Showing posts from October, 2019

Exciting Developments for Whisky and Gin

A few months ago, I wrote about our visit to The Lakes Distillery and my fascination with the approach their Whiskymaker takes to maturing and blending whisky. You can read that post here: Whiskymaker Dhavall Gandhi (image courtesy of the Lakes Distillery) I was contacted again by the Lakes Distillery to inform me that their first widely available single malt whisky has been released. The whisky has been named The Whiskymaker's Reserve No1, the first in a series of limited releases showing off the skills of Dhavall Gandhi, the whiskymaker whose approach so fascinated me in the summer. Since the communication from The Lakes also offered a sample for tasting and review, I couldn't resist accepting! If you follow me on Twitter, you will have read my impressions the evening I opened the bottle. Having said in August that The One was not my style of whisky, preferring as I do a more peaty taste, I was exp

Wines from Yorkshire

Although the British have been importing wines, off and on, from the time of the Roman Empire, wine drinking has been the preserve of the wealthy for much of that history. From the late 1970s, a number of wine merchants set out to change that, first by introducing sweeter, German wines, then fruity New World wines, until we were drinking so much that the UK is now the biggest importer of wines in the world. It's surprising, too, how quickly we have taken to wine growing. Historians will shout out that those Romans planted vines in the first century, but you wouldn't call it a significant industry, and it was more or less confined to the southern parts of what is now England. Today, more and more land is being cultivated for vines, as the English and Welsh discover what can be achieved with the right grape varieties and careful viticulture. Scotland and Northern Ireland have not yet produced wine on an economically viable scale. I've written about Welsh wines in the past

Great Game (and an Edwardian revival)

Roast partridge with pickled blackberries and parsnip chips One of the great advantages of living in a town such as Harrogate is having ready access to amazing produce. For a small town, it still boasts plenty specialist grocers and delis, independent fishmongers, butchers and greengrocers. One thing I rarely buy, though, is game birds. The thing is, when you live in a rural area, it doesn't take long to make friends who shoot. I've lost track of the times I've arrived home from work to find something dead hanging off the back door, and I've had to teach myself to pluck, gut and clean various birds and small mammals. Mercifully, I'm not squeamish! If I know someone's going out, I might put a request in, but you never know what's coming back. Pheasants are common, but I've also had mallard, teal, pochard, partridge, rabbit and hare. In the UK, at least, game cookery has become associated with the upper classes and country houses, and I do think it