Aux Tonneaux des Halles

    Our final dinner in Paris. We arrived shortly after the early evening rush, snaffled the final table and then watched the lone waiter try to take orders and serve food to the whole room and street.

    2 readers - By Wino sapien

    Racines 2

    Around the corner from Spring and just off Rue Saint-Honore. The room is modern and open, and when I visited almost entirely filled with tourists, in contrast to the neighbouring and more casual wine bar - Le Garde Robe. The menu is short, a single black board, four entrees and three mains ...

    2 readers - By Wino sapien

    The shape of wine retailing 2014

    A quick skim of the latest annual reports for Coles and Woolworths and a few observations. Woolworths has 1402 retail outlets in Australia (186 Dan Murphy's and 1216 BWS). Coles has 831 stores. I have no idea what this means in percentage terms, but in 2010 they already had > 50% of the market. For FY2014 liquor sales for Woolworths = $7.4 billion.

    1 readers - By Wino sapien


    You know there will be crowds, but still it comes as a shock to see such a mass of people trying to catch a glimpse of this small and whimsically beautiful painting ...

    By Wino sapien


    As an alien, it's much harder to pre plan and book a special meal in Paris. Spring, in the quiet back streets near the Louvre, with it's American roots (Chicago born owner and chef Daniel Rose) is one of the easier options. It takes internet bookings and they answer email enquires promptly - making potentially confusing and confronting phone conversations unnecessary.

    2 readers - By Wino sapien

    DIY pork buns

    After paying the equivalent of almost $A40 for four pork buns in London (£14.5 for the meat and £4 for four buns) I decided to revisit the idea. First a trip to Chinatown to procure the meat - $20 of roast pork (which would be enough for approx 12 -16 buns) and then the buns (frozen and ready to steam) - $3.90 for a packet of eight. The only thing that remained was the token salad for the filling.

    3 readers - By Wino sapien

    Bistrot Du 1er

    95 Rue Saint-Honoré. A Southern French accent, it's distinctive and the offering refined and fresh. Garlic, fresh herbs and acidity feature prominently on the plate, while on the walls French rugby memorabilia. . . just don't mention the Wallabies. . .

    3 readers - By Wino sapien

    Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2002

    I started this blog in 2006, it seems a lifetime ago. My children where still in nappies and twitter was yet to hatch. More than now, there seemed to be a connection between this and other wine blogs. Everything seemed fresh and possible. . . My notes are still staccato and my use of the ellipsis seems to have grown. . . The 02 Clonakilla was in the first clutch of wines that I wrote about (1,2).

    5 readers - By Wino sapien

    Le Gros Minet

    Homely Le Gros Minet with it's bric-a-brac porcelain cats and its collection of old hats can be found in Les Halles; just down the road from the newly named Jardin Nelson Mandela and the largely neglected Church of Saint-Eustache, which has the most emphatic bell. Each chime deep and full of authority. . ...

    2 readers - By Wino sapien


    My final tranche of holiday notes. E. Guigal Ch d'Ampuis Cote Rotie 2007. Meat, and malt, soy and balsamic. Bay and lavender, it's deep and edgy, changeable and with multiple faces. Rich and layered in the mouth, a note of vanilla, beautiful length, perhaps if I was splitting hairs I'd say it's fractionally warm. I wish. . . Ch Cheval Blanc St Emilion Grand Cru 1999.

    By Wino sapien

    Chateau La Tour Carnet 2007

    Haut-Medoc, 13%. Cork. Gift. Slightly dank and old cellar in scent to begin, later blackcurrant and weeds. It's not emphatic, and it smells and tastes reduced and diminutive ...

    6 readers - By Wino sapien

    Flesh & Buns

    The subterranean sibling of Bone Daddies. There are other things to order (a reasonable soft shell crab, sashimi, California rolls, Korean fried chicken wings and for desert the S'mores and donuts. . . ) but ultimately your opinion hinges on what you think of (repackaged ideas) the flesh and DIY buns ...

    3 readers - By Wino sapien

    Postcard: Rue des Rosiers

    It's a narrow cobblestone street in the 4th, surely not more than a few hundred metres in length, it's full of tourists in search of moderately priced Parisian falafel, they've all been reading the same guidebooks and the recommendations on Tripadvisor . . On the wall across from popular Chez Hanna are the words This is where I stop to eat my fallafel.

    2 readers - By Wino sapien

    Stonehenge #2

    One of the mysteries about Stonehenge is more contemporary and presumably more readily solved ...

    2 readers - By Wino sapien
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