An Occasional Tipple

Raymond Gleug
Raymond Gleug

It’s been a long, lonely week. My darling wife, the illustrious Madame G., has gone to France to visit her mother, leaving me alone in our lovely home, Rose Cottage, to fend for myself. I’ve had to do all my own washing, cooking and cleaning. The wireless has been set to only my preferred channel (BBC Radio 3, if you’re wondering); I’ve also had to select all the television viewing myself and I’ve been able to play my own music as loudly as I want.

To try and create some sense of geographical closeness with my Madame, I’ve been drinking mainly French wine. In copious amounts, naturally, to alleviate my distress. Today’s WINE OF THE WEEK is the elegant, supple and wonderfully complex 2015 Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux Chateau Fort Viaud (£8.99, Lidl). This sophisticated, modern claret has a fruity bouquet with lots of vanilla and just a hint of those delightful cigar-box aromatics which characterise the best Bordeaux reds. A juicy palate is dominated by blackberry and blackcurrant flavours before a lingering, peppery finish. It’s part of Lidl’s Autumn promotion of French wine which contains a wide selection of excellent French wines at competitive prices. I enjoyed mine with a huge bowl of Boeuf Bourgignon.

The pain of separation has probably been accentuated by the fact that we had been entertaining a 12-strong gang of her relatives for about a week before her departure.The transition from chaos and constant noise to the deathly silence of solitude with its accompanying sensations of existential dread has been as abrupt as it has been devastating. Nothing another bottle of vino can’t sort out though.

A sombre, brooding and intense red to soothe my sorrowful soul.

Today’s second recommendation is the opulent, smooth and superbly balanced 2015 Plan de Dieu Chateau Domaine du Meynarde (M&S, £10.00).

Exceptionally ripe blackcurrant and cherry flavours complement a lively, brambly character in this rustic Rhone Valley red which goes wonderfully well with either red meat or poultry. I may well roast a chicken to keep myself going for a day or two. As close to sublime as you’ll find in this price range.

Thanks for your company, tipplers, you’ve been a most agreeable distraction from my loneliness but I must leave you now to resume my pining. As I wait, I wonder. Who am I? A young man getting old in a world that just seems to pass him by.

One thinks of what one had hoped to be and then faces reality. Still, the wine tastes mighty fine.

Yes, I think we’ll just have one more. For the ditch. Come home, soon, Madame. Save me from myself... Till next week, tipplers, sante!