The Monty Python Sketch That Never Was

Monday 4/4/2005

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Diary and Notes

I was talking on the phone to my chum Dr. Welshegg (formerly of Atlanta, Georgia, now residing in Salisbury, England) whilst cooking my dinner today (which involved me cooking the entire meal with my neck bent over) and I was drinking a glass of port at the same time. When pouring my port I put the phone near the bottle and asked if he could tell what I was drinking from the sound and he began some spiel about how it sounded quite heavy and had a sunny timbre so may be from either Spain or Portugal, and then guessed it was port. I had already told him I had just opened a bottle of port so his guess wasn't that great - it did however lead him to suggest perhaps the greatest Monty Python sketch that never was; The Incredibly Posh Twits Wine Listening Society:

A very silly looking man in a tweed suit and gentelman's flat cap stands up and chinks his glass.

"Ladies and Gentelmen, I should like to call to order the October meeting of the National Wine Listeners Association and Affilliated Societies."

The general hubbub quietens down. In the room there are about ten people, all dressed in ridiculous (but very expensive) country clothes - riding crops at the ready etc. The secretary continues, "I will begin with the first wine of the day, and there will be a prize of a half a crate to the first member who can identify the country, grape and vintage." He then proceeds to pour some wine into a glass from a bottle that has had the label removed. The people listen intently, some have old ear trumpets aimed at the secretary, others have turned up their hearing aids.

"France." Shouts one of the assmebled crowd and the secretary nods, "Um.. perhaps a white Burgandy"

Suddenly a chuckle breaks out and the man who called out bows his head in embarassment - obviously a beginner.

An old lady then stands up, leaning on a cane. She's dressed in a summer hat, twinset and pearls and has a blue rosette for decoration. "I think it's from the Jurançon." She begins and there's a hushed appreciation of the obvious master, "A gros manseng grape, but... yes... a hint of petit manseng." The crowd applaud widly. She bows her head a little in recognition. "It's a 2003 Domaine de Cinquau, nothing very expensive but a tasty little white wine I once had with trout at La Flambé Rouge in Chichester with the Staines's."

After some cheering the crown quietens down and they move to the next bottle. The secretary uncorks the bottle and suddenly there is a lot of wailing in fear and some people are sick

"Hhm." Says the secretary, "I thought that the Blue Nun was a mistake."

OK so it's not the best sketch ever written and the Monty Python team would have done it better but you get the general idea (and it took me 15 minutes to write, I think they had longer."

Excellent sardines by the way - I suggest you give it a go.

Cake Blog

Swiss Tarts: You can just make these out at the back of the photo. I took a picture of them but it seems to have been accidently deleted. I'm not a whizz with these new fangled gadgets as you may have by now surmised.


  • Grilled Sardines with Tomato Sauce
  • Penne with Porcini Mushrooms


    3 Sardines
    Olive Oil
    Lemon Wedge
    Tomato Sauce
    1 Onion
    1/2 Clove Garlic
    Olive Oil
    Little Chilli Powder
    5 Black Olives
    1 Anchovy
    1 Can Tomatoes
    Salt & Pepper
    Penne with Porcini Mushrooms
    50g Dried Porcini
    100g Penne Pasta
    1/2 Clove Garlic
    Pinch Nutmeg
    Pinch Nutmeg
    Knob Butter
    Salt & Pepper
    Fresh parsley


  • Sardines: Rub a little olive oil on each side of the sardines and grill for 3 minutes per side and serve with a lemon wedge and some sauce (below). Delicious!
  • Sauce: Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic. Sweat in a little olive oil until soft then add the chilli (only a little), the anchovy (minced) and the olives (also minced). Fry for a minute or two more then add the chopped tomatoes (with the juice), season and simmer with the lid on the pan for 30 minutes topping up with water if it looks like it might dry out. Serve hot on the sardines (above)
  • Pasta: Put the mushrooms in water to soften for 20 minutes before using, then drain and give a squeeze to remove excess fluid. Put the pasta on to boil, while the pasta is cooking, sweat the minced garlic in a little olive oil and butter for 5 minutes (very gently, don't let it brown) then add the chopped porcini. Warm the porcini thoroughly, add a pinch of nutmeg and season. When the pasta is cooked, drain and stir into the mushrooms. Garnish with fresh parsley.


    *All quantities are very approximate and for a single person