Saturday, 21 July 2007

Vlad the Imbiber

We get most of our wine, unsurprisingly, from Tesco, but quite a bit also from the Wine Society, and some from our friend Vlad, affectionately known as Vlad the Imbiber. He's an independent importer, originally Hungarian, I think Czech, who lives in London. He buys directly from the producers and supplies quite a wide area of south-east England.

From time to time we invite him to our house for a tasting. We'll have 8 or 10 friends around and Vlad will introduce us to half a dozen wines, maybe more. Around 9, when that's all done, Jenny and I retire and finalise the food arrangements - usually pasta or a casserole that's been prepared earlier and just needs to be finished. Vlad takes orders at this point, and then we serve the food, drinking the dregs of the tasting bottles. A week or two later, Vlad delivers the wine.

His wines tend to be in the £8 to £20 bracket, so we don't regard them as everyday drinking wines, but still they're not special enough for some occasions. For instance, it's Jenny's 60th soon, and in 2010 we'll have been married for 30 years. We'll need something pretty special for then, and we regard champagne as overrated.

However, I have some very good white Burgundy lurking, as well as a top-notch claret, so I don't think we need to worry too much about the wine. I bought the 1988 Chateau Gruaud Larose in about 1990 and it's just drinking well now. Yum!


dulwichmum said...

Oh Rob, I so love Champagne - particularly Krug, but I do love White Burgundy too. As you will probably work out I know nothing about wine - just what I like to drink. I almost expired recently when the man in Majestic informed me that White Burgundy was Chardonnay - I was horrified. I am a dreadful snob. Chablis is my tipple of choice or er... White Burgundy... I would love to meet Vlad.

Rob Clack said...

It's amazing how the vintners can massage the flavour of the wine, based on the aspect of the vinyard, the blend of grapes, how ripe they are, how they're vinified. I had a really delicious Vin de Pays d'Oc last night in a pub and was astonished to learn it was almost straight sauvignon blanc. Nothing like a new world SB.

I reckon Vlad would be delighted if you hosted a tasting and I'm sure it could be arranged. You'd have to promise not to tell him his nickname of course!