Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wine, beer, sausages…….and lots more

The last month was pretty slow here at the Shiraz eBlog. Well, working for a living does have its down side. But a 12,000 word book chapter (no, not on wine) was finished, as were three internet courses at UCSD (no, not on wine), and a new research grant (no, not on wine) has been received. The last means even more time will have to be devoted to non-wine endeavors. But before I get down to working on cutting edge immunology I believe a little R&R might be in order. And so July has been filled with a jam packed agenda.

First we will be jetting to Chicago to (briefly) check out some Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. Nope, sorry. No wine there either. Then it will be off to St Louis to cross the swollen Mississippi into Illinois for the July 4th family reunion. There is a nascent plan to visit a few Illinois wineries, and taste wines from some of the less well known varieties, and native American grapes. Expectations that we will find great wine are not high, which is why there is a plan to travel with a case of wine from the cellar. I’m hoping we do find some drinkable Illinois wine because that box of wine is really destined for London, England where we will consume some with friends and then take the rest on the Carnival Splendor for a cruise to St Petersburg, Russia. Of course traveling does make one thirsty and its quite possible that we will consume all of the box of wine in London. In that case there will be nothing for it but to visit some of the local wine shops to restock. Plans are being laid for visits to Philglas & Swiggot (in Marylebone), Berry Brothers & Rudd, and Fortnum and Mason.

Naturally one cannot visit England without sampling some sausages and so while we are in Marylebone we will also be dropping by Biggles Gourmet Sausage shop and The Ginger Pig to purchase some bangers, snags and mystery bags. I’ll bet there are some that go with a big Aussie Shiraz and a BBQ! But BBQ or no, one cannot sample sausage and mash without the presence of a cleansing ale and so at some point I’m hoping we can fit in a trip to The George Inn to do just that. And while we are there we might as well pay a visit to the nearby Market Porter; after all its real close to the Borough Market where The Ginger Pig has a stall of all its current sausages. And just to be true to The Thirsty Traveller we will complete the trifecta by visiting The Lord Clyde.

Now it has come to my attention that others (notably my wife, Miranda) are laying plans of their own. These include various London Walks, and a visit to Bath, as well as dinner with Irish cousins. The latter group is not known to appreciate BIG wines, but with pleasure there is always a little pain! Basically that means me offering everyone a monster alcohol wine, just on the off chance that someone might like it!

The cruise highlights will probably be finding time to read several wine books, including Benjamin Wallace’s “The Billionaire’s Vinegar”, George Taber’s "To Cork or Not to Cork" and Alice Feiring’s “The Battle for Wine and Love”. The cruise will not disembark us at any notable wine destinations and even though the ship does have a wine bar I’m not expecting any wine epiphanies onboard, that is unless we can get enough wine in our luggage and the luggage of friends to make the dinners just that little bit more out of the ordinary.

And who knows, I might even blog about some of this!

1 comment:

hampers said...

Some places I never seen before and would like to try in the future. Nice post.