally made it to you.