Falanghina & Auchentoshan for a Shacklewell Night

Sep 05, 11 Falanghina & Auchentoshan for a Shacklewell Night

Posted by in Food and Wine, Italy, Spirits

Walking up Kingsland Road and then merging onto Stoke Newington Street, I was wondering if I would ever find the venue for Shacklewell Nights’ latest dinner. Past rows of closed shops with the metal shutters locked tightly, Turkish grocers and off-licences, I spied a hipster with a clipboard in the battered open doorway of what seemed to be a long closed establishment. This had to be it. And it was. After making my way past the entry room, it opened up into a (covered) still surviving Victorian street, (awesome!) complete with dwellings on both sides of the street, one serving as an open kitchen. Aperitifs and dinner was served in Ruby House, which was across the street from the kitchen, and is set over 5 floors of a Victorian townhouse, with plenty of retro furnishings and faded grandeur.  The entire venue is known as MC Motors and is very shabby chic. Auchentoshan was one of the sponsors and we got plenty of single malt whiskey cocktails before setting down to dinner. Shacklewell were serving roast chicken and I was asked by the organizers to recommend a red and white wine with dinner. I chose the 2010 Terradora Falanghina to go with the chicken. Falanghina is one of the easier to pronounce Italian varietals, coming from the slopes of Vesuvius, it is one of favourite white wines. Falanghina is a wine made for food, full of minerality but having good structure and plenty of apple, quince and citrus notes. It is rather round on the palate but not oily more like a substantial, elegantly textured white wine and miles better then any pinot grigio. A good match with the roast chicken, I enjoyed it with the starter of langoustine as well, the wine’s citrusy character coming to the forefront. In the middle of dinner, we were escorted, table by table, to a circa 1930’s decorated basement bar to sample Auchentoshan whiskey and learn a bit about the history of the whiskey. Luckily, we weren’t left...

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Talisker and the first Sail-in Cinema in the world

Aug 15, 11 Talisker and the first Sail-in Cinema in the world

Posted by in Spirits

Standing by the sea with a glass of Talisker 18 year old in hand, the faint taste of seaweed rolled around my mouth and it was difficult  to tell where it ended, the salty seaweed tang of the sea air seemed to swirl around my glass both inside and out. We were standing by the quayside in Cowes with Talisker Brand Ambassador Colin Dunn who wanted us to experience the true taste of Talisker, which comes from the Isle of Skye and is “made by the sea”, as they say. As an added bonus, we had fresh, locally caught fish & chips from the nearby chippy. Why is it that fish & chips always tastes best by the sea? Talisker was sponsoring the first ever “sail-in Cinema” and to show off a bit, had arranged a small tasting of Talisker’s range. My favourite was the cask strength 57 North so named because the alcohol level is 57.1% alcohol. It’s a new release from Talisker and is aged in barrels that are heavily charred and 8 – 14 years old. As Colin said, “…it’s pure Nirvana – smells like teen spirit  and tastes like it, too.” Creamy and sweet, notes of brulee, vanilla and then a peppery kick to finish, which is the signature of Talisker. Add a drop or two of water and it’s some smoooooooth sailin’. Finishing off the fish and chips and we headed off to the boat where we would be watching Master and Commander on the big screen. A gigantic screen had been set up on the esplande of Cowes facing the sea so that boaters could sail up, drop anchor and enjoy the movie. Talisker even thoughtfully provided radio earphones so that every one could individually hear the movie. It was a lot of fun to be floating off the coast of the Isle of Wight, munching popcorn and the special Talisker cocktails that were whipped up for us to enjoy with the movie. It did get a bit...

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