Sunday, 18 April 2010

Through Savage Europe

Spotted this lurking in the travel section of a second hand bookshop. A quick flick through and I was transfixed.

Harry de Windt told it as he saw it... and he saw it as an Edwardian gentleman from the Garrick Club. It's absolutely riveting.

This made me chuckle. An early version of Ewan McGregor and his chum heading off to the middle of no-where with nothing but a throbbing engine between their legs. What must their wives have thought?

Amusingly, despite numerous photographs, none are actually attributed to the 'canny' Mr Mackenzie. Maybe they fell out before publication?

Harry's main obsessions on the journey were a very critical approach to the local women coupled with a continual quest for 'comforts'.

In another memorable paragraph he describes the women of Montenegro as "acceptably pretty in youth though inclined to portliness in later years". Caveat Emptor!

An early reference to Zinfandel.
Well, imagine my surprise, as they say, while hanging around Waitrose looking to pick up something in the wine section...

They're currently discounting a range of wines including a few from in and around the Balkans. One is now my new favourite town name...

Unfortunately it's definitely not my new favourite wine. Because the Pinot Grigio from Jeruzalem Ormoz is just ok, in a home made sort of way, tasting of unripe fruits: apple, grapefruit, pineapple... with a slight spritz. It's a refreshing aperitif for £6.66, but even at that reduced price, I wouldn't buy it again. As for the £6ish Zinfandel look-a-likey 'Plavac Mali' from the Croatian island of Hvar, well, it may have been prettier in youth. Now though, it's gone to seed, all fat and blowsy. You would, but only if there was nothing else left.

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