Life is full of ups and downs. I guess my experience with the business maybe hardens you...or prepares you better for the surprises in life. I have maybe more 'problems' to solve with the business in one month that most people have in a whole year.
So...where are we going with this?
The post heading is a Sandwich Surprise.
Top layer of this sandwich was another visit to Restaurant Ambiente. We had been very busy so decided to do a 'business dinner' inviting out my secretary and her husband. Both are lovers of fine wine....so it was a pleasure to choose and take along three favourites of mine from over the last year. It was a warm evening...and we sat out in the garden area...the restaurant was quiet so the evening was very relaxed with owner Riccardo and Chef de Cuisine Fernando having plenty of time to please us.
Grand Select 2007
What an aroma...Coconut, Nougat Toffee...the oak very much in the background... Creamy texture...complete harmony...lemon flavoured...and a complete success.
Drautz-Able Jodokus 2001
Medium colour with a pale orange rim..danger if I hadn't gotten that pre-smell. OK..nose...delicate...sweet cream...this spends 3 years in oak. The palate showed almost no tannins...although there was a holding spice that strokes the soft 'fruity' fruit...fine gentle earthiness...dry cigar....there is Cabernet Sauvignon in this Cuvée. Perfect maturity
Köhler-Ruprecht 'Philippi' '
RR' Spätburgunder 1998
Bernd Philippi is an individualist....not everything turns out right that he releases...BUT...when it does work..his wines are a revelation. His Riesling both 'R' and 'RR' are not to be missed...as are also his Spätburgunder. He releases them when he thinks they are ready...
Here the cork was fully moist..and difficult to extract. I had taken along my 'Butler's Friend' and it was needed.This is lighter in colour than the 1999...and it also a more delicate example. Sweet strawberries spring from the glass..a gentle rippling flavour..mineral and tobacco..it slowly opened up...but remained a layed-back lady...nice earthiness..more than any other area in German..the Pfalz displays it's 'terroir'..a pleasure to drink
The filling to this sandwich is the surprise.
The day before we went out to dinner on Tuesday I had noticed, in the dark, a flashing light to the left of my left eye. I called the eye doctor next day and made an appointment for Thursday morning at 8.am. First in to see him...we chatted about food and restaurants first...then some drops in the eye to enlarge the pupils...then a good look. 'You have a small hole in your eye' he said!!! Needs to be operated on quickly. He explained that his laser machine was being repaired...so he started to phone around and found a doctor in nearby Mainz. He informed them that the pupils were prepared and gave me the address. With my sunglasses on (those drops make it impossible to drive..I was on my bike back to the office. My secretary insisted on driving me to Mainz and I arrived at 9.45am
The doctor there checked the eye...'You have a big hole' he stated. I thought....one hour ago it was small! He explained what would be done and that I must not move. So...chin on a ledge...gripping onto the apparatus...I awaited the laser shots. Some were painful...others were just blinding lights. If you are cringing by now...join the queue! It seemed like 10 minutes but was probably only two....then it was over. He patted me on the hand and said...'well done..you were very still'. 244 Shots he said!!!
I got a taxi home and was sat in the office at 11.am, Three hours...amazing. Instruction were...no football and stay off the PC...the movement from keyboard to monitor was not good for a few days.
I tried until the evening...but our international business relies heavily on emails...so sat with my left hand over my eye. There was bleeding from the op....which means you see like a black eyelash moving about. It is slowly getting better day by day. That is normal my eye doctor tells me.
As so to the bottom part of the sandwich.
We had promised 2 friends we would take them out to dinner.
We decided again on Restaurant Ambiente. The lady was a wine drinker but her hubby was happy to drink beer. I took along two bottles.
It was Friday and as the weather had improved the restaurant was full. This meant waiting to order and we ate later than planned. Made a note...go midweek next time. Riccardo apologized as many customers had arrived without ordering a table and, as can happen, everybody arrived at once.
It was, however, a very enjoyable evening as I was on top form and we laughed a lot.
The white wine was very good.
Chateau Tuilerie Eole Blanc 2007
A cuvee of 40% Rolle, 20% Viognier, 10% Grenache Blanc..with Rousanne, Marsanne & Clairette making up the rest...grown on sandstone soil..only 4000 bottles were produced..so there will be 3999 that can be enjoyed as much as we did. Fresh sparkling colour..green tinges...a wild aroma...you can feel the countryside...reserved nutty bouquet...and some citrus fruit...but it's the taste that wins it points...it fairly explodes onto the palate..loads of minerals bouncing about..and an intense creaminess..and a good long finish. Excellent wine.
Diel Pinot Noir Caroline 2008
The red I will refrain from writing notes....the evening had cooled and, although showing all it's qualities, needed a more focused