No Time At The Bar

The weekend before last, our school held a music festival to raise money for a new classroom they are building. Local bands played, most of which had at least one parent as a band member. My contribution was sourcing wine and volunteering to do a shift on the bar. How hard could it be? Turns out with 300 people, high spirits and one small bar, pretty damn hard. I poured cider that looked like ice-cream sundaes, confused bitter for lager and generally undercharged, over-poured and accounted for a lot of spillages. ‘Surely you’ve done bar work before?’ asked another mother on the same shift. ‘Yes, of course! But it was a while ago…’ I replied. 21 years ago to be precise, when on my first day I flooded the bar by breaking the tap off an old barrel, covering the floor in 88 pints of beer. Rather, bitter. As was the landlord. So it seems my natural home is on the other side of the bar. I’ll try to remember that in future.

Current white on the side: Altamisa Albarino 2010, £11.99, Naked Wines
This was given to us by a friend who came for dinner on Friday night but we drank mostly red that night, so this one stayed on the side until yesterday when I had a cheeky lunchtime (very small) glass with Vix. Albarino is a grape grown in the Rias Baixas region in northwest Spain and is very much flavour of the month – literally – when it comes to Spanish white wine. Lean and green, with lime fruit and almost ear-splitting acidity, this is a gorgeous summer wine. Some find it too sharp (currently Unbearded Husband included) but happily, that means more for me. 
Current red on the side: Chateau Montesquieu 2008, £8.55, Solent Cellar
Done this one before, but babe, it’s back again. This is a Southern French cocktail of mostly Grenache, followed by Syrah and finished off with a generous dash of colour-happy Carignan. Made in the Cotes du Roussillon region, this is a rustic mini-beast with bramble fruit and a spicy, black-pepper kick to it. I’ve just paired it with a pretty-good-although-I-say-so-myself Spaghetti Bolognese and it definitely added weight and joy to our TV dinner. 

Happy (school) holidays x

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  1. You're no good behind the bar? I don't believe it!

  2. EM – I know, the shame…..great with wine (except measures too big, apparently), hopeless with beer. Who'da thunk it?

  3. You have a great blog here. I enjoyed reading this one. Thanks for posting this one. Cheers!

  4. Hmm. Now I am nervous. Am starting a part time job in a canal side pub next week. Haven't done bar work for 20 ish years, but hoping it will all come back to me!

  5. BW – Oh I am sure it will, Peggy! Like riding a bike…good luck 😉

  6. I never worked behind the bar, but I did work as a waitress in a kind of early version of a gastropub, and have never forgotten the time I was asked to make Irish Coffee. I wasn't quite sure what to do, so when the barman gave me a shot of brandy in a tall glass I simply added black coffee to it and served it to the customer. They looked extremely surprised, but did not complain!

  7. Hiya, and it was a very lovely Albarino too! Just found a New Zealand Coopers Creek Abarino, not sure how easy it is to get here in the UK but have a look and see on the blog Vx –

  8. NVG – think I might have done the same…!

    Vix – Coopers Creek, lovely wines…know you can get them here. Great post of yours this week, btw.

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