After a beer heavy week, my thoughts turned to the grape. I was booted and suited and enjoying a late supper at Malmaison (a rather posh Manchester hotel, who do have some good beers available. However, I thought it was time I gave the grape a chance. Food wise I had plumped for a crisp salad with vacherin-a new cheese to me, and the reason for ordering the dish. Like all the best cheese, it's unpasturised and had a pleasant sweet tanginess. To complement it, I tried a glass of Pinot Grigio delle Veneze which was crisp, fruity and slightly nutty. Against my better judgement I also tried an Italian Red-Cabernet Sauvignon Veneto which was too rich and tobacco flavoured for my palate. I softned the blow with Bodegas Castro Martin which delivered gentle peach and apricots.
My pumpkin and ricotta ravioli was upon me now,so it was decision time. Austrailia cried out to me,so a bottle of Thomas Mitchell Marsanne was quickly summoned. Ridiculously overpriced at these places, at least it delivered a good mix of pine and mango to refresh the tired palate. Annoyingly, but not unexpectedly, the cheese board contained French as well as English cheese. However, the English selection was better than average, and the walnut bread and the chutney were very good. Just time for a Knappstein Riesling (nice and lemony), before the twinkling lights of Manchester beckoned