Saturday 25 April 2009

Perth... the original one.

Our friends Alan and Issi invited us to Perth. Their son Hamish is just 4 moths old, so it's a much safer invite than it perhaps once was. We leapt at the chance. 

Perth sits on the River Tay, one of the world's most famous and expensive salmon rivers. In recent years, almost reluctantly, they seem to have acknowledged the association.

Though as we strolled along the rather barren river front the locals seemed more keen on swimming than fishing. Bracing!

Perth boasts the oldest hotel in Scotland. But it's not a proud boast. Perhaps, in the best presbyterian tradition, that would be sinful?

So, like a lot of the town's residents, it gently crumbles away. Another interesting feature of Perth is it's businesses' names.

From the 'a spades a spade' school of nomenclature, to what Alan says is the town's second best Mexican restaurant. I think you can guess how many there are.

Alas, my favourite was closed so my mind stayed boggled.

Surprisingly, in a town of such Georgian gentility, I've never found a decent wine shop. So I stocked up in Costco before coming. It's a great place to buy wine, though the selection is very 'Parkerized'. I also picked up squid and John Dory from the fishmonger, Alan had butterflied a leg of lamb. All going on the BBQ. Alan's a chef, in fact he was head chef at one of Glasgow's best restaurants for many years. So no pressure there then!
We kicked off with a German, from Costco, under £9, and utterly delicious. Spring flowers and ripe pears. Only 8% alcohol too.

Once the sun set it soon got cold so we went inside, popping out now and then to cook the food. 

It was a great night, lovely food and wine and the evening had a star.

A sweet Austrian eiswein  Alan had been saving for some years. 

It was absolutely incredible. A myriad of flavours. Including my favourite, glace fruits. Beguiling and perfectly balanced. 

The next day, also a stunner, we recovered slowly over breakfast. 

I made those responsible watch.

The wines were:
An Albarino, forgot to ask Alan how much, Lagar de Pintos
Very sophisticated with a flavour of peaches. Probably quite expensive.
Spy Mountain Pinot Noir 2006. 
Delicious, surely one of the best value New Zealand pinots of the market? Normally about £10.99.
Peter Lehman, The Mudflat Shiraz 2004. About £9 in Costco. Very nice, has some of the white grape muscadelle added to the blend. It lifts and lightens the shiraz.
Mitolo Jester Australian Cabernet Sauvignon. About £9 in Costco. Very rich, bit too much so for me. A proportion of the grapes are dried on racks as for Amarone.
And, of course, the Weinrieder Eiswein riesling. No idea how much, but it can't be cheap.


  1. Majestic are currently doing a 20% off all Kiwi wines, so you can get the Spy Mountain for around £9 - yum yum!!

  2. Wow, that's a great price, thanks Issi. How was Skye?