Friday, 24 July 2009

Got any snout?

I have bought a pipe and in doing so fulfilled a long standing ambition.

I did smoke cigarettes: Malboro Red and/or Gitanes were my weapon of choice (but never at the same time). I also smoked Embassy No.5 but they are the smoke of satan. I stopped smoking shortly after arriving at University. The relationship between drinking and smoking became far more passionate after I arrived at that distinguished seat of learning Leicester Polytechnic. My drinking became rapacious and with it my smoking. Something had to go - and it was 18 Marlboro in the canal much to the disgust of my Imperial Tobacco sponsored housemates.

Cigars are a different matter - I love cigars. My weapon of choice is a Cohiba Siglo IV and they have been with me at some of the happiest times of my life: weddings, graduations, holidays, Christmas, reunions, those rare moments of business successes. A cigar helps to magnify the feeling of smug sell-satisfaction which often accompanies these events. Thing is, you need a good two hours to really wallow your way through a cigar and it is increasing difficult to ring-fence sufficient time. So my attention turned to pipe smoking.

My extensive market research has revealed that no-one is actually smokes a pipe any more. The pipe-smokers I have known are all dead (due to old age rather than smoking related illnesses now that I think about it) so instruction and encouragement has been rather thin on the ground. The internet is an obvious source and YouTube has been a particularly successful hunting ground. The local specialist tobacconist was most informative, which I suspect is due to his surprise at seeing his customer base actually increasing. Anyway, I got the pipe, tobacco, pipe tool, Swan Vesta and got stuck into the smoking with the enthusiasm of a laboratory beagle.

I can now often be seen watering the garden in the pouring rain sucking like a Las Vegas whore working time-and-half on my pipe. Like I said, another ambition ticked off the list.

Lindley Fine Wine £7.99 (tasted 9 February 2009)

100% pinotage from the Cape region. 14% with a screw-cap closure.

Clear and clean: deep ruby-red and a good barbecue nose. Its dry with some little acidity touching the obvious high tannins. Full bodied building on the smoky nose to give tobacco and black cherry, all singed with burnt-rubber. Its got a strong length with 'something' in the tail. The overt structure comes from the young oak and could exploit the acidity to mature in the bottle and develop some more complexity.

Still a good wine though.

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