There is one wine producer that has taken on almost mythical status in recent years: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. And one of its wines, Romanée-Conti, stands out above all others. Many wine lovers, perhaps most, consider it to be the very best wine in the world. Ken Gargett is one of them.
About Ken Gargett
Born and bred in Brisbane, Australia, I enjoyed a non-trendy, perfectly happy childhood in a family convinced alcohol meant instant condemnation to Hades before studying law at Queensland University. On a fishing trip, someone opened a good bottle of port and so commenced a serious obsession.
Another champagne from 2008, you ask? Yes, Ken Gargett resoundedly replies: he says 2008 will go down as the greatest year of the champagne century despite a plethora of fine years since the turn of the millennium, and he is here to tell us all about it.
One of the most famous bourbon distilleries of all is Buffalo Trace, whose story started centuries ago with a famous name: Daniel Boone, who rode through Leestown in 1771 “on the buffalo trace” more than 20 years before Kentucky even became a state. Ken Gargett shares here why he thinks the bourbon from this American distillery is so special.
If Cohiba is the king of cigars then the Espléndido is the ultimate Cohiba. Ken Gargett does find a little inconsistency with them – a never-ending issue for Cuban cigars – but if given some age, this tends to resolve itself. What else is remarkable about them?
Basically, sake comprises rice, water, and the fermenting agent called koji, resulting in an alcoholic level that usually sits between 13 and 16 percent. And you might be interested to know that the rice used is different from the standard table rice so popular with Japanese food. Ken Gargett takes a deep dive into what sake is, what types of sake are available, and whether you should drink it warm (like James Bond) or cold. Kampai!
Yamazaki 12-Year-Old from Japan is a whisky that Ken Gargett has loved every time he has had the chance to try it. The bottle he sampled for this piece was actually one from the back of his cupboard, which he has been sitting on for far too long. When a mate saw it, he implored him not to open it. But Ken of course did and shares the experience with us here.
The jewel in the Trimbach crown is Clos Sainte Hune. From Alsace, France, Ken Gargett is sure it is quite simply the greatest expression of dry Riesling on the planet.
Effervescent red wine in Australia was originally known as “sparkling Burgundy” and is often still affectionately referred to as “Spurgles” in accordance with the country’s national need to shorten every name. Ken Gargett confesses that he is a fan and shares a few of his favorites here alongside the history of this fascinating sub-genre.
Unfortunately, the devastation wrought by the pandemic has impacted sales of champagne more viciously than almost any other style of drink, but the quality of Ayala has never been better. Ken Gargett thinks that if you have neglected Ayala in the past, it is definitely time for a rethink. Or re-drink.
It was a love of Montecristo No. 2 cigars that seems to have led Ken Gargett to one of Cuba’s dirty secrets, “At the end of the road, two men stepped out. They were friends of our crew. One called Ivan (I swear I am not making this up) took our birds. We were directed off the road into a makeshift parking area, half of which is filled with Ladas and the rest the wonderful old 1950s cars so prevalent in Havana. More than a few have government number plates.”