This page has now converted to be a repository of information that people seek from time to time.

First – there has been some interest lately in the raft of subjects covered in the (Monday) Tutored Tasting Group. If you click  here  the link will download a Word document listing (with a few gaps and guesses) the whole History of the Group from the first tasting (Sherry, since you ask) in November 2000. Around 200 Tastings!

Now for a favourite recipe, a frequent hit at Sock Club….

I posted this recipe for Chestnut and Courgette Paté right at the beginning of this blog, but I was asked about it only last week! So it’s still here.

Chestnut and Courgette Paté  

1 Tin vacuum packed chestnuts (240gms)
500 gms (approx.) courgettes
80 gms salted butter
1½ Tablespoons of Soy Sauce or Tamari
1½  Tablespoons of dry Sherry (any type, though I prefer Manzanilla)
2 Medium size garlic cloves.
A little olive Oil
Preheat oven to 190 deg C
Clean trim and slice the Courgettes into 1 cm rounds
Brush with a little olive and place on a baking sheet
Roast in oven, turning every 15 mins., until roughly reduced in weight to half (about 240 gms) about 40 mins.
Melt the butter in a heavy pan and add chopped garlic, cook until softened, not brown
Add the courgettes to pan and leave on low heat to warm through
Meanwhile blitz chestnuts into small pieces in food processor
Add courgettes melted butter garlic from frying pan to food processor
Deglaze the pan with Soy and Sherry and add to food processor
Blitz together until preferred consistency – pretty smooth in my case
Decant to serving dish or container
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, can be made a day in advance.
Serve in a bowl for a buffet, or plate an ice cream scoop for a starter. Serves about 8 as a starter, with a dressed carrot salad and cornichons.
I devised this as a vegetarian (or ethical) substitute to foie gras, to be served with Sauternes – but I prefer to drink a chilled Loire demi-sec with it.
You can substitute other vegetables for the cougettes: peppers, mushrooms…. You can use other nuts, especially cashew nuts – though I find walnuts give a bitter note.