16 June 2010

I'd lie underneath some weeping willow and wait for weeks or months or years

Nederberg (S.Africa)
Pinotage. Year unknown. Cost....well that is up for discussion.

Cheap wine lady found herself at Fang Fang (harkens back to sesame's count, no? van, too, twri, vour...) a Chinese restaurant in Kampala with a New and Interesting Acquaintance.

NIA and cwl, enjoy some light conversation about immigration and extended family. Indians in Fiji and BG, and the British Colonial Medical Service. All good.

NIA and cwl, ask for a glass each. Red please, thank you please. If it is not too much trouble, cwl asks the waiter, can we have the wine from a new bottle, one that has not been sitting in the sun for the last three days working on its sugars. Please, sir? Yes, mam, fresh bottle.

Out it comes. cwl takes a sip. Asks, why does this taste like every wine by the glass in this town, when it is not every wine by the glass. Not happy. cwl will drink this slimey, snot-rot anyway, because she overdid the moonberg lager over the last few days (long story) and she wants a drink (a sad indictment of cwl's stooping, etc, but hey, cwl is what she is).

NIA takes a sip. I cannot do it, she says. I cannot drink it. Waiter, please take this back, it tastes bad. Not sure, he looks at cwl. cwl does the open handed, palm up, grimace gesture for "what can i say?" NIA cannot drink it. That is ok. She orders a bell.

Everything is ok.
OK, it is, until we get the bill.

Apparently at Fang Fang, if you order a glass of wine from a new bottle, you are expected to pay for the whole bottle. The bottle does not come to the table. You are not offered another glass from that bottle, and they no doubt serve others from that bottle. And even if your NIA does not drink her glass, you have to pay of the whole bottle. And if you don't want to pay for the whole bottle, 4-5 young chinese staff members come to tell you that you don't understand, you have to pay, if you don't pay then the staff must pay and the staff have no money but you have lots of money because you are the big boss. Admittedly cwl thought of boss hog when she was referred to as big boss, and she could not conceal her smile at the thought of the the white three-piece.

All that to say, the wine was crap. Even if from a fresh, just picked, bottle. They should probably not leave the wine sitting, uncovered, on the tarmac at Entebbe for 6 weeks.

10 June 2010

I got a fish in my dish

Hotel Restaurant x 2
Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Zonneblom, South Africa

Cheap wine lady and a friend decide to have dinner. "A steak!" she cries. For wine, madam, take your pick from our list, and when, only when you have made your selection, I will tell you that the one that you want is not available ("last bottle just sold"), your second choice elicited the same response (last bottle also just sold), your third and fourth the same, until, I tell you that is only two to choose from: a Sth African Cab Sav (really?) or a South African Merlot (UGH). Cheap wine lady was backed into a corner, and ordered the former.

Last 2 one eighth of a glass:

Friend: Do you know the name of it?

cheap wine lady: Name of what? Pray tell, name of what?

F: The wine, silly, the wine

cwl: The wine?

F: Yes, the wine, do you know it's name?

cwl: Looks like a Sally to me, like the one with the dog named spot

F: I taste oak, you can write that.

cwl: (Stands up and gestures a la 19th century melodramatiste) cheap wine lady does not write! Nay! She drinks, she feels, she scribbles and scratches, she daubles and dashes, and then words spew forth like the bubbles, bubbles I say!, bubbles in your bath water, darling, the bubbles!

F: (returning from a brief sojourn in the bathroom) who exactly are you speaking to?

Little wood and leather on the nose.
No fruit, as was described by lying waitress, to taste, which is fine by cheap wine lady; but altogether this wine is forgettable. And cheap wine lady forgot it.

2 June 2010

Gorgeous garnet fading

If cheap wine lady to is to be humbled by anything (and let's be frank, she ain't the holiest or the humblest) it is by some delightful wine writing by one Mr. P. Carey, her favorite story teller, in Olivier and Parrot in America.

Duponceau and I chatted or chattered. I bemoaned the palates of the Philadelphians who had call his Medoc cold and sour. Miraculously, it was free of sediment, and rushed into my glass at that perfect stage of life. In a year it would be a dowager with a faded old corsage, but as it entered my mouth it was vigorous and manly, completely composed, its orchestra all present and correct. Oh heavens, that such small things make a man so happy. I revealed to my host my plan to interview each of the forty-two prisoners in the Quaker prison. He told me it was well known that the cost of the famous outer wall was $200,000, a little under a third of the entire cost of the prison.

We finished the bottle and decanted another.

1 June 2010

Lick the whisk!

Horse Mountain Pinotage, 2009
55000UGX at Cayenne Restaurant

First sip is like a breath of whipped cream landing in your mouth. Soft and chewy. It fills your mouth in the most unobstructive way. Earthy yet light enough to eat with tilapia cakes; substantial enough to carry the evening (and carry it did, all two bottles of it, it also carried an in appropriate number of high fives, a lengthy discussion of the problems inherent in a term like "human trafficking", a not-too-bad greek salad, invitations to Seattle for at least half of the city of Kampala, mzungu dance demos, chickens, dancing chickens, and, as I was later informed some drunken skyping to all and sundry). If every photo of me was taken by this bottle, my purple- stained grin would be as wide Jinja road is long. And that road goes all the way to Jinja!

Cheap wine lady apologizes to Kampala for the last post's outburst.
This stuff was delicious. It was not all that cheap, but worth drinking.

28 May 2010

Been around the world and I-I-I I can't find my baby

Mamba Point (or is it Point Mamba?), Italian Restaurant Kamppala.
Price, unknown (but dinner overpriced).Ordered as "red wine" because there was no listing (not even a price list).

This place has a surprisingly high number of ugly-looking youngish people not drinking alcohol on a Friday night. Must be church people...missionaries (or whatever the modern equivalent is). Cheap Wine Lady knows them because they are always in big groups on the KLM flight to Entebbe. Cheap Wine Lady considers that they may not be drinking wine because they had previously tasted this jammy rot and decided against it.

Phil Collins. American girl with bad hair: "I went out with a gynecologist who loves Genesis." Her balding companion, "this is NOT Genesis." He could distinguish between the two, but alas, CWL cannot distinguish this shitful glass of mess juice from a glass of ribena mixed with budget vinegar one would use to clean tiles.

Can you tell that CWL am a little annoyed? YES SHE AM. Also annoyed by the following: a water attraction surrounding the balcony which breeds mosquitoes, one of which bit me twice on the upper regions of my inner right thigh(try scratching that discreetly); a $15 plate of pasta whose sauce was insipid and had chicken liver hidden with the "lamb"; Phil Collins; stale bread with some tomato based dragged across it "from the chef"; the American girl asking the provenance of each cut of meat on the sizable menu ("we buy it all in Kansas, madam"); Genesis; the Italian guy who clearly had an in with the staff and got a bottle of wine (maybe there IS a list?); bad hair days; and weak tea.

At least the salad was nice.

Cheap wine lady needs a lie down to brace herself for her biggest challenge yet: finding a drinkable glass of wine in Kampala.

24 March 2010

Cheap wine lady makes no excuses for not updating. She drinks wine. Sometimes she writes. Sometimes she savors the moment w shares it with no one but her inner child.

[Sauvignon Blanc. Free from hotel. Cannot recall brand]
This wine was so cheap, it was free.

Cheap wine lady is a return customer to a certain hotel in Kampala. Kindly, very kindly, said hotel offers return customers a free bottle (yes, bottle!) of wine. Cheap wine lady has two such bottles offered (since she left and came back in the span of 10 days). What a gift! She worries about the unspoken invitation to chat that a lady with a bottle to herself may extend to the many overweight, middle-aged South African men that frequent the hotel, but goes ahead with the Sauvignon Blanc because it is warm out, because she is ordering chicken, because she assumed it would be South African and their SB exports are ok (unlike their male exports) and because she damn well can do what she wants, thank you very much.

It should also be known that cheap wine lady has not had a drink in around 10 days. TEN DAYS. You read right. Let's just say she was eagerly awaiting the first pour.

Well. Well. Well. If cheap wine lady had an emoticon for disappointment it would be placed here <>. This wine was like hooking up with a 20 year old because he was cute and half way through remembering why you preferred older men; sloppy (why on earth is this SB as syrupy as Ugandan honey?), inexperienced and no staying power (if you want it to work for me, darling, allow your flavors to rest on my tongue a little longer), no dynamism or creativity (the wine is so thin you could tear it with your pinky, buck up, you don't have to throw me around but you could at least not buckle under my weight). Unlike a 20 year old, this wine was sweet, sweet, sweet, a wannabe bloody Riesling.

Cheap wine lady leaves 3/4 of the bottle and returns to her room, sadly wiping a tear from her eye. Yes, even cheap wine lady has feelings.

So there you have it. Despite Ms. Jackson's proclamation to the contrary, the best things in life are not free. OK Janet?