Here’s the situation. It’s been a few days since I attended a wine-focussed dinner.
“The most entertaining blog post will receive half a case of Chablis,” reads the email from those behind it.
Immediately this puts all who attended in a war of words and pictures.
To what lengths must I go to win? What adjectives should I use to grind those other whiners into the dust? Forget telling the readers about it.
Clearly rooting for the fruit, praising fine vines and hailing great grapes is appropriate. That’ll get me more of the delicious nectar.
Unleashing phrases such as poor pour, shabby Chablis or terrible terroir could put me at a disadvantage.
The wines tried were, broadly, good (ask yourselves if I’d make that statement in order to win the prize and, if I didn't like them, why I would make such a pronouncement and wind up with more?).
Perhaps I’m perverse. Maybe I love the stuff. Honesty distorts, doesn’t it?
So here’s how it went down.
Eloquent and elegant wined piper Douglas Blyde led a merry band of bloggers, winos and journalists through a reception and four-course dinner at The Chancery (off Chancery Lane).
Chef Graham Long supplied plates done up in a style best summarised as Exotic Melange. Think herb sprinkles.
His mixtures were messy, but dollies nevertheless. Cute little things. If you take nothing else from this write up, pop over to the restaurant. His food’s worth it.
Neat in the mouth on the night, Long’s cooking made tidy, sharp pairings with the hit and miss wines.
Chablis’ fossilised oyster shell geology may be stable but it’s hardly a guarantee of quality.
So, of the eight wines sampled the front runners that emerged were Petit Chablis 2012 Dauvissat (the star of the do), Louis Moreau 2014 (lemony with subtle raw scallops) and Samuel Billaud’s Les Preuses 2013 (zippy with a quail).
But wait. Stop right there.
Squeeze as I might, I can’t quite grind out enough quips to make these lists especially engaging.
I’ve got no choice. The only solution to avoid coming second to an SLR-wielding blog botherer is to rewrite history.
Nip this timeline in the bud before I am crushed by defeat and, more importantly, run out of wine.
So here’s how it went down.
We smiled our way through the drinks reception at The Chancery, high on stonking Petit Chablis.
We moved to the private dining room to take our seats.
I nodded at the red-headed woman who appeared next to me. She smiled. Her name? Hunnie Bunnie, of course.
“Lots of people come to restaurants, don’t they?” I said.
“Yes,” she said and paused. “I want to do this right now.”
“I’m staff, you’re crowd control, like last time,” I replied, smiled and pressed a battered revolver into her hand.
Pulling out my own weapon I stood on the chair as the starters were going round.
“Everyone be cool, this is a robbery.” I shouted.
My accomplice jumped on the table scattering glasses and terroir samples before her. Smashed glasses, spilt sparkling water.
A wild surge of adrenaline burnt behind her eyes.
“If any of you f****** pricks move,” she screamed, “I’m gonna execute every motherf****** last one of you.”
The pounding music kicked in. We made it out with four cases; a decent percentage up on the competition prize and neither of us had to write a line.
(Disclaimer: Any resemblance between Lucie McGovern of Lucie Loves fame (who was unlucky enough to have red hair and sit next to me at the dinner) and Hunnie Bunnie is entirely coincidental. I have no idea how many people in the room Lucie might have threatened to execute had we put a similar plan into action).
Prefer a milder write up with prettier pictures and gentler words? Try my hand-picked selection below.