An Occasional Tipple

Raymond Gleug

Falling leaves drift by my window, Autumn leaves of red and gold. Sitting in the parlour at my lovely home, Rose Cottage, I look at my darling wife, the illustrious Madame G., pottering about in the kitchen, preparing our dinner and I sigh. What season are we in- you and I, Madame? Not Spring, that’s for sure. Late Summer at best.

A sobering thought and sobriety is the last thing you want when contemplating love, life and your mortality, not just as an individual but also as a couple.

So I pour myself a second, third, maybe fourth glass of today’s WINE OF THE WEEK, the rustic, complex and deftly spiced 2014 Chateau Saint Antoine Edith Bordeaux Superieur (£9.99, Lidl).

This unusually vigorous, dark claret has a rich, smoky palate, full of black cherry and plum flavours alongside backnotes of woody herbs and dry tannins.

Should be an ideal match to the medium rare steak, chips, sauteed onions and mushrooms in a sumptuous bone marrow jus that my beautiful Madame is currently rustling up for me.

One advantage of my profession is that I get sent wine from far and wide at no expense to myself. Wine which you will have to order in, pay for and await delivery of but if you’re serious about wine you’ll understand that it’s often worth the effort. Especially if it’s today’s second recommendation, the elegant, supple and wonderfully expressive 2016 Brindisi Rosato Vigni Flaminio, Vallone (£7.75, thewinesociety.com or telephone 01438-741177).

This soft, aromatic and delightfully tangy Italian rose (yes, we sophisticats now drink rose all year round as long as it’s sufficiently robust) has lots of redcurrant and raspberry flavours with underlying hints of black pepper.

One to enjoy on the porch with your ciabatta, salami and olives, watching the sun set. Some cheese wouldn’t hurt.

Lovers of white wine, I will never forget you! I tend to drink white mostly in the brighter months myself but my Madame’s an all-year-rounder so today’s final recommendation is the easy-drinking versatile and gloriously refreshing 2014 Soave Classico (£8.50, M&S).

This fabulously fresh, zesty Italian white is full of bright citrus and peach flavours on a lively palate alongside notes of almond and hazelnut before a lingering, finish. One for salmon, champ and a medley of seasonal vegetables with a classic beurre blanc and some capers please, Madame.

Seasons pass, age withers and changes us and those we love which is perhaps life’s greatest disappointment. To lose the strength or beauty we once had, to watch it happen to the ones we love.

Still, it hardly matters now, does it? It’s an old tale, common as muck and sure it’s all just a bit of auld craic anyway. That might be the answer. I’m sure if I keep on pouring I’ll find the answer down here somewhere. Perhaps it’s right down at the very bottom of the bottle.

Till next week, tipplers, sante!

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