Tuesday May 17, 2016
WINE TASTING 114 -
Alien requested a winetasting upon his return so tasting no.114 was
scheduled on Saturday 20 at the Maenam viewpoint again.
I prefer Burmese men
8 SWINES headed up the new mountain road with Alien tossing his
first insult at the Countess after just ten minutes.
Kaeng sticks to somtam
Thankfully the rain held off but the odd wind gusts caused some
spillage on a table that resembled more like a food tasting than a
Alien has his hair done in a ladies salon
Again Dolly had pilfered the opener and as one wine had a cork, it
was left until last and opened at Chateau Howard after sampling the
six screw tops on the mountain.
The five lads and three ladies were gobsmacked by Howard’s palatial
villa and his frivolous investment but were then charmed even
further with further bottles of his favourite house wine.
Jill’s French Fat Bastard won the day while an Oz Deakin Estate
No shortage of food!
Only Bill and Oliver correctly got this right but the odd bottle was
an Italian Leonardo labeled Monna Lisa.
As they placed
WINE TASTING 113 -
Dolly sets the pace
After four days of wild winds and rain, the first
clear day in ages appeared and so did Jock Cromie visiting from
Phuket and so it was decided to have winetasting no.113.
Jock and friend
Countess Andrea was back too and for Jersey Mike and
Jock, the drive to the Mae Nam viewpoint was a first. For the first
time all the SWINES correctly scored the winning and the worst wines
which had Andrea’s Deakin Estate from Oz topping the points tally
with 153, followed by a Hardy’s Shiraz on 142 pts. and 3rd was
Dolly’s Chile Red.
The first stain
Fittingly Squall’s house wine The Pump scored just
50 pts, Dolly scoring it his lowest score ever with just 10 pts and
Jock remarking on his score sheet “Who brought this shit!
As they scored
NEWS OF THE DAY - SEPT 15
On the evening of Friday 14th, three SWINES, Squall,
Dolly and the Countess Andrea attended a wine tasting at Centara
sponsored by Saengphet Trading from Nathon.
An ample supply of canapés and sashimi were served
together with a well balanced variety of twelve wines with some
unusual Spanish and Italian varieties. Most memorable was the
Italian Tua Rita “Perlato Del Bosco” Bianco 2010 and the Castello Di
Gabbiano Sangiovese Merlot and a Chianti from the same house.
Some Australian Rosemount reds and a French
sparkling Rose were offered also and were most agreeable. These top
wines were reasonably priced from B700 to B1100. A fine evening
resulting in Dolly assisting the Countess fit her key in her door.
WINE TASTING 112 -
Howard soils his shirt
As Captain Solley was engaged with preparing his will, just six
SWINES made for the Maenam Viewpoint via Il Tempio where Bill,Dave
and Lakana stocked up with Italian bread, cheese and meats for
More wine spillage
A cool, cloudy day with gusty winds made a nice change and three
times Squall’s paper plate of cherry tomatoes, bread and salami was
blown into Lakana’s lap while both Alec and Howard experienced some
spillage, the latter having to try and wash out the stains from a
nearby tap. This had to be done as rumour has it Howard’s neighbours
run to their gates to enjoy watching him return unsteadily home each
Lukanasets the table
Bill suggested logging each wines alcohol content as this has an
influence on the taste. Howard’s Belleville won the day and is a
Grenache from France and blended with a Vietnamese Merlot scoring
167 pts from an Alma de Chile 161 pts and third the winner of last
week the Italian Grand Sasso Sangiovese (for some reason this bottle
was twice the weight of the others).
Too much wine
It seems the alcohol content had minimal influence as all the
wines varied just 1% (12.5 – 13.5%)
Howard soils his shirt - 2
As they finished
WINE TASTING 111 - AUGUST 2012
Bill the sinner Bill committed the cardinal sin of
forgetting to bring his bottle of wine
This was the day of attrition as Tony the Calculator was met at Il
Tempo with his arms stacked so high with pizza boxes his head was
unable to be seen.
From there, six SWINES in two trucks headed for the highest point on
Samui to celebrate Tasting no. 111 at the old abandoned restaurant,
having a short stop at our sala lookout for a beer where we
witnessed the ever increasing numbers of safari tourist trucks
Tony the calculator
It was here Squall purchased some durians from a farmer as his staff
had requested and at Baht 50 each dirt cheap. The lunch site was
hidden from the “road” so the SWINES enjoyed their tastings out of
sight of the safari hooligans.
Just four wines were sampled during which Sylvie the sommelier
proffered such comments as “this wine has opened up a lot” and “a
light pour” to the delight of Captain Solley who gasped in
As they finished
The winning wine was a Gran Sasso Sangiovese with 184 points and
Baht 599 but this time The Pump scored last. It was decided to ban
the wines 30 mile and The Pump for awhile to broaden the taste base.
Strange hotel-like structure
On the way back a strange hotel like structure was observed on a
mountain ridge, a temple resort perhaps?
GUEST WRITE UP
The indulgent Samui Swines once again traversed
the rocky mountainous terrain of the island facing light pour after
light pour, while fighting off a light downpour as the day came to
It all began with Squall procuring
two fresh Durians from the generously naive farm hands for modest
fee. Somewhat ironically the transaction took place in front of a
rather poorly worded warning sign... though we still can't figure
out why they would think we farang are such a threat to their stock
that they would scribe this sign in broken English.
It seemingly took forever to get
to the top of the mountain as Squall attempted to run every 4x4
tourist jeep off the road (we counted nearly 14 obnoxious trucks
nearly infringing on the Swinelands). As once again Solley
pontificated that six Swines is the optimum number, Sophie dolled
out some deliciously devilish eggs and a tuna salad, whilst Tony
unveiled an array of italian cold cuts, cheese and focaccia bread
from Il Tempio in Lamai. The stuff there is very good (read:
foreshadowing) though nobody can correctly pronounce the name.
Earlier on, Squall and Tony
attempted to explain the delicate nature of "blackballing" to Bill
who was nearly put on the chopping block for "pulling a Solley." For
those who do not know, "pulling a Solley" means failing to bring a
bottle to the wine tasting... though we are not quite sure where the
name came from, are we Alan? (N.B. Bill was never really risk.)
With six Swines and only four
bottles to sample, the tasting went more smoothly than usual and the
wines nearly all impressive with one notable exception. Squal once
again sported the house wine from Tradewinds and, at long last, The
Pump failed to impress. Even the recent success story 30 Mile failed
to woo the judges, for it was in fact a delicious Sangiovese from Il
Tempio that took the nod on this day. The Swines on hand voted to
implement a ban on both The Pump & 30 Mile wines as it has just
become silly. The technical implementation and penalty are to be
determined. While Tony prefers punishment by death, John thinks a
one way ticket to that awful USA should suffice. Of course, if you
are Squall's new hero Julian Assange, you might easily get both.
On this lovely day, we should note
that it took less time to drink and score the wines then it did for
Bob and Squal to arrange them in the proper pecking order for the
As a side note, the accounting
firm of Pappa, Pappa & Pappa graciously admitted to the
discrepancies from the previous weeks score sheet, noting of course
that it was a result of a self-fullfilling prophecy on the part of
the sinister Squall.
Most importantly on this day atop
the hill, we learned the difference between a boat and ship. You can
put a boat on ship... but you can't put a ship on a boat. Likewise,
you can take the wine from the bottle, but certainly not from the
WINE TASTING 110 - AUGUST 2012
Tasting 110 GPS Track
click for large version in new window
Ten SWINES, including three couples met in Lamai and
headed up the new mountain road towards Mae Nam. At the peak turn
off where the track deteriorates, George and Mary transferred from
their new car to one of the trucks as the resident Burmese waifs
appeared on the track in the distance.
We tried the Burmese greeting “Mingalaba” and they answered the same
in return. We soon had the tables set up and the cool wind gusts
sharpened the appetites as each SWINE attempted to outdo each other
with their food offerings.
Sylvie our sommeliere
Sylvia began the pouring as Tony prepared three more glasses from
plastic water bottles and Squall manoeuvred the conversation from
San Francisco to Julian Assange.
Seven wines were tasted and once again the Australian 30 Mile won
with 280 points, a close second on 273 pts the Chile Tarapac and
equal third The Pump and Jacobs Creek with 244 pts.
Tony, the official scorer
Sadly scorer Tony again miscounted, resulting in an equal third
place as this eagle eyed scribe decided to recheck just in case.
We invite all SWINES to review Tony’s scoresheet and pass on
we are but human after all
The ten SWINES passed the hat
around and donated to the
Burmese family B1k for the kind use of their facilities
WINE TASTING 109 - 21 JULY 2012
As promised regular returning guests, Tim Davis with son Tom, Trevor
“The Beast of Woolston” and Craig & his consort, Jo, all duly
arrived on Thursday for their month’s annual chill out.
Tim, graciously bearing gifts of goodwill in the form of two
excellent Sav.Blancs, one of which, labelled Maui, was demolished in
short shrift by Squall.
These five then proceeded on a downward spiral of self
destruction of binge dimensions, culminating on Saturday with one
individual’s tally of Sat.pm, 13 beers, 12 Pina Colada’s followed by
orders of red wine which a Bo Phud French restaurant refused to
serve them in such a state.
A photograph of Mr. Tim’s car parking effort that evening at
Tradewinds will remain confidential in deference to the hire car
company. Come Sunday these Kiwis made various noises about
“resting”, but continued boozing.
Having already committed to Winestating no.109 some months ago,
come the big day and hello, one by one these Kiwi’s make various
noises of why they cannot make it AT 10AM on the day.
Well, as tradition has it that anyone who bails out at such short
notice, is BLACKBALLED, so the Kiwi’s join Aussie Bill, Big Roy and
other unreliable boyo’s who are all beer and froth.
Three SWINES stalwarts, Capt. Solley, Squall and
Howard, tasted just two wines in the absence of Bill SMV (having
blood checks), Alec (laid up with Dengue), Neil (attending the
olympics), Tony Papa (travelling down South) and the Kiwi bludgers
(no shows, self inflicted illness)
WINE TASTING 108 - 7th JULY 2012
Six reds, two rose, two whites
Preparing the table
Twelve tasters in three trucks headed for Khao Yai,
a mix of Dutch, South Africans, British and Australians and seven
for the first time.
Halfway up the mountain, the Dutch truck slid off
the track and sunk into mud over the rear wheel, but with the lady
driver at the wheel and two sturdy Voortrekkers, they managed to
escape albeit covered in mud.
Dolly hires a bodyguard
Once at the ridgeline location, the SWINES
requitioned the tables at the abandoned restaurant and set up the
plates of food and wines. As the newcomers brought two rose,s a
Chardonnay and a Sav. Blanc, these were tasted in between the six
reds resulting in some confusion but enough information was gleaned
from the score sheets to establish the top three.
Plenty up top
First place with 196 points from a possible 240, was
30 mile, an Australian Shiraz, Second was Canaillina from Sicily on
187 pts and Third a Lazo from Chile with 179 pts.
Although the switching from reds to Rose and the
whites was unusual, it did make a refreshing change and may be tried
again in the future, one thing’s for certain it did liberate the
and more down below
Owing to the failure of the past Ladyboy Winetasting
when Squall and Dolly were stood up, it was decided to try again for
No.109 when each SWINE has to be accompanied by one of the “third
Down below a storm swamps Chaweng
SWINES International News JUNE 2012
MYANMAR ENTERS A VINTAGE AGE
Samui Wine Tasting Society (Swines) sent Captain
Solley deep into Burma where he took a first hand look at an amazing
vineyard and winery.
High in the hills of Shan State, the Aythaya
Vineyard is growing grapes and producing world standard vintages
including Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc.
Largely German owned and managed, the vineyard is
the brain child of Bert Morsbach, an entrepreneur of both Thailand
and Myanmar fame.
Experts consulting to the project include Peter
Hoehnen and Wolfgang Schaefer from Germany.
Nestled in a picture book valley, the winery and
its adjoining restaurant overlook 15 acres of vines that thrive in
the cooler climate of the region.
The winery has become a “must see” destination for
tourists and a favorite meeting place for the locals.
Under the watchful eye of manager and wine maker Hans Leiendecker
the grape crushing, wine producing and bottling process is all
carried out the premises.
Alan and Hans the wine maker
Other lines of production include a fine sparkling Rose, a Grappa
Muscat, a fruity Brandy named Fiesta and a popular wine cooler aimed
at the younger generation.
So sought after are Aythaya wines that the entire production is
sold and consumed in Myanmar, meanwhile the world waits for the
opportunity to add these vintages to its cellars.
With demand outstripping supply farmers further afield are being
coached in growing grapes for Aythaya’s production.
The vineyard is also moving in the direction of much needed
tourist accommodation and is building eco friendly wooden bungalows
overlooking the vineyard and surrounds hills.
This slice of paradise is located within a short drive of
Myanmar’s famed Inle Lake, both complementing each other to provide
the perfect tourist destination.
WINE TASTING 107 - JUNE 2012
Andrea and daughter
After nearly 3 months the SWINES regrouped having some members on
holiday, some with medical problems and some tied up for a month
with the 11th Samui Regatta.
Squall making his move
With the regatta over, though with still many boats in the bay due
to the local heavy weather, the SWINES decided to play it safe and
have Winetasting no.107 at Tradewinds.
Neil makes his move
While the winds gusted outside, eight SWINES convened to welcome
back Capt. Solley and hear of his sojourn to Burma and his visit to
Bert Mosbache’s winery up on the Shan plateau (more on this later).
Also returning SWINES Lindsay and Estelle along with a hand carried
Margaret River special and Andrea with her lovely daughter, Beryl
from Lichenstein, who judged the members as “very cute”.
The Wines Post Regattta
All the SWINES except Lindsay correctly judged wine no.1 top score a
Two Oceans from Sth. African with 238 points from a possible 280,
with the Windance from Margaret River 2nd on 215 pts.
Likewise all members bottomed scored Solley’s execrable offering
simply labelled French Red Wine just 115 pts, which drew written
comments “Soooo bad” (Squall) and “Shite” (Alec).
WINE TASTING 106 - MARCH 2012
Although ten SWINES had signed up three days ago, as it happened on
the day, only three and a guest showed, but Tasting No.106 went
ahead regardless at the viewpoint looking over Mae Nam.
Howard with guest
Three wines were sampled and all scored the first wine sampled a
SCHERING from Australia first while Squall’s house wine THE PUMP
This site has become popular with tourists, as an endless stream of
bikes showed, among them a charming lass from the Philippines and a
pair of Swiss guys who sat and joined us.
Dolly showed off his command of Tagalog while Howard only had eyes
for the one female at the table.
Topic of the day raged over Darwinism and the Sumerians who got a
kick start from outer terrestrials in 6,000 BC
Wines March 16 2012
WINE TASTING 105 - MARCH 2012
Adrian and consort
Tastings no.105 was to feature invited ladyboys, but
as Dolly’s invite, Rachannee and Squall’s Mo both no shows, it was
left to Adrian and Niell to supply the goods and save the day.
Neil with friends
It was up to the SWINES’ private mountain sala which enjoyed a cool
breeze while Samui baked down below.
The Countess swings
Everyone besides Squall, correctly scored wine no.5 FIRST a
LOS TILOS from Chile brought by Dolly.
2nd was THE PUMP from Oz and 3rd JACOBS CREEK and
oddly, last week’s winner Bundu Star scored last.
Next Tasting to ensure a better turnout, it will be back to
sponsoring a bar.
Dolly white-ants Neil
WINE TASTING 104
- FEBRUARY 2012
Andrea maintains her averages
Seven Diehards headed for the hills for Tasting 104, with
absentee’s, the Russians having succumbed to their previous night’s
BBQ and Stash, son of Balthus, because “We don’t drink alcohol”.
Welcoming back Alien, Neil and newbie Jools from Holland with
Andrea all squeezed into Squall’s truck with Dolly in the back with
two roast chickens we made our way to the SWINES sala on the mount.
As the wines and food were prepared, Dolly began the
proceedings with a required quote from the Koran “Life is full of
misfortunes, so the longer you live........” which blew away
Squall’s quote from Ravel “Music is the silence between the notes”.
Halfway through the tasting, Neil proposed we stay at the location
and complete all seven wines as the S.E. breeze and cool air made
for pleasant slurping conditions.
Ready for action?
The Ombudsman’s gavel was used repeatedly as discussions swung
from Thai girls to ladyboys but all members agreed that for Tasting
no.105, all members have to invite a ladyboy.
At 4pm it was back down to sea level where Tony the sommelier
conducted the scoring. Winning wine was the S.A. Bundu Star with 216
points followed by Alan’s Vistaflor on 197 pts just 1 pt clear of
3rd placegetter The Pump, a Merlot from Oz.
Why did I pay B200 more for the same wine?
Four SWINES brought identical wines, two with The Pump and two with
Hillston Grove (where Neil paid B495 and Tony B350. Neil expressing
his intention to pay a visit to his wineshop.
As They Finished
A SNIPPET OF INFORMATION
Alan's letter in Russian
February 23 2012
The Russians are back some old friends and some SWINES celebrated
at Bikini Bar.
Dolly toted his talent by presenting Nadia a letter in Russian
and what’s more she could read it !
Big Roy generously shared his vodka gift so he only took a
quarter bottle back home
Roy in love
A full table
WINE TASTING 103
No less than fifteen SWINES in four trucks and an SUV returned to
their old abandoned restaurant at the summit of Khao Yai including
six newbies from Samui Mountain Village.
Just a hint of newsprint
The five ladies had prepared a superb spread of ham, salami, grilled
sausages, cheeses and pate’s and the mountain air must have been the
reason they crowded the food table for the first hour. Within
minutes of opening the first wine, the Countess had broken her first
glass and then managed to spray Marvellous John and Squall with
Alec lost his stem
Nearly everyone top scored the winning wine, Overstone, a superb
Pinot Noir from New Zealand followed by Georges Duboeuf, a Merlot
from France and third was Zlatan Plavac from Croatia. The party then
moved North to Woodlands restaurant where the unwrapping and scoring
took place with Alec emptying the Californian Zinfandel, Brazin on
himself which was still a quarter full and no one seemed to like.
On then to the last stop, The Ghost House for a beer and the owner
presenting all the ladies with a long stem of Dara flower which the
Countess commenced to eat. Sommelier Tony did a great job of pouring
and scoring (no calculator) and a clear list of results for the
Having held the last few tastings in members homes,
it was decided it was time to continue the adventure tours, so
Tasting no.102 was to be on the new mountain road that runs from
Lamai to Mae Nam.
With 11 SWINES of 8 nationalities in three trucks,
the convoy began the climb up the road behind the Buddy Resort and
found the new road in good condition considering the heavy rains
recently and in just 15 minutes we were at our Mae Nam viewpoint and
began setting up the tables.
It was at this juncture, Captain Dolly Solley fell
to his knees with the admission he had FORGOTTEN his bottle of wine
but he was semi forgiven as he had donated a home cooked roast
A new addition to the tasting was the introduction of a judges gavel
which now seems necessary to bring to an end of any prolonged boring
topics by various windbags.
After welcoming 2 new SWINES, Lee and David, the stand in sommelier
(?) Countess Andrea began the pouring.
Andrea the sommelier
Ten wines were tasted and
were of such good quality this scribe had the first six all scoring
between 230 and 233 points with a Wolf Blass only coming 3rd.
The winner was a Los Tilos from Chile on 290 pts followed by A
Rooks Shiraz from Oz with 275 pts with a disappointed Squall seeing
his Woolshed (Oz) come last with 226 pts. O
f the ten wines, seven were screwcaps. Under notice is John B for somehow scoring 13 wines, all
somehow on an identical total of 20 points.
WINE TASTING 101 DECEMBER 2011
John The Nose
no.101 was scheduled to be held at Tony’s house at Ban
Taling Ngam as the rain would have made a mountain trip unviable.
Seven SWINES arrived in
two trucks and were met by Tony on his bike to be guided to a track
leading to his house located in the mangroves by the coast.
Pool sans Mermaids
The host had prepared a vast lunch with platters of
pasta, pizza and Cajun food which with Dolly’s grilled chicken had
most of the SWINES thankful they’d
forsaken breakfast (as advised).
Once again the winning wine was the 30 Mile shiraz
from Oz top scoring with 205 points, followed by Torbreck also a
Shiraz from Oz (Barossa Valley) on 187 pts.
Two wines tied for 3rd, the Italian Masseria del
Fauno and the Bordeaux Chateau Mazetia and only Alec and Agnes
scored these identical. Squall and John B correctly scored both the
top and bottom scoring wines.
On the return home Dolly invited Squall and Howard
to his second house, a bamboo hut set in among a grove of huts, all
totally occupied by masseuses and with a stash of beers, they lay in
wait for the girls to return home from work.
100th SWINES - November 2011
No less than 14 SWINES showed for the 100th tasting on Thanksgiving
Day hosted by Californians Bob and Sylvia at their villa at Samui
Mountain Village, together with a turkey with all the trimmings
which was enjoyed by all, complimented with the 11 wines to be
This time, American newcomer Garry submitted a white, so it was
decided to use this to cleanse the palate before beginning the reds.
The turkey arrived with wine no.3 and lasted until wine no.6 which,
after the pumpkin pie, had most of the SWINES ready to call it a day
and have the remaining five wines another day.
Wrong !, John B leapt up, marched down the table to give Squall a
pep talk and read him the riot act and so it was unanimously decided
to carry on to the 11th bottle.
Seven SWINES, Squall, Alec, Susie, Young John, Lek, George and
Sylvia correctly scored wine no.10 1st, the Cab. sav. YERING, 2nd a
Shiraz, 30 MILE, 3rd a Malbec, Vistaflor.
The most stained scoresheets were those of Lek and Alec while John B
sported the most stained shirt.
Howard & Lisa study the turkey
The Bophut Chamber. Alec, John B & Young John
NEWS FLASH NOVEMBER 17 2011
Subsequent to the article “Madness and Mayhem in
Lamai” last week, SWINES have decided to extend an olive branch to
the Lamai Chamber of Commerce and invite one of their members, Roger
the Cad to attend the SWINES 100th Celebratory Tasting acting in an
Hopefully his attendance may also assist him in his
ongoing personal odyssey and quest of “Why do Thai woman loathe me
?” as he will be meeting some educated Thai ladies
NOVEMBER 09 2011
Barry's strategic position
SWINES favourite seaside location at Ban Talay was
chosen for winetasting no. 99 mainly because four of the members had
not been there before.
The sala by the sea
The site is slowly being developed into a public
park with a jogging and bicycle track, an outdoor fitness park and
salas to relax in away from all the traffic and rests besides the
fresh water stream from Na Muang Waterfall where it meets the sea.
All this looks South with many islands offshore and
the mainland’s mountains in the distance. We welcomed newcomers,
Barry and Chris here on holiday from Brisbane and Dee and Joy.
Barry breaks the first glass
Joy could be who you wanted her to be it was opined,
a Nubian slave, a Kenyan princess or a Southern Muslim (after Squall
fitted her with a towel as a headress).
Joy scores the first wine
Six wines were tasted and for the first time two
wines tied for 1st on 240 points One was an Italian Valpolicella
Baht 1029 the other The Pump at Baht 380 from Oz. No doubts about
the worst and bottom scorer a Spanish Tempranillo which was scored
last by nearly all.
Christmas Day 2005, Puerto Galera Hash House Harriers, Sabang Beach,
Puerto Galera, Philippines featuring Diana and Rob (RTC) visting
from the Colombo Hash House Harriers, Sri Lanka.
Posted November 4th, 2011
“Madness and mayhem in Lamai”
In what can only be described
as the closest thing to a visit to the chimpanzee enclosure
at The Royal Perth Zoo, two SWINES, Cap’n Squall and Dolly
Solley attended a barbeque hosted by The Lamai Chamber of
Commerce to celebrate Big Roy’s success in duping the U.S.
government to increase AND backdate his military pension.
Set in the garden of Roger
the Cad’s residence, the party began nicely enough with
muted greetings and the soft clink of glasses as beers and
wines were consumed at midday.
The marquee was set in a
windless zone, so batteries of fans were set up which
immediately had the Chamber quarrelling over how and where
to place them At 2pm Roger began the laying out of vast
platters of food and cook it yourself only the best choice
of imported steaks on his hot rocks barbie.
The first pangs of unease
came at 3pm when Swampy and Manchester Bill began singing
Hotel California and plunging back into the past ways with
many “Do you remember when.......”?
Also by now Big Roy,
drifting between bouts of sit up sleep and shouting American
Football jargon, Jersey Mike yelling and laughing at his own
jokes and Patrick having emptied his flagon of homemade
moonshine began screaming about UK Immigration policies and
banging the table with his fists.
By 3.30pm the entire ten
members Chamber were shouting to be heard with Patrick
becoming ever louder and now Jersey Mike screaming (pointing
to Patrick) “Have you ever seen this twat being invited
to my house”?
At 4pm and the BBQ in an
uproar, this scribe quietly backed away to return to the
silence of Chaweng Beach with it’s cool breezes and bikinis.
At The Jungle Club
Postponed Winetasting No.98 from last
Saturday because of rain was held Wednesday 26th at The
Jungle Club, Chaweng Noi and three trucks with 9 SWINES met
at the bottom of Chaweng Hills and headed up the steep climb
to the site.
Jungle Club View
Khun Id the owner graciously permitted the
SWINES to lay out their generous array of cheeses, breads
and pasta and wines and even supplied plates and cutlery and
heated up Andrea’s lasagne.
Black humour seemed to be the tone of the
day with Bob remarking “when Squall gets cremated at the
local temple a toxic cloud warning will be issued for
Chaweng”, the sommelier was called a “cloth eared bitch” for
not knowing the Thai for number five and Howard offering to
give someone a “pearl necklace”.
Sommelier Sylvia at work
Six wines were tasted with Adrian’s (Alien)
CARMEN, a Baht 360 Merlot from Chile taking 1st place and
oddly, another Chilean Merlot ARESTI scoring last but priced
at Baht 890.
Adrian's Winning Wine
With ten new bungalows for rent, anyone who
wants a quiet holiday should take a look at The Jungle Club.
First and Last
Another Letter to SWINES
John - some words for Saturday that you
suggested could be written for the website SWINES was
'cancelled' on Saturday due to the weather - 'why' was asked
Squall advised that 'its because we won't be
able to see the view'. It was thought that we were meant to
be tasting wines - still Saturday evening - Squall/Alien and
Howard met other Swines in Lamai for the boxing/pizza Squall
(I'll never buy an automatic) was upsetting Howard by
changing gear in his new, er, 'automatic' truck.
'Get your bleeping hands off the gear
lever Squall' shouts Howard 'Oh - just bleep off will you -
I don't need lessons in how to drive' remarked Squall.
A great evening of Pizza/boxing and wine was
had by all The new date for the SWINES - Tuesday - ah then
amended to Wednesday No doubt more on that later
Just a line to thank you so much for your
wonderful welcome to Ko Samui. The SWINES made the whole
trip worthwhile. One day we'll be back. Without the 'Tradewinds'
dock we'd have been lost souls.
Do pass on our best to (in no particular
order) to John II, Bob, Sylvia, Andrea, Alan, Alec, Howard,
the team from Freewind (we really hope it really is "just
scratches") and anyone else we've (characteristically)
Kari and Aslaug have a flash website, as you
know. Alas, we're far too old fashioned to get involved in
all that sort of thing. Instead we write a letter to family
and friends every Christmas. Attached is last year's
version. Act now and you can stop the 2011 version thudding
into your inbox.
We had no dramas on the way to Perhentian.
Just the usual weirdo fishing boat lights. Someone should do
Patrick & Elizabeth (Yacht Labarque)
Winetasting No. 97, 7
The Tasting Commences
Tasting no.97 was hosted by Bob and Sylvia
in their villa with spectacular views over Chaweng Bay at
Samui Mountain Village.
It was also a farewell for our cruising friends from Lady
Ann and LaBarque who depart for Singapore on Saturday.
Seven wines were judged with no doubt about the winner
Rooks, a Shiraz from Australia and correctly placed first by
eight of the nine tasters, likewise all chose bottom scorer
last, a Peter Vella which you see on the shelves of 7/11.
John's new Ford WildTrak
All the SWINES were transported to the venue in
Squall’s new Ford Wildcat which was a remarkable upgrade
over his problem plagued Nissan Navarra.
Winners from the left
As usual the Countess was her effervescent self and got the
lunch started by regaling us on her past four husbands
No less than sixteen SWINES assembled on the
S/Y LaBarque ( see Scuttlebutt ) for the 96th Winetasting,
the cockpit with all the boys and the ladies down in the
Captain Solley scored 2nd
Ten wines were sampled with our Comptroller
Sylvia passing the numbered and wrapped bottles up from the
saloon and the gents pouring at the cockpit table.
Crewgirls looking down on the SWINES
Five crew from the local yacht Free Wind
arrived in time for Bottle no. 2 but by then Squall had
broken the first glass.
Decanting a bad wine
The unfinished wines were stashed above on
the roof and by Bottle no. 5 the boat rolled a little
bringing them down and smattering the white paint and
soaking the pillows ( Squall again ).
Happy couples all
The girls were doing a great job down below
passing up plates of snacks with the highlight being Brie
Howard at his first SWINES
Six nationalities were present, Thai,
British, French, Australia, Iceland and U.S.A. with nine
sailors from yachts in the bay ( LaBarque, Lady Ann, Phryne
11 & Free Wind ), sadly the Countess missed this one.
The winning wine was from California again
Bliss a Cab Sav 2008 and just four SWINES scored it top,
Mick, Sylvia, Patrick and Maureen.
Patrick, owner of La Barque, our host
2nd place was Vista Flor from Argentina,
priced just Baht 380 brought by Capt. Solley and 3rd Morande
Pianero a Merlot from Chile.
No doubt as to the worst wine, 10 SWINES
scored it last, a PiccodelSole Cannonau from Sardinia. Again
many thanks to Patrick and Elizabeth for the hospitality.
The boat rolled and then.....
Yachts out front
The Wines Sampled
Winetasting No. 95
The storm sweeps in
Winetasting No. 95 was to be held at the
mountain view above Mae Nam and so 3 4WD pickups with ten
SWINES which included the owners of the two visiting
cruising yachts (see
Scuttlebutt) headed up the new new road at Soi
1, Mae Nam.
Just as we arrived the black clouds opened
up with driving winds and rain. The smart ones stayed in
their vehicles being warm and comfortable with a supply of
beer and snacks.
As the rain seemed to sock in, at 3pm it was
decided to head for Tradewinds and hold the tasting in the
Seven wines were tasted and two dead heated
for first, A Pinot Noir 2008 YERING and the 2009 red
Voorspoed and the Cab. Sav. ARRESTI coming third.
Only Squall and Andrea correctly picked the
joint winners with the two lady yachties Aslaug and
Elizabeth each picking one winner.
Our guests from Iceland remarked on one of
Andrea’s cheeses smelling like an Icelandic delicacy,
“rotting fermented shark”.
John B casues a spill over Patrick
As darkness fell most people snuck back home
while our scorer Sylvia, Andrea and Capt. Solley stayed
beyond closing time.
The Jungle Toilet
Patrick kindly invited the SWINES to hold
Winetasting 96 on their yacht La Barque next Wednesday
Wine Tasting No. 94 was held at Valley View
Restaurant owned by schoolteacher Khun Oh and his lovely
The Tasting Commences
Situated on the edge of a hill with sweeping
views over the rice plains, this was a first for the eight
SWINES who settled in to judge the seven wines on offer (
again Andrea inexplicably scored eight on her scoresheet ).
Moved one to the right
Top scorer was a Francis Ford Coppola from
California, correctly picked by both Bob and Sylvia, but
only separated by one point by a 30 Mile shiraz from
Australia and well clear of third placed Las Condes from
Once again our MOTEL’s (Masters Of The
English Language) were in form with Bill uttering the word
“parenthesis” bringing a gasp from Capt. Solley who
recovered quickly by quoting some poetic text on how the
Muslims are called to prayer at Medina.
Thanks to Sylvia’s meticulous scoring and
recording skills, for the first time in 94 tastings, a clear
and legible final scoresheet emerged, although it almost
came off the rails when John B. began numbering the bottles
before being produced at the start.
The Owner even washed our glasses!
Finishing off with a round of cleansing
ales, Dolly Solly then treated us to the vagaries of the
English language by explaining how the sentence “ I never
said she killed her mother “ can have seven different
meanings when the emphasis is placed on each word
separately. This brought no response from Bill as he
accepted defeat for the day.
26 AUGUST 2011
Roger The Cad goes for The Countess
SWINES winetasting no.93 was held at
TradeWinds as it was to be accompanied by classical music
provided by Capt. Solley’s computerized boom box.
Sommelier prepares the wines
It proved so effective, the operas of Verdi
and Carmen had the Italian customers straightening their
backs, all the beach dogs formed a circle around the table,
convoys of muslim fishing boats pulled up on the beach and
even dozens of squirrels listened from the trees and roofs.
Dolly with his music box
As usual Countess Andrea supplied a generous
array of cheeses, breads and salad while Tradewinds offered
a fine Pasta Arabiata.
Countess attacks customer
As if to complement this highbrow
occasion, Bill was slipping in words like “genre” and
“frontispiece” which left Dolly gasping in admiration.
Squall, determined to win this classic day provided a Bin
888 Wyndhams Estate, but alas it only finished 3rd with 115
Cashier spots a ladyboy on Dolly's computer
The winner with 134 pts out of a possible
160 was a Paso Sol from Chile, closely followed by a Millers
Mile of Sth. Africa
..... and another! Spotto!
18 AUGUST 2011
It was decided to use SWINES tasting No. 92
as a recce on the new concrete road from Mae Nam to Lamai so
two 4WD trucks headed North and on to Mae Nam Soi 1.
As we headed up and up it was apparent that
NO skilled road engineers had been involved, as landslides
covered many parts of the road and in one place, the valley
had just been filled in between two hills and cemented over
! After 15 minutes and still on the ascent, Alec veered off
road onto a dirt track which led to knoll and leafy flat
section with spectacular views North to Koh Phangan.
A Burmese farmer and his wife appeared and
set out some tables and chairs besides what appeared to be
foundations for a future restaurant. s.
Surrounded by jackfruit and durian trees the
SWINES set out their lunch where Alec saved the day (“today
beer only please”) and conjured up two superb red wines and
Capt. Solley a mini red in a strange little bottle labelled
At 3.30pm it was decided to attempt the
complete traverse another day and we back tracked back to
Mae Nam where Alec led us to a bar with a pool table and
What's this shite?
Dolly's Mini Red
Winetasting Tour 92
as seen from another's eyes
As a newcommer to the
highly exclusive and prestigious "SWINES" I was asked to
make a comment on the last "tasting" Well! what can I say,
if anybody invites me what can they expect, it seems to have
taken me only three invites to bring this elite gathering
down to the depths of despair. On my previous invitations I
was privy to quality wines consumed in glassware befitting
the the occasion.
A gourmet buffet, a bevy
of beautiful ladies all from a vineyard background and the
elite of the island engaging in good old jolly intellectual
banter. On my third visit, it has come down to this. The
ladies recieved an invite from the Mont Clair spitting
championships in Bangrak and chose to take it. One elite
member felt completely at home with a discarded Bacardi
Breezer bottle refilled with "red stuff" but to make amends
conjured up a jar of containing a thimble full of oil and
One gentleman who was
peviously blackballed, was reinvited to make the numbers up.
One gentleman consumed this limited supply of the grape from
a Singha can. All I can say these were the highlights and it went downhill from there,
The Kiwi attempts to switch his soggy score sheet to an
Winetasting 91 featured three Australian,
two Chilean and a French entry and in tribute to the SWINES
palates, two identical wines scored 1st and 2nd.
Bon Vivant and Raconteur Tim Davis
This was a Penfolds Special Release from Oz
while another Australian red, The Pump brought by Squall,
was scored last. After setting up in the SWINES mountain
sala, the canapes were served by special guest Elizabeth an
opera singer from Holland.
Berndt and the lovely Elizabeth
She and partner Berndt from Germany were
guests of Bill of Samui Mountain Village who seems to be
enjoying full occupancy while the 3 star resorts are
struggling with an average of 3%. Before the first wine was
sampled, Bon Vivant Tim Davis, a Kiwi, carelessly spilt his
cleansing ale across his score sheet as he began showing
imbalance at the 600 m. altitude.
Wine stained shirt again (Squall’s)
The remaining wine was then carried down to
sea level where at wine no. 4, Elizabeth managed to topple a
glass, splashing Ollie and Squall with a rich red but she
was forgiven, not only for her lovely blue eyes, but she had
also saved the day earlier by producing our only bottle
opener. Another good day with very little planning and a mix
of five nationalities and great scenery.
JULY 29 2011
Swines July 28 2011
Alec duly arrived with his mate John at
Tradewinds and it was decided to take both 4WD’s as there
was likely to be a surfeit of ladies.
Swines July 28
On the way to Lamai, a heavy thunderstorm
struck and with the low lying clouds it was decided to avoid
the mountain and head for the SWINES private beach at Ban
Talay. Newcomer Roger from the Lamai chamber of Commerce got
off to a bad start when he presented an opened bottle of
Peter Vella (from 7/11) but this was tolerated when he
produced a plate of excellent French rolls.
I think this wine is the winner!
One of the new lady guests, Lek, while
sampling a glass, was making all the right actions and
comments and after filling in her score sheet with a “Mmm...
wine number three definitely has the best nose” the SWINES
were gobsmacked. It transpired that she use to work for
Italasia, a wine distributor and even drove her own limmo !
The Cad, Roger
During the tastings Captain Solley was so
engaged with his new camera and telephone he missed the
antics of his wily mate Roger whose only interest seemed to
be interviewing each of the ladies by inviting them to move
next to him where the petting began.
The Lovely Lek
As usual Alec produced his trick list and it
was while everyone was engrossed they missed the serious
groping going on between Lek and Squall which resulted in
the latter having to retire to the bench to conceal the
bulge in his shorts.
Once again the South African shiraz scored
first and it was during the scoring that the guest Roger
suddenly rose and left for his car, dragging one of the
girls with him with the lame excuse of having to go meet his
Lamai mates for sundowners. The SWINES lost no time in
voting him a black ball, especially as there was no thank
you or goodbyes uttered.