Eatin’ &drinkin’ ethically, feelin’good about it at Alimentum in Cambridge w/video

I used to be a vegetarian. I know it’s hard to believe but I was almost a VEGAN!!! What insanity. Why was I a veggie? At first it was because I was travelling in India and there wasn’t much meat around and what there was, it was just plain disgusting, hanging in the hot sun, dessicated and smelling none to fresh. The vegetarian morsals from the food wallahs were infinitely more appealing, tastier and cheaper. As I traveled through Asia I saw how animals were treated and gradually stopped eating meat on humanitarian (animatarian?) principles. I didn’t miss meat much until 5  years later when I returned to America. I was even a vegetarian in Argentina! What put me back on my omnivorous ways? One word. BACON (FYI Argentine bacon is not that great). I went back to my meat eating ways but small twinges of guilt would occasional prick my conscience. So what’s a meat eater to do? I attended a lunch in Cambridge at the ethically sourced restaurant Alimentum to see how they’ve answered that question. What do they mean by ethically sourced? It means that they source all of their food from producers who take great pride in raising their flocks, herds or litters of animals and have responsible, sustainable (usually organic) practices. According to John Hudgell, owner, Alimentum… ” turn values into actionable undertakings and ensure the ingredients we buy, the materials and equipment we use and our conduct as a responsible trader is true to our ethical beliefs.” It all makes me feel good to know that the caviar garnishing my starter and the venison on my plate are ethically and sustainably sourced. John doesn’t stop with the food. He has extended this philosophy to the winelist. Alimentum has launched their “Green, Red and White” winelist. Consisting of 9 wines, sourced from Italy to Chile and back again, all the wines are either biodynamic or organic. Yet another reason to be pleased, knowing that the wine you’re drinking doesn’t contain chemicals and is more than likely to come from a small, artisanal producer. I spoke...

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Hairy armpits and the guilty pleasures dinner

Back in February I had a guilty pleasures dinner at my house with some of my foodie blogger friends. We had so much fun that we decided to do it again. Bibendum Dan (aka The Boy) and I got to chatting about what wines we should bring along. At first we had visions of  Blue Nun and pricy claret but then Dan was hit by inspiration – why not bring some esoteric wines, mix it up a bit.  What about some of those crazy, extreme, ‘hairy armpit’ wines – you know, the ones made with grapes gone wild, no rows of vines, no filtering, no sulphur, just pure old grape juice.   So, armed with two of the hairiest armpit red wines I could find in Artisan&Vine, I showed up at Eatlikeagirl ‘s doorstep one wet and wild nite.  We sampled the Contadino #5  2005 from the slopes of Mt Etna – about as natural a wine as you can get. Made by the winemaker, Frank Cornelissen, this one is unsulphured and a bit unstable. Retail £16.50 And from La Casot des Mailloles, the La Poudre d’escampette ’07. Alain Castex farms his vines on the slopes of Banyuls and  let’s his vines run wild amongst the herbs and wild flowers of the hills. It’s all in there. This wine is given a dose of sulphur on bottling but it’s still pretty wild. Retail £19.90 What did we think…… Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Berry Brothers joins the Twitterati-TTL and biodynamic wines

Berry Brothers & Rudd, only the oldest wine merchant in the world, wine purveyor to The Queen, rumoured to have  labrynthine cellars that stretch from St. James to Buckingham Palace – Has joined the twitterati. Not only have they joined the twitterati @winematters , they even did a Twitter Taste live from said cellars last week. The Winesleuth and Wine90 couldn’t make it to the cellars (we don’t like spiders) so we settled in at my house, anxiously awaiting the DHL guy who delivered the wines and then joined in via Twitter. This wasn’t any old wine tasting, it was a biodynamic wine tasting. I didn’t know this but BBR carry an extensive range of organic and now biodynamic wines. Are biodynmic wines any better or worse?  We were the judge. There were 3 wines on tasting: 2007   Mâcon, Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon (Stelvin) — Héritiers du Comte Lafon  £11.95 2006   Vacqueyras, Garrigues, Domaine Montirius — Montirius — France  £11.95 2006   L’As, Coteaux du Languedoc, Mas Conscience — Mas Conscience — France £15.40 Here’s what we thought of the Vacqueyras… A big thanks to Berry Brothers & Rudd and to Rob over at WineConversation for inviting us and getting the wines to my house just in time! Follow us on twitter! @winematters  (BBR’s tweets) @thewinesleuth  @wine90 Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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A biodynamic Cotes du Rhone- Dom. Les Aphillanthes ’06

Now that I work in a natural wine bar, you’d think I’d be posting all the time about natural wines. You’d think. But no. What have I been doing, you’re might be wondering? Spending all my time, now that I work nights, out on the golf course, what else? You can find me there most  afternoons now. It probably doesn’t help that the golf course is a 15 minute walk from my house and they have a driving range. So rather then waxing lyrical about this fantastic biodynamic chablis or this wonderfully complex natural Italian blend, I’ve been working on correcting my slice and chipping away in the rough. I am currently drooling over Haig Point Golf Course (where I’ll be holidaying in a few weeks) and these snappy Nike Ladies golf shoes I saw online the other day. Sad, I know. But enough about golf ( how did I get addicted so fast?) and back to my first passion – wine. We do winetasting in the bar every Wednesday so this week, I opened a “classic” (something we don’t have a lot of in A&V, we go for the more offbeat wines) a Cotes du Rhone from Domaine Les Aphillanthes, Vieilles Vignes 2006. Although it’s from a classic region, the wine is wholly biodynamic and produced by the innovative winemaker, Daniel Boulle. Boulle interestingly enough came to biodynamic practices in the vineyard in a roundabout way, via his son who was successfull treated for eczema with natural medical practices. This in turn encouraged Boulle to turn to biodynamic methods as they had similar philosophies. He is also a proponent of minimal intervention, transporting the wine with gravity, fermenting his wines in concrete vats and bottling without filtration, all of which are meant  to showcase the pure intense flavours of the wine. So how did this “classic” do? 75% grenache, 15% carignan and 10% mouvedre, it was a still fairly youthful in appearance, a bright garnet in the glass,  a nose of  smoky wet wood like...

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