Casino Royal

Well, the plan to detox before Prague is going to pot. I knew I should have timed the trip to Ireland better. Anyway a couple of al fresco pints on Monday were matched by a more substantial session yesterday. It started innocently enough with a lecture on “Understanding probability theory as a conceptual life model,” although, admittedly, the subject is enough to drive anyone to drink. Or to eat and drink, to be strictly accurate.

Taking advantage of the Early Doors deal at Numero, we were able to enjoy 3 courses for £17. Numero is an excellent Italian restaurant that is part of the Manchester 235 casino complex. Getting 3 courses for £17 is great value, but man does not live by pasta alone. So obviously wine was called for. A fierce debate was concluded with me conceding round one to Crusan Carignan-Syrah, VdP Côteaux de Fontcaude. This wasn’t bad as far as French plonk goes, with a spicy red body and a soft fruit finish. Next up was a bottle of Berri Estates Shiraz, from our Rolf Harris friends. This proved a very complex wine. Medium bodied, it had ripe blackberries and cherries on the nose, with a palate of spicy pepper, coffee, and toasted vanilla. Interesting, but I needed something more quenching. My choice was from Chile-Colchagua Valley, Casa La Joya Reserve Gewürztraminer. This was slightly sweet, but had a very pleasant peach contour to its body.

Time to swap back to Europe again. Cleverly avoiding our French cousins, I tackled Spain next with Torres Mas Rabell, Penedès. This is a 100% Parellada variety making it pleasantly dry without the wood ageing that some of these wines can suffer from. Time was pushing on, so I had to finish on Bay of Fires, Tigress Sauvignon Blanc. This Tasmanian devil of a wine is an intense experience of lemon and gooseberry with a lovely crisp finale. Then it was time to hit the casino, but a little drink in the bar first? A Brandy Alexander? Sure, why not. Didn’t she use to be an 80’s porn star, though? An Alabama Slammer was followed by a Fluffy Duck (?) which I blame on my luck at Blackjack. Eventually I managed to scramble in a taxi and get home for some well earned rest.

The detox starts tomorrow…definitely.


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