Barbecue at Ekkamai 10 – soft opening

June 11, 2011

Some of you might wonder when I would put the first pictures of our new place up. Well, here they are. In fact they are pictures of our first trial barbecue on our terrace for some trusted friends. The trial run was quite successful and calls for a repeat. Here are some pictures of the event.

First came the prawns

But I also did beef

I also roasted a big piece of pork but it went so fast that I had no chance to take a picture of it.

The chefs

I always drink a ot of beer while behind the grill. Charlotte does not drink (yet).

The little carnivores need to be fed first

Then came the adults

A very modest portion

The vegetables I prepared in a wok which I put on top of my Weber.

The girls had baked a cake: Frankfurter Kranz

As usual, nobody wanted to go home

Beautiful message to us by Giuseppe and Lucjia

As always when I do barbecues I have no time to take care of the pictures. I fact I did not take any of the many side dishes, the salads, the vegetables and the carbohydrates. But we had a jolly good time, that’s confirmed.

I could also not keep track of the wines consumed during the event. Everybody brought some bottles. I restrict myself to one white and one red (I found the empty bottles after everybody had left).

The ‘2009 Taylor’s Sauvignon Blanc’ from the Adelaide Hills in South Australia is a beautiful refreshing wine at a hot summers day. Since we have always “hot summers days” in the tropics it can be enjoyed year round in Bangkok. Hurrah.

The ‘2009 Rosso Conero’ by Fazi Battaglia is an inexpensive mass-produced red from Marche, Italy. It is a blend of Montepulciano (85%) and Sangiovese (15%) for easy drinking.

The wine company is already more than 60 years old and has about 280 ha under vines in the Marche wine region of Italy. In the meantime Fazi Battaglia has bought up smaller vineyards and wineries in Toscana, one is Fassati with 80 ha and the other Greto delle Fate with 11 ha under vines.

2007 Pongelli – Villa Bucci, Le Marche, Italy

August 30, 2010

2007 Pongelli, Villa Bucci

I have written about a wine from Villa Bucci some time ago (it’s Verdicchio). When I bought wines from Il Grappolo Divino and Alessandro Mauceri in Frascati, I also choose a red wine from Villa Bucci, the ‘2007 Pongelli’. This wine is a blend of 50/50 Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes with 13.5% alcohol.

I served it slightly cooler than normal. Well, it was one of these hot days in Rome where you come out only in the evening. We had it without food, just like that, while sitting under the olive trees. It was a great experience to taste it.

The colour is a strong ruby red. Raspberry aromas were there with some hints of vanilla and leather. The tannins are soft and mellow. The wine has a good structure, is full bodied and has a strong finish. The Parker-point-fans give him 86-88 of 100. My verdict: if I only could get my hands on some bottles of this wine here in Bangkok.

If you are in Rome you are in a better position. Just go and visit the Castelli Romani; stop by in Frascati and see Alessandro Mauceri and his new wine shop: Il Grappolo Divino. There you can also buy the ‘Pongelli’ (among many other treasures).

Il Grappolo Divino
Via dell’Olmo, 37
00044 Frascati
Tel.: +39-6-89026061

Intrigued by the label – Wine tasting in Taoyuan

October 29, 2008

Old and new, close together on Taiwan

When teaching here at the International Center for Land Policy Studies and Training in Taoyuan, I frequent the little wine and liquor outlet, named “Drinks” ( , across the street and buy some bottles of wine for the long evenings.

The shop carries a lot of wines from France, especially reds from Bordeaux and lots of very fine whiskeys from Scotland and other places. This time I followed the eye more than anything else and bought a wine from Argentina. To be fair, there were two main motives for this decision. 1. It’s quite some time that I had tried a bottle of Malbec. Therefore the Argentinian ‘2007 Lo Tengo’ bottle of Malbec jumped right into my eye. 2. I must admit I was also drawn in by the label. The black and white picture of the legs of a Tango dancing couple where very intriguing and I found the bottle very attractive. So I paid (about US$ 18) and went.

In the evening, my friend Jim and myself sat down for a little chat-cum-wine-tasting. He had bought a bottle from Italy. Well, to cut a long story short. When I opened the bottle from Argentina and saw a plastic cork, I was already alarmed. The deep purple liquid, unfortunately, did not hold what the bottle label promised. Actually the wine tasted quite neutral, no nose, a bit of red fruit, that was it, no finish worth speaking of. Disappointing. After doing some research on the internet, I found out later that this wine can be bought in some places in the USA for about US$ 6-7. I would have needed an internet search facility in the shop, I guess. Alternatively, I could make an effort and learn more about wines from Argentina. I might do that, especially since I have seen this little charming video with the choir lately. The Riserva Malbecs from Trivento have never disappointed me, but of course they were also more expensive.

The second wine we tasted was a ‘2003 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano – Sante Lancerio’ by Melini. The wine came from the same shop. I held it in my hands but decided for the Malbec. What a mistake. This wine retails in the USA for about US$ 10, in the UK prices are higher, maybe around 12 Pounds, in Germany is costs about 10-12 Euro. But certain vintages are sold at much higher prices (for instance in the UK the single vineyard Nobile de Montepulciano by Melini cost about 30 Pounds a bottle).

What a difference that was to the first wine. We both liked it very much. We were reminded of our time in Italy when we both worked at the FAO for the United Nations and we allowed the wine to carry us with it, home to beautiful Italy. Sweet memories, of two reminiscing old friends. Nothing can beat that.