Malaysia has been enjoying a recent festive season; Hari Raya (the end of Ramadan) and Merdeka Day (Independence from the British Empire in 1957). In two weeks’ time it’s Malaysia Day (birth of the Malaysian Federation in 1963). Families and companies give over whole days to celebrate. For Hari Raya in particular the month is dedicated to traditional foods at ‘open houses’. If you like your food, now is a time of plenty.
The feasting is amazing – except if you get food poisoning, which isn’t uncommon – but the events, being Malaysian, are obviously dry. The atmosphere feels a little like Christmas – apart from the arguments about Brussels sprouts and which James Bond film to watch – with lots of gift giving, colourful decorations and the sluggishness brought about from eating too much.
Trying to save money on account of some poor financial planning this month, we’ve hardly had anything to drink recently. Poverty-related abstinence and tee-total partying can only be tolerated for so long. The booze we bought in M&S a few weeks ago tempts us from the wine fridge (being free as we’d already shelled out for it) and last night it was cracked open at record speed.
My usual response to Gavi is not a hugely positive one. It’s not that I have any really deep experience of Gavi; it just somehow comes across as a bit beige. Maybe because if you replace the ‘g’ it just sounds a bit chavi… all very irrational really. So I shouldn’t feel that way since Gavi can be a bit special, since it has DOCG status in Italy (it must be produced only in Allesandria in Piedmonte) and a legendary tale to go with it. The Cortese grape produces wine that is both perfumed on the nose and in the mouth but is counteracted with a tart, zesty freshness – somewhere between Viognier and Loire Sauvignon Blanc.
M&S’s 2011 Quadro Sei Single Estate Gavi, priced keenly in the UK at £7.50 and not much higher here, is really pretty lovely. On the nose this Gavi is slightly floral but also shows sparky flint and lime peel. In the mouth it has a sort of light-medium feel… I wouldn’t go so far as to say off-dry, but it’s nearing it. I got a lot of citrus and pear. There is also a yummy vegetal, salty almond thing going on which is extremely pleasant and adds depth to the brighter, zingier flavours. We didn’t food-match this but instead polished it off quickly with a friend who’d popped round unannounced – a sign that it was well-liked.
Overall I’m left feeling like we’ve found a bit of a winner and given the outrageous prices in KL, M&S is proving to be a pretty decent bet. Perhaps my wife’s penchant for visiting a store that is painfully British is one indulgence I might be more willing to suffer after all!
Something of my own to celebrate then…..
Selamat Malam and Selamat Hari Raya Adilfitri