The prison door slammed shut. It was impossible for me to believe the situation I found myself in. And yet it was really happening.
Just one hour earlier, I had been sitting in my lovely home, Rose Cottage, sipping a glass of today’s WINE OF THE WEEK, the zesty, mouth-wateringly ripe and gloriously refreshing 2013 Cimarosa Sauvignon Blanc (available from Lidl, £4.29).
I remember gazing tenderly into the beautiful eyes of my darling wife, the enigmatic Madame G, and remarking to her how much I was enjoying the sharp citrussy and green gooseberry flavours of this intensely fruity and fragrant South African white. And how nicely the backnotes of almond and butterscotch complemented her delicious Thai Green chicken curry. Then the dreaded knock.
Twenty pounds had gone missing from the till and they had reason to believe they could connect me to the crime and would I be so kind as to empty my pockets, please? At this point, I should stress that I am an innocent man and that the £20 which I pulled out of my pocket was my own.
The police were having none of it and I was hauled away into their van, pleading my innocence and assuring my tearful Madame that this was an awful mistake and I’d be home soon.
That’s how I ended up in the clink. Despite my desperate situation, I felt unusually calm (possibly due to the wine I’d consumed) and confident of a just and satisfactory resolution. It didn’t bother me that my job in the corner shop had been taken by that pretty young lady who was always hanging around, asking lots of questions. Or that the shop looked much better now that she’d taken charge and had rearranged everything. Because soon I would wake up and this perplexing dream would merely be something to contemplate over a glass of the soft, supple and superbly balanced Kumala Ruby Cabernet Cinsault (£4.99, Tesco). An abundance of ripe red berry flavours dominate the delicately spiced palate of this South African red before a lingering finish with beguiling notes of oak and lick-your-lips liquorice. One for roast beef or lamb this Sunday.
What could it all mean? Was the prison a metaphor for a sense of stifled creativity? Perhaps all this South African wine was taking me back to my radical youth and making me sympathise once more with the many innocent prisoners in that country during apartheid. Or did I feel unfairly treated myself- at home or in work? “Hmph! Jails are full of innocent men,” my wife, a policeman’s daughter, sarcastically sneered.
“That explains why there’s so much crime on the streets, my love. They’ve got the wrong bleeding guys!” I answered. Till next week, tipplers, sante!