Blood, sweat and tears

The World Cup champagne bottles I mentioned in the last post came to us so overwhelmingly swaddled in old plastic bags &c. that I'm torn between thinking Lanson really understand how to ship wine safely, and thinking that they're keeping their waste disposal bill to a minimum by sharing it with us.

However, sooner that than whatever carelessness it was that led to a couple of cases of the really good stuff getting broken last week. We had arranged for some very old, very special bottles of Cahors to be posted to Eugene Meyer's winery in Alsace and join a pallet being collected there. Somehow the Cahors got broken, to the annoyance and distress of all involved. Fingers crossed for the repeat attempt: a superstitious sign to safeguard the Mass wine of the popes of Avignon on its journey to the disputed territory of Elsass/Alsace.

The disputed territory on this island is relatively peaceful so far today, DG.

Nor was there any figurative claret spilt last night at another Kinsale shindig. The new Carlton hotel there, which, my sources reveal, is the subject of great chagrin and bellyaching in the neighbourhood, is well on the way to being completed. The powers that be organized a bit of a beano for the people who've built the place thus far, and a jolly occasion it was too, in the unfinished rooms of what will be a very impressive place to stay. It's a good thing no-one has put up a big new hotel in the middle of the astonishing views from the balcony. So far as I could tell, the workforce is made up of Germans and Poles, and everyone seemed to be getting along. So who, here in Ireland where the second world war is usually called the Emergency, and doesn't have quite the same significance it does for some other Europeans, wrote this, I wonder:

John Cleese, hoping to whip up some enthusiasm for another Fawlty Towers re-run on RTE some time soon?

Wine notes: There were two reds, a white and a rosé at the bar, all German, presumably having travelled in the builders' vans. The one I had a slurp of was an entirely drinkable Pinot Noir

(Spätburgunder) that went down just nicely with the buffet, and would have suited them big juicy steaks as well if hadn't missed me chance. Oh and I did have a mouthful of rosé, which, I think, was a blend: off-dry, all right I suppose for the occasion.

Bastille Day is on Friday: it's a bit of a week for historical blood welling up as wine in the here and now. I'll be showing you how, as they say on television, to add a little box to your desktop. So don't forget to tune in then.