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Our acountant discovers the New World

Cooking waterstone bridge wine

The Christmas break seems like a long time ago now but little by little the nights do seem to be getting longer. Pretty soon it will be light when we’re all going home and will be able to get out into Derbyshire for a teatime walk on Stanage Edge.

The news over the last few weeks has been pretty grim, particularly with regard to the state of the economy. I have recently finished reading the excellent “The Soldiers War” by Richard Van Emden that has letters back from the front during World War 1. You only have to read some of the letters from the men at the front to their families that these men would never see again, to realise that your ‘bad day’ isn’t really that bad.

I have been doing some work at Barrels & Bottles since the summer and have therefore not only managed to keep myself busy during the day but have been busy sampling the extensive and varied wines that Andrew sells. My big favourite when I’m drinking wine is red wines and have tended to go for New World wines , Aussie Shiraz in particular, but have ventured into Argentinean and Chilean varieties.

The bulk of the wine that I have bought previously has been through either Laithwaites mail order and a big favourite of mine was their Black Stump Durif Shiraz that recently claimed the prize of customers’ favourite in the annual awards. I bought case after case of that wine but have been weaned off it. My new favourite is the Murphy’s Big River 2006 Australian Shiraz that is wonderfully fruity, full bodied and drinks easily on its own or with a meal. We have drunk this particular wine with Aromatic Lamb from the wonderful Noodle Inn on London Road (Sheffield), Sunday dinner, and pizza (a good eclectic mix). Price wise this is a tremendous purchase.

Cooking is something that neither my wife or I have ever really excelled at, and we are trying to make steps to increase our abilities. I have been mulling over whether I am ready to commit to one of the courses on offer at Coghlans but have decided that I’m currently more comfortable having a go at some of the recipes that Head Chef, Simon, has given me to try. The tomato soup was my first attempt and is very easy to do. Even the children enjoyed it and it counts to their 5 a day. I am also now the proud owner of a Morrisons liquidiser bought for £20. Maybe by the summer I will be signing up for one of the courses.

Saturday is generally football day if (Sheffield) United are at home. Today’s match was the fourth round FA Cup tie against Charlton at Bramall Lane but it turned out to be a rather turgid affair, United grinding out a 2-1 victory and a place in the last 16. The only highlights were Sun Jihai’s Bruce Lee kick on a Charlton player and a ten second delayed reaction from the Charlton fans after they scored. Surely they know what scoring is? The draw is tomorrow but I’m not hopeful of a Wembley appearance…

We celebrated the victory with a very agreeable bottle of Waterstone Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon, a grape variety that is not normally one of my favourites but this is the exception. The wine is easy drinking, full bodied and has a “minty” aftertaste to it. I don’t think there will be too much to save for tomorrow!

Dominic Field is the accountant for Barrels & Bottles

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