Tag Archives: Wine

Doris Does All the Wine: Bordeaux of Some Description

Following my introductory post, my lovely boyfriend obliged to my request and bought me some wine. One of the wines he bought was the one I’m about to review and the other was a bottle of white wine without a label, which I’m rather nervous about opening, if I’m being honest. I have a feeling it’s one of those chemical filled wines that will kill me upon my first sip, but I guess the life of a really bad wine reviewing service includes the possibility of death. Admittedly, he bought it on purpose, because it was £2 and a direct contrast to the Chateaux Vieux Manoir, which is apparently a Bordeaux type wine.

DSC_0148

I have no idea what a Bordeaux is other than the fact, I imagine, it is French and comes from the place, where I assume they grow grapes. I have only heard about it being mentioned in relatively posh settings, maybe in films? But I have never drunk it before, so I guess for my first review, this was probably a very good decision. Boyfriend is a smarty pants, who knew?

The Bordeaux cost roughly £9 and was bought from the Co-Operative down the street from us. It was bought not an offer, which I’m a little angry about, because £9 for one bottle of wine is ridiculous when you can buy two bottles for £10 from Asda (an extra bottle for a quid sounds amazing, doesn’t it?). Either way, please don’t construe this as me being ungrateful, because I am very appreciative of receiving wine all of the time. Apparently, Bordeaux can go one of two ways, sweet or dry and I think this one was very dry because it tasted like salt Ribena. I don’t think this is a bad thing, it actually reminded me a little bit of that salted caramel stuff that is very popular in confectionary items these days and at first you regard it with extreme trepidation, as though you’ve just eaten something fresh from the bowels of hell, but then afterwards you’ve found that you’ve eaten an entire box of chocolates and consumed roughly seventeen thousand calories. It was like that and I did wish that I had more once the bottle was gone. I also firmly believe that if I drank more than one bottle I’d have been pretty drunk and maybe flashed a breast or two.

DSC_0146

Now, food pairings with dry wines seem a bit weird. I mean, should you eat sweet things with a dry wine to counter-act the dryness and it would create a sense of euphoria that couldn’t be comprehended unless you were there, eating the foods in place of me. But, I didn’t do that. I had what has to be the most salty cuisine known to man. Because we’d had some really great news that day, we had a mini ‘beginning of the week’ celebration and decided that we would eat Chinese food that included ribs, chicken, Szechuan beef with noodles and rice and also some chips because they were free. We didn’t eat it all, before anyone suggests that I have an eating problem that fits in nicely with my drinking problem, you bunch of bastards. But it was nice, I mean, I guess it washed everything down in a flavoursome, salty kind of way and my cheeks sucked in, in a really satisfying, yet the opposite of thirst quenching kind of way. Maybe I should have eaten cupcakes.

We watched our favourite programme at the moment, which is the first season of The Blacklist and as far as inappropriately, enhanced by wine, sexually charged feelings towards people who aren’t attractive go, James Spader was receiving it in spades, which is absolutely hilariously and knee slappingly hilarious if you ask me. Also, James Spader is becoming sexy when I’m sober too, which may be a sign of alcohol poisoning, I’m just not sure.

Alas, in spite of being 13.5% the seasoned wine drinker in me was not feeling the buzz after the bottle was emptied, which I sometimes find with wine. I guess a lot of it has to do with, maybe my state of mind or the speed at which I was drinking or the fact that I drink enough wine to put an elephant to sleep and still remain standing, but that might have more to do with my Irish roots and Geordie upbringing than anything else.

I took to Twitter to find out what some of my social media pals were enjoying and Sex Blog of Sorts seemed to be indulging in Tuesday night wine, too, which makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Here is what she thought of hers:

2015-02-26 17.26.22

As always, if you’d like to contribute, feel free to comment or if you’d like a post of your very own like my dear pal Exhibit A who is going to be writing for Doris Does All The Wine very soon! Or whenever he fancies, it’s totally up to him!

Bottoms up, internet x

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Wine Reviews for Normal People (Title TBD)

IMG_20150219_195701

I read somewhere that in order to become a wine connoisseur; you have to go to a school that specialises in teaching students about notes, bouquets and food pairings, along with other very important information. I imagine, that makes you qualified to be on Saturday Morning Kitchen telling people what to throw in their gullets with their posh meal. The people I’m writing reviews for are people more akin to the type of person I am; a multiple bottle kinda girl whilst sitting in front of my television, before breaking into song at whatever Disney film has to be stuck in my head.

1 wine

I am writing these reviews for the person who likes to come home after a long, hard day and forget the day by pouring multiple large glasses and eating hula hoops, before stumbling through their hallways to bed and zonking out, waking up the next day with a distinct fog wrapped around their heads like an invisible, fluffy hat. This is how most normal people drink wine and if you don’t drink wine like this, then you have no place here. Please leave.

1 wine ee

There are no real rules to this wine reviewing, but I do encourage you all to join in by commenting or emailing and I’ll throw them in one of my reviews! I am going to review whenever I can be bothered, really and I can’t imagine that any of them will really be the same, but as a normal human, I don’t really know how to review wine, so if that’s what you are looking for, again, you have no place here. Please leave.

A guide I will try to follow will be as follows:

  • Label – what does it look like? Photo and a small description of why I chose it. Did it jump out from the shelf or was I intrigued by the logo or something else?
  • Price – was it a bargain or full price?
  • Store – very important, in case I, by some miracle, inspire you to buy! (If so, let me know!)
  • Colour – red or white, we don’t do rose in this house as an Italian wine Coinoisuer once told me that it is a bastardisation of red and white wine and I don’t really like upsetting Italians, bastards, or wine being disturbed unnecessarily unless I really want to slum it and offend an an entire nation (for example, if someone buys me rose wine as a gift, I will still drink it)
  • Sweet or dry? That’s important because if I’m going to tell you to buy this wine and you hate dry wine, you’ll think I’m a right bastard for not informing you first.
  • How many glasses does it take before you feel a little popped? I drink out of very lage glasses, so I can’t really do this very well, but whatever, these are my reviews and I do what the hell I want.
  • At what point do you start finding people you don’t usually find attractive on television attractive? Suggestions for ‘sexy once drunk’ television humans are more than welcome. Sex Blog of Sorts suggested Kevin McCloud.
  • Food Pairings – weekend drunk snacks like oven pizzas or takeaways with loads of grease on them being my formative choices, alongside blocks of cheap cheese, salted peanuts and potentially chocolate.
  • At what point do you start feeling overly emotional and the need to swill your wine glass, spilling contents to convey your emotions?
  • At what point do you start off on a massive speech, then go off on a tangent because you forgot what you were talking about?
  • At what point do you interrupt anyone or anything happening around you to sing loudly along to Disney songs?
  • At what point do you start feeling ridiculously horny and start showing off your cleavage?
  • At what point do you feel so proud about your cleavage do you send a picture of said cleavage to both of your parents thanking them for creating you so well? (yes, I did do that. It had a figurine of Piccolo from Dragon Ball Z wedged in between)

1 wine e

These may be relatively bizarre points, but I’m trying to remember my feelings/behaviour/opinions when drunk. Feel free to comment, email or tweet me your own suggestions, send me a picture of the wine and a small anecdote as to why you’re drinking: Sorrow, loneliness, you want to trick someone into sleeping with you… Only proper reasons, you understand.

I’ll post my first review as soon as possible and Brain, I know you’re reading this, so if you’d like to fetch home some wine following my helpful wine guide, I would appreciate it and also be very grateful that you’re actively supporting my blogging pursuits. I will take no wine as a signal that you don’t love or support me. See you soon!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The Hop and Cleaver: A Review

Where: The Hop and Cleaver
When: 11th November 2014
Party: Two
Doris star rating: 5/5

Recently, I won a competition on Twitter to visit The Hop and Cleaver to sample their Halloween limited edition donut burger. As someone who has never won anything, I was overjoyed and booked my table for me and my boyfriend to go as soon as I was free. I was a little apprehensive about the idea of a glazed donut and chicken burger, but I’d visited The Hop and Cleaver before for drinks and it wasn’t until I left, slightly wobbly after a few glasses of their amazing Pinot Grigio (again, I can’t remember the name, I’m sorry if we have any wine aficionados reading my blogs!), I slammed my drunken finger into the menu board outside and yelled “Oh look! FOOD! We should come back here!” and so when I won the competition, I was more than a little overjoyed.

If you haven’t been to The Hop and Cleaver before, it really is a beautiful building; it looks relatively archaic, rustic and cosy, which feels a little bit like you’ve gone back in time and as you walk through the entrance and up the stairs to the bar, you realise there are various areas which you can move around in and enjoy different changes of pace as the night proceeds, which is lovely. Last night we were sat at the back of the building, which boasted amazing concrete tiles (original, I’m guessing!), wooden beams throughout; the back wall had a leather booth the entire length of it with small tables in front and chairs that looked like they’d been reclaimed from an old school – it’s beautifully cosy and a really lovely place to sit in. I also loved the tables that were reserved had slate plates on with the times of the reservations written on in chalk – it perpetuated my feeling of being in a really old school room; I felt really nostalgic as I was sitting there.

IMG_20141111_185821

The staff were extremely attentive and really polite – they were all really beautiful too which was unnerving; where do these types of restaurants find these effortlessly stylish and attractive humans? Anyway, they were so nice; a lovely girl took our drink order and gave my boyfriend two samples of their own brewed ales, the paler of the two which was really nice, but the darker tasted a little more like coffee. He chose the one I didn’t like because he’s selfish and I had a large glass of Pinot Grigio – the glasses were amazing, coincidentally – and we looked through the menu for our meals. I should also add that one of the guys we spoke to was so nice and told me that I didn’t have to choose the donut burger from the menu, that I could have anything I wanted and that it would be free, which I thought was a really sweet touch from them and probably because I’d posted this tweet:

2014-11-12 09.38.10It was a joke, but I felt really bad about it when they offered me anything else from the menu! My attempts at being funny were obviously not well received; but it was so sweet of them to offer me an alternative! But, I’d won the donut burger and I was definitely going to give it a go; I had to, I am too chubby and too much of a fan of glazed donuts, deep fried chicken and melted cheese not to try! We were also offered a free cocktail, which was really nice; before 7pm they have a 2 for £10 cocktail deal on which I was pretty excited about, but unfortunately the cocktail that arrived was a bourbon and coffee cocktail, both of which I don’t like. My boyfriend said it was absolutely divine, though, but because he was driving he couldn’t have both his pint and a cocktail, which was unfortunate!

Eventually, we made our decision on the menu and ordered. Can I just say that it was so hard to choose – everything sounded absolutely amazing – but eventually I decided on accompanying my donut burger with some ribs that were cooked like chicken wings (I KNOW!) and my boyfriend chose the jalapeño poppers and 14 hour slow roasted brisket. As two people who adore food, we were on tender hooks with excitement.

Our starters arrived and we both looked at each other, our eyes alight with excitement; it looked so good. The ribs I’d ordered looked dangerous – three huge ribs battered in something that tasted utterly amazing on a bed or mixed salad and the jalapeño poppers looked just as amazing. We’d decided to share, so I got to sample both.

IMG_20141111_190625

The ribs were, admittedly, hard to eat; they were really hot, but it’s not something I minded. The batter they were in was absolutely gorgeous and the sauce on the top was beautiful. I only ended up eating one because it took me so long to eat just the one that my boyfriend graciously offered to eat the other and I got to eat the poppers. They came with this amazing sauce, which is apparently a whiskey sauce with a ‘secret’ ingredient, which I am convinced is chocolate – it was bizarre, but an amazing accompaniment to the bite of the jalapeño. In short, they were fantastically messy, super scrumptious and starters I’d totally recommend. Coincidentally, a couple sat down beside us and ordered a bag of chicken wings to share between them both and they looked amazing, so I’d also recommend them!

Our mains came not too long later, which was much cause for excitement. The donut burger looked absolutely hazardous; I could almost feel the calories screaming at me, the recent weight I’d lost was right there on the plate, greeting me like an old friend. I couldn’t wait to eat it. My boyfriend didn’t trust it, because it was a mixture of sweet and savoury and I have to agree; I usually hate food that is a mixture of the two, but I have to admit… it was amazing. From the picture you can see that there was a full glazed donut on the top, a chicken wing, fried chicken breast, melted cheese, gherkins, salad and half a donut on the bottom. It was surprisingly nice; it didn’t taste as sickly as I’d imagined and the glazed donut actually accompanied it really, really well! I made a decision that the person who came up with the donut burger had to be a pregnant woman who was having some bizarre cravings in the middle of the night, in which case, I honestly believe that there should be a restaurant made somewhere, where the menu is entirely created by a team of pregnant women having cravings. I’d definitely eat there, they’re clearly geniuses.

IMG_20141111_194928

The brisket also looked absolutely amazing and the beef was melt in the mouth soft, a really beautiful piece of meat. It came with two large door stops of bread and two sides, of which you could choose a variation, but we chose beans and sweet potato fries, which were also beautiful. My boyfriend couldn’t eat it all, because he isn’t a giant food bag of a human like I am, but he absolutely loved it and would recommend it to anyone.

IMG_20141111_194949

Something else I really loved about The Hop and Cleaver was that the food was clearly freshly made and sent out as soon as it was ready – not sat under a light until someone eventually meandered in to take it out; the service was prompt, everything was made to an extremely high standard and the portion sizes were extravagant – possibly too big, but I don’t think the type of people who order donut burgers are really bothered by things that are too huge! I certainly wasn’t.

After the meal, I regretted my decision to wear high waisted jeans and I honestly felt that as soon as I stood up one of my buttons were going to pop and hit a member of staff in the eyes, but luckily it didn’t. However, I did feel that I would never feel pangs of hunger again and that elasticated waist lines would now be my fashion item of choice – it was huge but a really wonderful, decadent mid-week treat and definitely my first choice in Newcastle for burgers from now on. I’m at the time of the year where I start planning birthday meals and nights out with friends and I really think that The Hop and Cleaver have won that competition: I can’t wait to go back.

If anyone from The Hop and Cleaver are reading this – thank you so much for last night, I really, really enjoyed the burger and can’t wait to come back and enjoy some more amazing wine and probably some more ribs and chicken; beautiful food, amazing restaurant and wonderfully polite and friendly staff. Thank you very much, I’m so glad I was the winner!

2014-11-12 10.04.21

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Obesity, Calories and Your Second Bottle of Wine…

One of the news reports this morning was that health officials within the European Union believe that by putting calorie contents on alcohol, as well as food, countries like ours will be able to tackle the persistent obesity epidemic that is the true scourge on our country; more so than fire fighters striking for four days over pension feuds, more important than tackling gender inequality, more important than attempting to stop the spread of Ebola and way more important than finding the thousands and thousands of illegal immigrants that have been lost by our government officials (how do you fucking lose people?). Instead, tackling fat people, who are, after all, the true evil lurking in our shadows, is the top priority and the most important and effective way is, of course, putting just how many calories are in our weekend tipples and this  is of upmost important to our government.

It continues to astound me that our government can still get away with releasing these ridiculous statements and genuinely and successfully manage to dupe countless people into concentrating on ridiculous things like their weight or appearance instead of focusing on the real issues at hand: That we still have countless people who are living below the breadline and even if they are in full time employment, they have to visit food and clothes banks along with the huge percentage of unemployed people to feed/clothe their starving families. That the unemployed are being blamed for the debt our country is in, but that we still dish out billions in charity to countries who are supposed to be worse off than ours, instead of taking that money and injecting it into re-establishing our crippled economy and society. No, the real issue at hand is how fat people are, how we can ignore starving people, because so many people are obese how can they possibly be hungry? People will lap this up and agree with the government, taking their frustrations out on the fat people, ‘Yes it is their entire fault, if they weren’t EATING ALL OF OUR FOOD, maybe i wouldn’t be eating Tesco value tinned tomatoes, THE BASTARDS!’ whilst the government rub their hands together and go back to pretending to run the country by sniffing the arse of the European Union, desperate for attention.

Calorie content labels don’t work:kobeburger

Unless you have made the active decision to lose weight by following a calorie controlled diet, you don’t really look at the calorie labels on food at all, do you? Unless you’re like me and are shovelling biscuit after biscuit into your mouth before thinking fuck… how many calories are in these biscuits? And then breathe a sigh of relief when you look at them and think no, four biscuits simply CANNOT equate to 250g, which is 400 calories. I think I might have had 50 calories, but even if it’s not, all I have to do is do a bit of a run and be really careful for the rest of the day and 400 calories is fuck all! So, ladies and gentleman, even when I’m reading the calorie contents of food, I don’t really care; if I want a biscuit, or four, I will eat them regardless of how many calories are in them, because I want to eat some biscuits. And that’s the same for pretty much everyone I know too. If I am being gluttonous, that is a decision I actively make, then I also make the active decision to counter-act that by eating healthy and trying to be more active later in the day.

It’s a common misconception that obese people actively choose to be obese; that they woke up one day and decided that they wanted to be fat – they don’t. Like a drinking addiction, a drug addiction, a sex addiction or a gaming addiction, to name but a few, a food addiction is exactly the same thing. For the majority of obese people, food is an addiction which could have stemmed from so many issues, including mental health issues. Obesity is not an active decision a skinny person makes one day, it’s not something that is as easy as choosing what to wear or deciding where to go over the weekend, and it’s something that you simply cannot control. No one wants to be obese, no one makes the active decision that they’re going to get so fat that they can’t have sex or go swimming or play with their kids… It’s an addiction. So when health officials release statements to try and tackle obesity, they are doing nothing at all, but further demonising the obese.

The simple fact is that putting calorie contents on food and drink is wholly ineffective to obese people. Health officials, by putting contents on packaging, have been able to wipe their hands clean of any responsibility and can actively not assist people in rehabilitating themselves if they choose to lose weight. If you are obese, it’s not as easy as going on a slim fast diet or sticking to 1500 calories or below per day, because it’s not a healthy way to come to terms with a food addiction. If it’s mental, then simply cutting down isn’t going to work – it requires attention, it requires assistance from professionals who can help people come to terms with their addiction and reassess their relationship with food. I’m probably a few stone heavier than I should be, which is something I’m relatively fine with, I lose weight slowly and do it by eating healthily and exercising – I don’t count calories and I don’t avoid certain foods in order to crash and get to my goal weight quicker because that does nothing for me, but I don’t need to actively assess my relationship with food and have my entire life overhauled in order to do so and that is where the government should begin in helping people with food addictions; it’s not as simple as letting people know what is in their food, it’s about supporting people in changing their bodies, their minds and their lives.

wine

Therefore, putting calorie contents onto alcohol is more counter-productive than it is useful. People who choose to drink alcohol are not doing so for the nutritional benefits; they are doing it because they want a glass of wine, or beer or cocktail. They either want one drink or the want to get shit faced – people know alcohol isn’t good for them, but drink it any way. Putting calories on the labels will do nothing to deter people who want to drink, just as putting calorie contents on a burger won’t stop us from eating it any way… alcoholics are not suddenly going to look at their bottle of whatever and think holy fuck, I should probably reassess my addictions or I am going to get SO fat! Just as much as someone with an eating addiction isn’t going to think, well… I’ve already eaten all those cakes today, best lay off the wine this evening… it just doesn’t work and trying to dupe us into thinking knowledge of calories is going to spur us into some kind of weight loss frenzy is short sighted and foolish.

Until the government acknowledges obese people are suffering from a food addiction, then we aren’t going to be able to ‘tackle’ obesity in a productive, healthy and supportive manner. That being said, weight loss is entirely subjective and if there is someone who is happy with their food addiction and content with the calories they consume in a day, there is nothing wrong with that. They are not a scourge on society and trying to vilify the obese by saying they are a strain on the NHS is almost as useful as the calorie labels on a box of beer; if obesity is a strain on our NHS, then we should be reassessing the manner in which we attempt to assist people who are obese. Simply telling people they need to lose weight is irresponsible and doesn’t help; proactive solutions that are supported by nutritionists and personal trainers would be far more successful in the long run, but sticking a few numbers on food/drink packaging is the more realistic and favoured approach because it’s cheaper for the government to do so. The real strain on the NHS is the fact that people need help and the government won’t help them, because it’s considered an unnecessary expense.

Maybe remember that the next time you think twice about your second bottle of wine: the labels are only there, so the government doesn’t have to support you if/when you really need it. Bottoms up!

win2

Tagged , , , , , , , ,