Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Is Money The Root Of All Evil?

They say 'Money is the root of all evil'.

2013. #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #coin #money #silver #Sterling #2013

I say - Nonsense!
I completely disagree.
I don't think money is the root of all evil. Not at all.
Surely, the opposite is far more accurate?
Not having money may cause problems, may be the reason people don't behave as we may wish they would.
So, money is not the problem, it's the lack of money that is the reason for a lot of troubles in the World.

So, if money isn't the root of all evil, then I say - Poverty is the root of all evil.
Isn't it?


What do you think?
Is money really responsible for all of the evil in the World?
I'm interested to hear your opinions?

Valpolicella Superiore 2011 - Wine Review

This wine was another purchase from Lidl.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it - it's hard to beat Lidl for their range of decent tasting, and reasonably priced red wines. At least it is where we live - no longer in the South of France, but in the North of England. Hehehe!

Valpolicella Superiore 2011. Red wine.

Anyway, this bottle of Valpolicella Superiore 2011 was an enjoyable Italian red wine.
Valpolicella Superiore is produced only in the province of Verona, Veneto region.
It is made using Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes.
The colour is a beautifully bright ruby red.
The aroma reminded me of almonds. The taste was full of rich forest fruits and cherry, with a subtle oakiness, but a short finish.

Valpolicella Superiore 2011. Red wine.

From the label -
This Valpolicella Superiore has intense notes of fruits of the forest and cherries, with a good structure and harmonious balance. 
It is an ideal accompaniment to red meat, game and cheese. 
Once opened, consume within 3 days. 
Have you tried Valpolicella Superiore 2011?
What did you think of this wine?

Chianti Riserva 2009, Corte Alle Mura - Wine Review

This Chianti Reserva Corte Alle Mura 2009 is made from the Sangiovese grape, and a far as I can remember - it was nice.
It had a pleasant aroma of dried peppers, leather, and vanilla, and a surprisingly smoky scent.
The flavour was quite sharp, with berry flavours, slightly acidic, with a bitter ending.

Chianti Reserva 2009 Corte Alle Mura

Chianti Reserva 2009 Corte Alle Mura

From the label -
This Chianti is an ideal accompaniment to red meat and mature cheese specialities. Open bottle one hour before serving to allow the wine to breathe. Once opened, consume within 3 days. 
Have you tried Chianti Riserva 2009, Corte Alle Mura?
Did you enjoy it?

Who Are You?

When you see human beings, instead of the beliefs they hold, or your beliefs about them.
You see yourself.


Be you!
Who are you?
Who are you really?

Gran Colina Rioja 2007 - Wine Review

As I mentioned on the previous two blog post, we had a few bottles of the Gran Colina Rioja, all different years, so I can't exactly remember what was what.
However I do remember that we liked them all.

This bottle is the Gran Colina Rioja 2007, I think I remember this being the nicest, it was rich with flavours of black cherry, plum, and a pleasant amount of warm spices.

Gran Colina Rioja 2007. Red wine. Spanish wine. Wine. Rioja.

Gran Colina Rioja 2007. Red wine. Spanish wine. Wine. Rioja.

From the bottle label -
Intensely aromatic with rich damson plum and black cherry, dried fruit flavours, spicy vanilla and toasty notes adding complexity. 
This elegant, silky smooth Rioja is delicious with roast lamb and hard cheeses. 
Have you tried Gran Colina Rioja 2007?
What did you think of this wine?

Gran Colina Rioja 2012 - Wine Review

As I mentioned on the previous blog post, we had a few bottles of the Gran Colina Rioja, all different years, so I can't exactly remember what was what.
However I do remember that we liked them all.

This bottle was the Gran Colina Rioja 2012, Vendimia Seleccionada.
I think we liked it.

Gran Colona Rioja 2012. Red wine. Wine. Rioja. Spanish wine.

Gran Colina Rioja 2012. Red wine. Wine. Rioja. Spanish wine.

From the label -
A smooth, full-bodied Rioja with ripe, red summer berries and a hint of dark chocolate and warming spice on the finish.
Enjoy with roast lamb and tapas dishes. 
Have you tried Gran Colina Rioja 2012?
What did you think of it?

Gran Colina Rioja 2013 - Wine Review

We had a few bottles of the Gran Colina Rioja, all different years, so I can't exactly remember what was what.
However I do remember that we liked them all.

Gran Colina Rioja 2013. Red wine. Wine. Spanish wine.

From the label -
A rich and full-bodied Rioja from Northern Spain with a deliciously fruity flavour. 
Perfect with pork dishes. 
Have you tried Gran Colina Rioja 2013?

Old Vine, Garnacha Carinena 2013 - Wine Review

We buy most of the wine we drink from Lidl, but as he was in Asda recently, Mr.R stocked up on a few bottles of red. This wine is Asda own label.
I know I took some photos of the bottle, label etc. but I'm buggered if I can find them, must have accidentally deleted them from my camera roll. Oh well!

From what I can remember this was a drinkable bottle of red wine. And no doubt had the smell and taste of red wine.
As I don't have any photos of the wine bottle, and I always like to add photos to every blog post, here's a random photo - it may be random but it is wine related.

Sediment. Red wine. Wine glass.

From the label -
Amongst the sunbaked vineyards Aragon in eastern Spain you will find the wines of Cannena, Spain's second oldest D.O. and now a source of rich, full-bodied reds. We have sourced this Old Vines Garnacha from near the town of Zaragoza especially because the age of the vines creates in the wine a concentrated and intensely fruity flavour which makes it a great partner to roast meats, casseroles or Mediterranean dishes. 
Do you buy any of the Asda own label wines?
Have you tasted Old Vine Garnacha Carinena 2013?
Did you like it?

Happy Birthday! Our Dog is 3 Years old!

Barley, our rescue dog, celebrated his birthday a few days ago. I thought I'd already posted this blog post, but realised today I hadn't - must be all the birthday booze affecting my memory.
Well, I say a few days ago, but it was actually 10 days ago.
Well, I say he celebrated his birthday, but as he was a stray, we don't know his exact date of birth.

When we adopted Barley from the local pet rescue centre, on the 20th of September last year, they said he was about 2 years old.
So, now he's 3 years old - more or less.

Party Pooper!  One year ago today we adopted our gorgeous boy. ❤️ We were told he was about 2 years old, so today he is 3! Happy Birthday beautiful Barley!  ☺️ #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #Lurcher #dog #rescuedog #sighth
I spent ages creating this photo - excellent isn't it? Hahaha!

We had intended to give Barley a yummy birthday cake, suitable for dogs obviously, but as he had been a little off-colour with a tummy bug the week before his birthday we couldn't risk anything upsetting his digestive system any further. And as you can see from the photo above, he wasn't in the partying mood. Hehe!
Do you celebrate the birthdays of your dog?

Hachon Ribera del Duero 2010 - Wine Review

Mr.R bought a bottle of Hachon Selección Especial Ribera del Duero 2010 from Lidl, it cost £5.99.

Hachon Ribera del Duero 2010.

Hachon Ribera del Duero 2010, from Northern Central Spain, made from Tempranillo grapes, it is a rich dark red wine with aromas of red fruit, and vanilla. 14% Vol.
The taste is quite fruity, with flavours of red fruit, a hint of sweet vanilla, and oak.

Hachon Ribera del Duero 2010.

There wasn't any relevant information on the bottle label.
Have you tried Hachon Ribera del Duero 2010?
Did you like it?

Casillero del Diablo, Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 - Wine Review

If we had a penny for every bottle of Casillero del Diablo we've ever drank we would be multi-millionaires.
Well, maybe not quite, but we have had many many bottles of this wine over the years.
I think it must be the most, and best, marketed wine in the World.
It's everywhere; TV adverts, billboards ads, magazine ads, and I don't think I've ever not seen it in stock at all the major supermarkets in the UK.
Presumably it's popular, and not only because it is heavily marketed, but because customers like the taste of this wine.

Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Mr.R recently bought a couple of bottles of Casillero del Diablo, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, from Valle Central, Chile, via our local supermarket - he didn't travel all the way to Chile to buy them, and jolly decent they were too.
Casillero del Diablo Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon is a lovely dark, ruby red wine, with aromas of blackcurrant, cherry, and dark plums.
This Cabernet Sauvignon has an enjoyable concentrated rich flavor, which is perfectly balanced, with a pleasant and long finish.

Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2013. Chilean wine. Red wine.

From the label -
A smooth full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with cassis and black cherry flavours, complemented by hints of coffee and dark chocolate. 
Great choice to match with red meats, herby dishes or mature cheeses. 
Have you tried Casillero del Diablo, Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013?
What did you think of it? 

Friday, 26 September 2014

Krazy Kitten Kaptures

In an attempt to not upload yet another blog post about red wine, I seem to be obsessed lately; possibly because we don't go anywhere for me to have anything to write about, and we drink a lot of red wine, I had a quick look at my flickr account in the hopes of finding some inspiration.

Naptime after a busy day playing

Or to be precise, kittens, I stopped my flickr search when I saw these photos of some of the gorgeous stray kittens we rescued when we lived in France.

Hide and seek

The French really seem to love cats, or that's what we observed during our life there.
It wasn't an unusual sight to see people walking their cats on leads, or taking them out with them in their cars, and also on holiday.
We once had to wait before we could check-in to our holiday accommodation because the people who were supposed to have already checked-out were still there searching for their cat.

Playing with Ketch, a wood critter we bought back from Swaziland

I know I'm biased because we raised them, but I am totally convinced that these kittens were the most intelligent little balls of fur that I've ever known. They were always completely interested in everything we were doing, and they learned so much so fast at a very early age.
I guess the fact that we spent all day every day with them may have had something to do with their brilliance. ;)

Kittens, kittens, kittens - and their mummy

Anyway, as a change from photos of red wine bottles, I hope you like these few photos, and video clips of the sweet sweet kittens.
All together now, ahhhhhh!
Are you a cat lover?

Friday, 19 September 2014

Scotland Rejects Independence - No Vote Wins Referendum

Scotland is still part of the United Kingdom.
No surprise there.

Initially I thought about staying up last night, to wait for the results to be reported in the early hours of this morning. But I was tired, and I had a feeling the 'no' vote would win, so I went to bed.

This morning, bright and early, well, actually it wasn't bright it was dull and foggy, but it was early as we prepared to take the dog out for his morning constitutional, but before we left the house I turned on the TV to see the news headlines, and what I already knew - Scotland had rejected independence.

A record breaking 84.6% turned out at the polling stations.
I guess that's something good at least; people taking an active interest in politics, hoping they can make a difference, a change.

So, that's it, for now, Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom.


It's an odd feeling when you think you know the outcome, the result, of something, and then you find out you were correct, and rather than feeling pleased, you feel down. That's how I felt, when it was confirmed that Scotland are remaining in the United Kingdom.
It's not that I have anything against Scotland in particular, as a country I mean, in fact I am of the opinion that Scotland is the most beautiful country in the World. Or maybe that honour should go to Wales? Either way, I often say that Scotland, and/or Wales are the most beautiful countries, and that's even after spending several years travelling the World where I have seen many beautiful places.
But I digress, so, yeah, Scotland. I don't dislike the country, I simply do not agree with the way the England is treated like a second class citizen.
England always gets the shitty end of the stick.

Scotland receives £1,600 per head more than the English.
That is not fair.
Scotland has free university education for its citizens.
That is not fair.
Scotland gets lots more things for free, that the English do not receive, I'm too lazy to list them all here, but I think you get the jist.
None of this is fair.

But then we do not live in a fair country - unfortunately.

Maybe things are going to change, and not for the worse, but for the better.
Alex Salmond is saying that Westminster must keep the promises it made to Scotland, and be quick about it.
While David Cameron is saying he wants Scottish MP's barred from voting on matters than directly concern England.
That does seem fair.
It is seriously outrageous that currently Scottish MP's vote on things that only concern England. How can that be called democracy?
Wouldn't it be wonderful if David Cameron, or whoever replaces him at Number 10, actually does something for the people, rather than doing things to benefit themselves or big business. They should do something for the people who pay their wages. But will it happen?
I hope so.

Anyway, this was meant to be a brief blog post stating that Scotland voted, they didn't win independence, and they still remain part of the United Kingdom - for now at least.
Ha! Why didn't I just write that? It would have saved me time, and some precious brain cells.
What are your thoughts about Scotland and their referendum for independence?

Cepa Lebrel Reserva 2009 - Wine Review

This wine is another of our buys from Lidl, it cost £5.99.

Mr.R really enjoys Rioja, but I've never been a fan - until now.
Maybe it's age, or maybe my palate appreciates different flavours, but I'm enjoying Rioja a lot more than I ever used to.
This was a particularly enjoyable bottle of Rioja. It was spicy on the nose, with subtle flavours of strawberry, oak, and vanilla. It definitely improved in taste once it had be allowed to breathe for a while.

Cepa Lebrel Reserva 2009. Red wine.

From the bottle label -
Cepa Lebrel wines are the result of years of experience and dedication. Full of character, structure and body, this Reserva has been aged for 36 months, 18 of which took place in oak barrels. We recommend decanting the wine before serving. Once opened, consume within 3 days.

Cepa Lebrel Reserva 2009. Red wine.

I've said it before, but it's worth repeating, so I'll say it again, you can't beat Lidl for reasonably priced, very drinkable wine, and this Rioja is definitely one we'll be purchasing again.
Have you tried Cepa Lebrel Reserva 2009?
Did you like it?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Scotland Decides - Referendum on Independence

There's been lots of news reports in the papers and all over the internet during the last few days, about the referendum in Scotland, and yet today, a day which is possibly the biggest day in British history since WWII, news coverage has been suspiciously quiet.
Maybe the news stations are worried about receiving death threats; if you believe what has been reported over the last week or so, several high profile news reporters and big businesses have been sent threats against themselves and their families.

I know people are still voting, but why aren't there any interviews etc. on the news, politicians spouting nonsense, or well-known pundits voicing their thoughts about Scotland voting for independence?
It all seems very odd to me - the lack of reporting.

So, what will Scotland decide?
The polling stations opened this morning for voting at 7am and will remain open until 10pm this evening.
The results will be revealed in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

I'm not going to write what I want to happen, mainly because I don't want to jinx the result. ;)
But having paid close-ish attention to what Alex Salmond has been saying ever since he first publicly spoke about the Yes No vote, I do think it's all a bit vague. I mean there doesn't seem to be any real fiscal policy, what he's said seems to all be pie in the sky, so if the majority votes yes, it will be interesting to see what happens.

Also 'interesting' is how many famous people and celebrities are speaking out about the referendum in Scotland, it's interesting because most of them don't even live in the UK - or the real World. ;)

I seriously think that we should all get to vote. By we and all, I mean British people. I mean just because us Brits don't reside in Scotland, does not mean we are not going to be affected by this referendum.

David Cameron seems to be losing the plot, more than usual, about Scotland and the possibility of it becoming independent.
I guess that explains why he has said that if they vote 'No' Scotland will be given even more powers.
They already get a say about what we do in England. But England doesn't get to say what they do in Scotland. Hardly seems fair, or democratic, does it?

If you can believe the figures printed in the press, Scotland raises £45 billion a year in taxes, but it receives £62 billion in public spending.
So that's a lovely subsidy of £17 billion, courtesy of the rest of the UK. Not bad eh?

I want to vote. I really do. I think I should be able to vote in something that whether the result is yes, or no, will undoubtedly influence my life for many many years to come.
It just does not seem right, or fair, that the majority of the people in the UK are being denied a vote on whether to break up the United Kingdom, and that is exactly what this referendum is all about.
It may be headlined as Scotland voting to become independent from the rest of the UK, but it doesn't only concern Scotland, it is an important issue for all British people.
And yet, because of the rules about who can and can't vote, the future of United Kingdom will be, in part, decided by the Polish, Lithuanians, Romanians, and thousands of schoolchildren, because they live in Scotland.
This isn't an immigration issue for me, I don't have a problem with people from Poland, Lithuania, or Romania voting. If they live in Scotland, then that seems fair.
I also have no problem with children being allowed to vote, as they are also living in Scotland.
But I do have trouble accepting the fact that the rest of us Brits living in the United Kingdom get absolutely no say in the outcome of the referendum in Scotland.
So much for democracy!

Right, that's just about all I want to say. Well, I could say a lot more, but I think I'll leave it now.
What's your opinion about all of this?
Do you think Scotland should become independent?
Or Should they remain as a part of the United Kindgom?
Do you think it's fair that only people residing in Scotland (registered to vote in Scotland) are allowed to vote?
Or do you think that all British people should be entitled to cast their vote?
I really would love to hear what you think. 

Hardys Stamp, Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 - Wine Review

We've had many many bottles of this wine.
It's reasonably priced, always seems to be in stock in our local supermarket, and it's very drinkable.
Hardys Stamp, Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 is a fruity, quite well structured wine, enjoyably quaffable.

Hardys Stamp, Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

From the label -
Thomas Hardy's pioneering spirit and passion for winemaking spans five generations and is at the heart of our outstanding range of Hardys Wines. 

The Stamp range was inspire by Thomas Hardy and was one of the first wines to be exported from Australia. This range showcases our winemakers' blending skills both from diverse regions and grape varieties to produce outstanding delicious wines. 

A medium-bodied wine rich in mulberry, cherry and plum flavours, with subtle spiced oak characters and a juicy finish - perfect with lamb, beef or mushroom based dishes. 

Hardys Wine seems to be well marketed, and available everywhere.
Have you tried this, Hardys Stamp, Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 wine?

Friday, 12 September 2014

Todays News - In Brief

I don't often watch the news on TV, or read the news, either in the newspapers or online, because I think it's all too depressing, but today the sun is shining and I feel good, so I had a look.

Here are a few of the news headlines from today -
although some of these stories are not todays news, they're a day or two old.

  • Ian Paisley, former First Minister of Northern Ireland, died aged 88.
  • Eastenders actor John Bardon died, aged 75.
  • Oscar Pistorius found guilty of killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Guilty of manslaughter, not murder. He is free on bail, until sentencing. 
  • Robert Young, former guitarist, of Primal Scream died, aged 49.
  • 60 dogs killed, and many others injured, when Manchester Dogs' Home caught fire in an arson attack. Jason Dyer, 41, and his nephew Dean Rostock, 25, bravely ran into the burning building and rescued 20 dogs. This is a heartbreaking story, but the outpouring of love and generosity from the local people in Manchester, and across England is truly heartwarming. RIP the dogs who died. 

It's not all death...
But it's not exactly good news.......

  • Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, said drunks who end up in casualty at hospitals should be charged, and that their treatment should not be paid for by taxpayers. Hmm, interesting considering the amount of tax we pay on alcohol in this country. And personally, I object to the MP's wasting my tax money, not the drunks.
  • Pre-orders for the new iPhone 6 crashed the Apple website.
  • UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, wants the Queen to speak out about Scottish independence. He said she has spoken in favour of the union previously and should do so again now. He reportedly said it 'might be handy' if the Queen voiced her opinion. 

And now for some good news.
Well, about as good as it gets considering the mess us humans seem to be making of the World.......

  • This evening Britain will experience a rare display of the Northern Lights. According to the news, Northern parts of the UK will get to see the impressive natural light display. That's something nice to look forward to, if you happen to be up North, and it's a clear night.

There were a million (almost literally) other stories I could have mentioned, but they're mainly about our inept corrupt politicians, or 'celebrities', neither of which deserve my time or attention.
And more importantly, in these days of prolific social media use, you really can't believe much, if anything, of what is reported.
It is easier than ever to spread inaccurate facts and to report made-up stories and complete nonsense.
It seems as though everyone has an agenda of some sort, whether it's to flog you an amazing new waist trimming yogurt, a miracle wrinkle cream, a car, or to convince you that so-and-so did not cheat on their partner with such-and-such a person, or that the West doesn't give billions of pounds to dictators while our own people are using food banks, or that we in the West don't sell arms to terrorists.......
Grrr, the list of the crap that gets reported as news goes on and on and on.......
So, most of the time there is little point in paying any attention at all to the news.

I wish the news was more positive, or at least had a happy ending.
I'm sure I remember the news being better when I was a child. The newsreader on TV would always end the programme with a lovely story about someone growing a giant marrow, or a Great Dane giving birth to 11 healthy and gorgeous puppies.

I want funny news, and I want funny news because there's no other news to report.
No murders. No rapes. No abuse. No violence. No war. No corruption. No crime. No natural disasters.
Just lots of funny news stories, about giant vegetables, sweet puppies, and love. Lots and lots of lovely stories about love.
I can but dream.......
Do you take much interest in the news? Or like me, do you find it too depressing?
Do you wish for a World where there's only ever good things to report?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Chanel N°5 Bath Gel

I can't remember the last time I had a bath.
Yes, I am a soap dodger, but that's not the reason I can't remember when I last had a lovely warm relaxing bubble bath. The reason for that is because I prefer to shower.
Actually, that's not entirely true, it's more that showering in our current house is easier than having a bath - because the hot tap in the bath is a tricky bugger, and it never seems to stay hot enough for long enough to fill the bath.
Our shower is much better behaved, it's perfect; hot, powerful, and once I'm in there I never want to get out - despite being a soap dodger. ;)

Chanel No5

Anyway, my lack of lounging in a bath of lovely warm bubbly water is why I hadn't opened my bottle of Chanel N°5 bath gel, apart from to smell it, for years. That's only a slight exaggeration.
I love the smell of Chanel N°5, mainly because it always reminds me of my mum. Chanel N°5 is her favourite perfume, and she loves the other products in the range too, including the bath gel.
It's wonderful how breathing in the perfumed scent of this bath gel evokes such good memories of my mum, who always smells very lovely.

Chanel. Bath gel. Bubbles.

Unfortunately, as I've had this bottle of Chanel N°5 bath gel for a long long long time, I'm pretty sure it's gone off, so it's going in the bin - not that there's much left in the bottle, thankfully.
Do you like Chanel N°5?
Do you wear Chanel N°5 perfume?
Or are there other Chanel beauty products that you love?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Buckingham House 1714 - 1st Class Postage Stamp

I'm not a philatelist, but I like stamps.

Buckingham House 1714. Stamp. Mail. Post. Postage. Philately. Philatelist. Building. Architecture.

I received a Thank You card recently, and this was the stamp on the envelope. Nice isn't it?
Are you interested in stamps?
Do you ever notice the stamps on your mail?

Indomita, Gran Reserva, Carmenere 2012, Maipo Valley - Wine Review

We very much enjoyed this bottle of Indomita, Gran Reserva, Carmenere 2012, Maipo Valley.
It was full of fruity berry flavours, and nice tannins.
I thought it had an aroma of jelly babies, and tasted of mouthwateringly sweet ripe cherries, and delicious chocolate. Very enjoyable indeed.

Indomita, Gran Reserva, Carmenere 2012, Maipo Valley. Red wine. Chilean wine. Wine. Chile.

This wine is made from Carmenere, a dark-skinned grape which is originally from the vineyards of Bordeaux, but is now happily at home in Chile.
The Carmenere grape is grown in the Maipo Valley, which is one of the most important wine-producing regions in Chile. It is located just South of the capital, Santiago, often described as the 'Bordeaux of South America'.

Indomita, Gran Reserva, Carmenere 2012, Maipo Valley. Red wine. Chilean wine. Wine. Chile.

From the label -
Gran Reserva quality wine, very elegant and distinctive. It is produced with carefully, hand selected grapes, coming from our vineyards located in the Maipo Valley, one of the best terroirs in Chile for this wonderful variety.
This Carmenere is very concentrated wine.
It is an intensely red coloured wine with violet tones. Its aromas evoke notes of blueberries and black forest fruit, truffles and violets. On the palate tannins and pleasant ending. 
Recommended serve at 17c and is ideal for accompanying risottos, steaks and vegetables. 14% Vol.
Have you tried Indomita, Gran Reserva, Carmenere 2012, Maipo Valley?
What did you think of this wine from Chile?

Zalze, Shiraz Grenache, Viognier 2013 - Wine Review

We drink red wine every day.
So it's not surprising that we can't always remember what bottle of wine we drank, or when.
This may or may not explain why we also have trouble remembering how the wines we've drank tasted, or anything about them at all.
With that in mind, I shall just say that we liked this bottle of Zalze, Shiraz Grenache, Viognier 2013, or at least the fact that the bottle is empty and in the recycling bin it appears that we liked it.

Zalze Shiraz Grenache Viognier 2013. Red wine. South African wine.

From the label -
Dense plummy, spicy fruitcake aromas with a leathery sot finish.
The black-olive fruit is well supported by the French Oak tannins giving this wine a savoury long finish. 
Produced by Kleine Zalze, R44, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Wine has been made here since 1695. Today, this family-owned winery situated outside Stellenbosch in the heart of the Cape Winelands, continues the tradition of producing wines of outstanding quality. 
Zalze Shiraz Grenache 2013. Red wine. Wine. South African wine.

I may not remember exactly what we thought of this wine, but I do remember many many moons ago when Mr.R and I visited Stellenbosch in South Africa, it was really lovely, and so was the all of the red wine we drank while we were there - and reading the info on the wine bottle it sounds as though this wine was lovely too.
Have you tasted Zalze, Shiraz Grenache, Viognier 2013?
Can you remember what you thought of it? 
Or are you like us; you drink too many different wines to be able to remember them all?

Marques de Valido, Rioja Reserva 2009 - Wine Review

This wine is made by top producer Bodegas Muriel using Tempranillo grapes.
It's a rich wine with aromas of red fruit, herbs, vanilla, and maybe leather? And a lovely long finish.
Mr.R purchased this wine from the Co-Op who are currently selling it at £5.49 reduced from £10.99. Nice!

Marques de Valido, Rioja Reserva 2008. Red wine. Wine. Rioja. Spanish wine.

From the bottle label -
Aged during 36 months.
A lovely ruby red wine with tawny hues. Complex and intense to the nose, with a blend of fruity and toasty aromas. Well-balanced, full-bodied and elegant in the mouth. 13% Vol. 

I'm not usually a fan of Rioja, but I seriously enjoyed this wine, as did Mr.R who has always enjoyed a bottle of Rioja - or two.
We are hoping that the Co-Op still has some in stock the next time we're in there.
It is a very yummy wine, and I highly recommend it.
Have you tried Marques de Valido, Rioja Reserva 2009?
What did you think of it?

Cono Sur Bicicleta, Pinot Noir 2013 - Wine Review

This wine definitely tasted nicer the more of it we drank.
It's a good idea to either open this wine and let it breathe for at least 20 minutes, or better still an hour, if you believe it all that 'letting wine breathe' nonsense. ;)

Cono Sur Bicicleta, Pinot Noir 2013. Wine. Red wine. Chilean wine.

Or if, once you've unscrewed the bottle, yes it's a screwtop, you simply want to drink the wine and not wait for it to magically improve in taste, then simply chuck it into a large jug, decanter, or wine glass.
Yes, I do mean those deliciously large wine glasses that can easily hold a decent amount of wine; a whole bottle if you like. :o

Cono Sur Bicicleta, Pinot Noir 2013. Wine. Red wine. Chilean wine.

From the bottle label -
The Cono Sur vineyard workers travel around our estate by bicycle, tending the vines using natural methods, in order to produce the best quality grapes.
Our Bicicleta wines are a tribute to them.
WINEMAKERS NOTES: A fresh, voluptuous Pinot with rich notes of cherry, blackberries and plum together with a balanced, ripe palate. 
FOOD PAIRING: This is the perfect wine for grilled chicken or red meat dishes.  

So, after all that, what was Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2013 like?
It was nice.
It was a fresh, nicely balanced medium-bodied wine with rich flavours of blackberry, cherry, cranberry, plum, and an earthy, smoky aroma with raspberry, and spices, and soft tannins.
A lovely drinkable Pinot Noir.
Have you tried Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2013?
Did you like it?

Fish 'n Chips

We don't eat take-away food.
That isn't to say we've never eaten them, or that we won't again in the future, but at the moment we never eat anything that we haven't cooked ourselves. And by we, I mean Mr.R as it's him who does all of the cooking.

Mmm, fish 'n chips. Homemade. Salmon. Chips. Spinach and peas.

Recently Mr.R cooked us a very tasty lunch, fish 'n chips; delicious salmon sauteed in lots of lovely olive oil, with homemade oven-baked chips, spinach and peas. Yum!

Mmm, fish 'n chips. Homemade. Salmon. Chips. Spinach and peas.

It was a seriously good lunch, shame my photo isn't as good - I'm bad at photographing food, mainly because I'm always more interested in eating the food than taking a photo of it.
Do you like fish 'n chips?
Do you like take-away or homemade?

Friday, 5 September 2014

Nylabone Dura Chew - Review

Our rescue dog, Barley the Lurcher, loves to chew, and he also loves to eat.
Eat anything and everything, so we have to make sure we only buy dog chews that are safe for him if he manages to ingest them before we pick up any bits of the toy he's bitten off.

Dentastix. Dog. Lurcher. Sighthound. Dog teeth. Dog chew.

Dentastix. Dog. Lurcher. Sighthound. Dog teeth. Dog chew.

Since we've had Barley we have purchased lots of different dogs toys and chews for him.
Most of them only last for a very short time before he completely rips them to pieces, or eats them, usually both.
Barley has destroyed lots of dog toys within seconds, even footballs which he loves are reduced to nothing in the blink of an eye.
Even so-called indestructible dog chews seem to pose no trouble for our boy, so we are always looking for something that will be fun for him to play with, and maybe also good for his teeth, and that will last for at least one day.

Dentastix. Dog. Lurcher. Sighthound. Dog teeth. Dog chew.

The latest dog chew we purchased for Barley was a Nylabone Dura Chew, which we ordered from Amazon UK. We chose the Nylabone Dura Chew Original, large, which cost £5.74.
The reviews were good, and I vaguely remember buying Nylabone products years ago for our Great Dane, and I knew they had lasted for quite a while. Nylabone are marketed as strong and durable for heavy chewers, so it seemed like a good choice for Barley. They also help clean teeth and gums keeping them healthy, which is always a good thing, as getting a toothbrush to clean our boys teeth is not something he would like, and I doubt we'd be able to prise his jaw open to do it.

Dentastix. Dog. Lurcher. Sighthound. Dog teeth. Dog chew.

Dentastix. Dog. Lurcher. Sighthound. Dog teeth. Dog chew.

The Nylabone Dura Chew arrived the day after we ordered it, and initially Barley wasn't particularly interested in the package, which is most unusual for him because usually he thinks everything that comes in the post is for him - which it is a lot of the time.
Anyway, I showed him the packet, he had a little sniff but then ignored it. Probably because it didn't have a strong food aroma, so he didn't think it was worthy of his interest.
I opened the packet and Barley was a little more interested.
Then I held the Nylabone out for him, and he seemed slightly curious.

Dentastix. Dog. Lurcher. Sighthound. Dog teeth. Dog chew.

After a bit of sniffing and licking Barley eventually grabbed the Nylabone Dura Chew and began chomping on it.
I think his initial reluctance to bite it was because of its slippery surface. I don't think he realised he was allowed to chew it.

Dentastix. Dog. Lurcher. Sighthound. Dog teeth. Dog chew.

Once Barley was used to the smooth shiny surface of the Nylabone, he seemed happy in his attempts to destroy it.
Neither me or Mr.R were expecting the Nylabone to last more than a few minutes, but surprisingly even after Barley had been chewing it for a couple of hours, it was more or less in the same condition as when I first opened the package; he only managed to bite off a few tiny bits from one end of the bone. Very impressive.

Dentastix. Dog. Lurcher. Sighthound. Dog teeth. Dog chew.

It's only been a few days since Barley first got his teeth into his new Nylabone Dura Chew so I may have to update this blog post if my opinion changes, but so far it seems to be providing him with lots of pleasure, and it's lasting well too.

Dentastix. Dog. Lurcher. Sighthound. Dog teeth. Dog chew.

We will definitely buy another Nylabone when this one has been eaten, and we'll try some of the other designs too, as there are lots of different shapes and flavours to choose from.
Has your dog enjoyed a Nylabone Dura Chew?
Were you impressed with longevity of Nylabone products? 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Lurcher - Beach Fun

I can't remember if I've already posted this photo of Barley the Lurcher, our lovely rescue dog.
It's definitely one of my favourite photos of him. I like that he just has one claw lightly touching the sand, he's almost flying. ;)

This was a really good day, Barley had a seriously good time running about on the beach, playing fetch with a tennis ball, and rolling about in dead fish.
He didn't enjoy the necessary shower he had to have when we got back to the house though.


This is another favourite photo of our boy Barley.
Although having said that, I love every single photo we've ever taken of him - he's gorgeous.
This shot is the most usual shot we get of Barley; sprinting off in the opposite direction to where we are. 
He doesn't believe in recall, he's a free spirit. Hehe! 


I'm happy we adopted Barley, he is a truly gorgeous dog, with a lovely nature. 
Do you have a dog?
What's he/she called? What breed are they?

McGuigan Black Label Shiraz 2013 - Wine Review

Sweet! But not in a good way.

McGuigan Black Label Shiraz. Australian wine. Red wine. Wine.

That's just about all I can say about this wine from Australia.
The first sip was overwhelmingly sweet. Sickly sweet.
I thought maybe my tastebuds were missing something, but Mr.R also thought this wine was horribly sweet.

McGuigan Black Label Shiraz. Australian wine. Red wine. Wine.

I could say that this wine is spicy, and has flavours of blackberry jam and plum, with a hint of vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, and pepper.
But I can't, because that sounds as though I liked it.
I did not like this wine. It was just too sweet, and the sweetness overpowered everything else.
In fact, McGuigan Black Label Shiraz was so horrible, that there's still some left in the bottle - which never, ever, happens in this house. Yuck!

McGuigan Black Label Shiraz. Australian wine. Red wine. Wine.

From the bottle label -
This classic Australian Shiraz has rich flavours of ripe plum, blackcurrant and spices. Well rounded with a smooth, mouth filling finish, it is a perfect accompaniment to most dishes, especially tomato-based Italian and red meats. 
Have you tried McGuigan Black Label Shiraz 2013?
Did you enjoy it?