Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Wine, figures and power
Magura is the name of a large cave 25 kms from Belogradchik – the end of the line here with no links to neighbouring countries. But it is also the name of a vineyard which produces excellent wines which I have now discovered. All due to the small kiosk they have at the entrance to the Belogradchik fortress; the two young people who manned it yesterday (as I arrived gasping from the steep climb) clearly knew nothing about wines but I did, after my tour of the fortress, buy a bottle of the attractively labelled Chardonnay (same price – 3 pounds - as the excellent Mezzek range which is currently my favourite). In the hotel last night, the Chardonnay tasted as good as the Mezzek – so today I returned and was lucky to find one of the vinoculturalists herself – with the highly appropriate name of Venelina! She was delighted with my comparison with Mezzek – and was able to tell me that they do have a shop in Sofia – Pushkin St 5. And also a nice website. I bought some other stuff – and will duly report on my tastings! The shop also stocks wine from a small place I passed through on my way here – Borovitsa (sounds Romanian) – which I hope to buy tomorrow and taste over the week-end. Watch this spot!
My readings in the last few days suggest that this blog should focus more strongly on the whole issue of managerialism which has popped up from time to time on this blog. See here and here
Until now this site has reported on other people’s interesting "takes” or "scoops”. So my discovery of a government nominee for the position of Chair of the UK Statistics Authority deciding to withdraw from the position after her cross-examination by the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee at the end of June is a first for my blog. With all the focus on the phone hacking of the Rupert Murdoch media empire, noone else seems to have noticed this. I’m still listening to the discussion (one third through the 2 hour intrerview) – and so far have noticed no reason why the MPs might feel she would not be a strong independent leader of the Statistics Agency. Apart from anything else, this is a rare and fascinating example of parliamentary power.
The photograph shows my faithful 14 year old steed resting while I photograph just outside Vrasets on the way to Belogradchik.