Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Choo choo!!

This is my first live on-line wine tasting so I suppose I should be twittering.  (Note to self to become more web 2.0 at the first opportunity...)
Back in the day I used to commute from Yorkshire to London twice a week courtesy of GNER.  Now time has moved on:  National Express (NE) drun the trains and I work in Leeds.  Since then plus the addition of kids means I'm in London about once a fortnight tops.  So what does this mean?
  1. No more half bottle of scotch in the bottom of my 'overnight' bag to see me through the week away from my family;
  2. I've stopped smoking like a laboratory beagle (actually I've stopped full-stop);
  3. Less exposure to different wines.
Point (3) has nothing to do with the Yorkshire wine desert in comparison to the elysian fields of London; its all to do with GNER.  Its hard to comprehend but dinner on the GNER from London was a real pleasure .  Forget your soggy sandwich and suspect pork-pie GNER had train dining sorted.  And they had the wines to match.

Back then I didn't keep notes and at times I barely knew what I was drinking thanks to the other GNER staple being STELLA, but I remember quarter bottles of prosecco at c.£5.00 and third (!) bottle of Tavel for less than £8.00.  I would argue that GNER had the best mobile wine list in the country, so much so that Tavel is still on my must-have cellar list.

Soooooo, tonight on the 2003 London Leeds train we're trying again...

National Express £.....(tonight darling)
Screw cap, 13.0% vin de pays by the half bottle.

Looking at the label Playford Ros are providing NE with their wines so that is encouraging.  This 100% merlot from the Longuedoc Roussillon isn't burnt one would expect from a single varietal from this region.

Clear, deep purple red and full bodied in the plastic cup the nose is packed full of dark black fruit.  All the usual suspects but with distant nutmeg structure.  Dry, little acid with some good tannins it has the body of a vin de pay: think carafe in a roadside cafe before Toulouse play Nantes at home on a wet Sunday in March.  Black cherries are overlaid with something smokey (cheese!?) and mint or thyme.  Just what you want.  I'd have some again.

1 comment:

  1. Ah those were the days. GNER sure had the best UK train wine list. It was punctual with a decent buffet and nice seats and you could use your mobile phone readily (until the tunnelly bit into Kings X).
    The Virgin Manchester to London Service was to be avoided for having the opposite of all GNER's killer features.
    But all good things must come to an end and I heard GNER's was one of their own making having overbid for the franchise.
    So now it is National Express and I suppose we should be thankful that the first thing they did was price the wi-fi (not even available on Virgin) according to its quality. Yes, it is now zero GBP per megabit.