The mysteries of wine and love revealed

Is it better to love someone because of their virtues or despite their faults?

By An Occasional Tipple With Raymond Gleug
Saturday, 30th April 2022, 10:00 am
An Occasional Tipple With Raymond Gleug
An Occasional Tipple With Raymond Gleug

My feeling is that you fall in love with someone because of the good qualities you suspect they may possess and then the slow revelation of their many infuriating flaws tortuously test the strength of your love. Every day.

For the rest of your life. Their shortcomings become the evidence of your utterly selfless love. Proof of how wonderful (or foolish) you are.

I mention this because you can apply the same test to wine.

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I love wine because its beauty fascinates and endlessly intrigues; it makes me feel happy and relaxed and, not least, because it goes so nicely with my evening meal.

I relate to it because I too, like a good wine, seem to get better as I grow older. I love wine despite the fact that it has occasionally made me feel sick, weak and ashamed of myself; it has caused me to say things that I have later regretted and made me appear like a fool with purple lips and a purple tongue.

It’s exactly like love.

Most recently, a tantalising drop that has tested my love in the most pleasurable fashion has been today’s Wine of the Week, the taut, bone-dry and very elegant 2021 Winemaker’s Selection Clare Valley Riesling (£6.99, Lidl).

This sophisticated Australian white has a complex palate with well-judged minerality alongside hints of citrus and floral notes before a lengthy, satisfying finish.

An ideal match for simply cooked salmon or trout dishes.

Of course, it’s not much of a test of your devotion if it doesn’t leave you with purple lips.

You can then ask your partner to prove their love by kissing them. Step forward today’s second recommendation, the big, brash, bold and resoundingly fruity 2020 Casillero del Diablo (£6.50, Tesco).

An abundance of ripe blackberry and plum flavours combine pleasingly on the palate before a lengthy finish with beguiling notes of oak and lick-your-lips liquorice.

One for juicy, succulent lamb chops or steak.

If you’re a vegetarian who feels that meat is murder, just remember that while your partner’s penchant for eating dead animals may seem disgusting to you, it’s also an opportunity for you to prove how much you adore them by somehow looking past it.

Love, however gilt-edged, polymorphous and urban it may be, is here to stay. That should be clear. Have yours with a cauliflower steak instead maybe?

Looking past it may also provide the best possible answer to the age-old question of what love is.

Seeing the same face every morning, hearing the same moans and groans, tolerating the same irritations, day after day and year after year and somehow looking past it, that is ultimately what love is.

Luckily, I don’t have that problem. I’m frozen in the ‘I love you because’ stage with my wonderful wife, the redoubtable Madame G. She’s so great! We’ll be there forever through many lifetimes and we hope that you can join us too some day.

Just keep on going until you reach the far light. Look past faults, don’t look past virtues and while you should always look before you leap in matters of business, in affairs of the heart you must take your courage in your hands and dive right in- that’s the trick.

Till next week, tipplers, sante!