Thursday 27 May 2010

Bloggers Block

I've been trying to write a post for about a week now, there's an unfinished dozen, all starting off with some half arsed whimsy that trails off into no-where. Something's not there, it's missing, and my thoughts just won't gel.

So, here's a wine. A very nice wine. Recommended by Ross at the Woodlands Road Oddbins. Full of spring flowers and smelling of almonds.

It's organic, has a gentle spritz and... I've discovered that it's much better after opening, drinking a glass, then finishing it off three days later. Such parsimony hardly ever happens Chez Splodge. Strewth, I really am out of sorts. Maybe this will help...

Ticket price back with any purchase over £75. 20% discount on 12 bottles. Feel the deal. Okay, it's a mildly complicated deal. Here's a summary: If you're planning to buy some wine why not get pleasantly pished for free and save lots of pounds? You know it makes sense.

Without any wheeling and dealing, this Falerio will cost you £7.49. It's well worth it.

Sunday 16 May 2010

Ultimate Bargain

God damn the internet. Without it's increasing accessibility, this wine has such a bizarre price, you could run sweepstakes trying to guess it.

In Asda, or Asdas as we used to call it in Wales, just now, this utterly delicious glass of springtime will set you back £4.83. Weirdly, as Jamie Goode pointed out on his blog, in the same supermarket, on the same shelf, the 'standard' Montana Sauvignon Blanc will cost you twice as much. The 'standard' is nice enough, the 'reserve' is a notch up.

So get down to Asdas before this pricing weirdness gets sorted. Because if you like New Zealand Sauvignons, you should fill the boot and spend the summer chuckling.

Glasgow International Festival of the Visual Arts

It's a funny title 'Festival of the Visual Arts', I mean, who'd visit a festival of the non-visual arts? A festival of the Dark Arts perhaps? There could be something in that, but it's probably not a grant.

Two of my favourites at this years G.I. Festival utilised abandoned industrial spaces.

At Vestiges Park you could have been forgiven for thinking you'd stumbled across an old props dump for Dr Who.

A motley but engaging collection of stuff saved from any temptation to ridicule by it's own sense of fun.

You had to be daring to reach the Glue Factory on foot...

Up St Georges Road till you're nearly in Possil and Possil's not the sort of place to be nearly in.

What wasn't 'works' really was the works... or what's left of them.

Boundaries were blurred.

There was something touching in the fatality of this exhibition. Referencing it's impending demise with a nod to the defunct utility of the surroundings.

As a person with too little patience, I'm always moved by perseverance in the face of futility.

Like the beautiful Mayfly, the G.I. appears fleetingly, only to those looking for it and all too soon it's gone. This was the best so far, hopefully that's the direction of travel, unfortunately we'll have to wait two years to find out.

After a hard days art I screwed the top on a bottle of this. Lovely. Off dry with flavours of tinned pear, mandarin and pineapple. On the nose, was I imagining it? A whiff of glue. £9.99 in Waitrose.

Sunday 9 May 2010

Coffee, Chocolate and Tea

I'd spotted this place when the refurbishments started over a year ago. Glasgow gets there, eventually, but it's the best part of a century since it led the way.

Actually, the problem is not so much the proliferation of coffee shops, but the quality of the coffee. Fortunately this place was well worth the wait. It's the brainchild of Macallums Fishmongers and occupies the site of their old shop. They roast coffee beans on the premises using a fabulous looking machine brought over from France.

Lisa said she used to work in the wine trade, before that she'd spent 3 years in Australia roasting coffee. Why did my careers lessons fail to mention such jobs?

This is a new version of the espresso machine that in 1961 pioneered the design now copied by most other manufacturers. It's a beautiful bit of kit.

My Americano was made using their House Blend 'Cranston Hill'. Wonderful fruity, smokey aroma and a delicious, rounded, chocolaty taste.

Went for a bag of El Salvador 'Las Delicias Bourbon' beans to take home. They were roasted the day before and I was instructed, "Best leave them a day first". Now this sounded interesting. After reading the great Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking I'd always presumed that the sooner you use your beans after roasting the better. Harold explains that coffee beans have more different aroma compounds than almost any other edible thing. Hundreds are released by roasting but they start oxidising almost immediately.

Lisa explained that because the beans are roasted at 220c they need time to 'settle' and release gasses for a day or two afterwards. Otherwise the cup could turn out a bit 'lively'. Fascinating. I decided mine were sufficiently rested this morning. Fabulous coffee. Smokey, nutty aromas and a lovely almost refreshing taste. Think it was £4.80 for 250g of beans. Well worth it and I even got a discreet nod of approval when I said I'd be grinding them myself.

The teas also look good, especially the flower teas which unfurl in beautiful glass teapots before you pour. And, apparently, they're in talks with a Chocolatier... whatever that means.

So I'd seriously suggest popping in to try some of the best coffee in this city and say hello to the knowledgeable and charming Rosie, Rachel and Lisa.

Coffee, Chocolate and Tea
944 Argyle Street,
G3 8YJ
0141 204 3161

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Wednesday 5 May 2010


It was a landmark Bank Holiday Weekend. Something inside me changed forever. Finally it's over...

Now, at last, I can do it, I too can buy second hand... ahem, I mean 'vintage' shoes. And what a pair. Brogue boots? Didn't even know they existed. They appear to have been polished black.

My phobia stemmed from the thought of the previous incumbents. Feet can be pretty minging and I didn't fancy catching something. Anyway, these passed the sniff challenge.

This is going to result in a considerable saving over the years, so to celebrate shoes that only cost £18, I thought something nice and leathery smelling should do the trick.

There's plenty of old leather in this wine and a fair whiff of feral animal too. I've never drunk wine from an old boot... can't imagine many people have... but this is what it would probably taste like. Especially if the boot belonged to a werewolf. Don't get me wrong, there's also loads of delicious raspberry fruit too, a great texture, a lovely long lasting finish and a refreshingly light 12.5% alcohol. It's real beauty and the beast stuff. I love it.

Someone tweeted the other day that they were out with a friend who was wearing an old tweed jacket when a bunch of neds shouted across the street, "Vintage Cunts". Genius.

The wine is new to Yapp. Came as part of a mixed case for £85 including delivery.

The shoes came from the Glasgow Vintage Company by Kelvinbridge.