Let’s call him Vladimir. Alternatively, Raymond Gleug.
He stands alone in the sparse shelter of a few forlorn bare branches, staring at his battered old phone which rings loudly. His customary practice is to keep it on silent, wilfully ignoring it, then checking who it is much later.
And if they pass muster, to return the call at a time of his own choosing. But he is expecting a particularly important call today regarding an urgent property matter from a man who is even more adept at phone politics than himself so he sighs deeply and answers his bloody phone.
“Hi Raymond,” the chirpy voice exclaims,”it’s Duncan here from the property company!” Without pausing for breath Duncan continues, “I am sooooo sorry, Raymond, but there’s still no news. The bank say they need to make some additional checks and that it will be another 3-5 working days and, yes, I know they’ve said that five times before but this time they assure me that they really, really mean it. Ultimately, Raymondo, it’s a waiting game”.
“Yes,” I answer (for Raymond Gleug is, believe it or not, my own name) “but, Dunkie, everyone knows that Godot never comes. Does he, I wonder, even exist?”.
A perplexed, nonplussed Duncan promises to keep me posted so I heartily thank him and then head back to my lovely home, Rose Cottage, in doleful spirits to impart the non-news to my devoted wife, the enigmatic Madame G.
She agrees that, despite the stress wreaking havoc with both my ulcers and her sleep, the best thing we can do while playing this interminable waiting game is to pour ourselves a glass or four, maybe even six, of decent wine.
Like myself, tipplers, you’ve been waiting. Wondering. When, you ask, when is this so-called wine writer going to stop whining and give us a recommendation for the weekend?
Well, comrades, the waiting’s over. For you. Kids must still wait for Christmas. And my Madame and I, we continue to wait, more dead than alive, in the delightful company of today’s WINE OF THE WEEK, the elegant, intriguing and deftly spiced 2020 Pfalz Gewurztraminer (£11.99, Lidl).
This vivacious and versatile just off-dry white has a hint of Turkish Delight on the nose before a juicy palate which teems with melon, peach and lychee flavours while a hint of ginger perks up its lingering finish.
An ideal match to the creamy prawn curry which I rustled up earlier for our supper. It’s also flavoursome enough to liven up your own roast chicken dinners this Sunday or, dare I suggest it, that turkey you’ve got your eye on for December.
Lovers of reds, I will never forget you and, yes, I agree that you’ve waited long enough too.
Today’s second recommendation is the bold, sleek and reassuringly complex 2019 M&S Classics Malbec (£8). This plummy, savoury and easy-drinking Argentinian red has an opulent palate full of tangy blackberry flavours and earthy, pungent spices which are nicely balanced by firm tannins before a lengthy finish with hints of oak, vanilla and lick-your lips liquorice. One for a roast of beef or lamb.
Today’s final selection is the seductively smooth and superbly balanced 2019 Medoc AOC (Lidl, £8.99).
Exceptionally ripe blackcurrant and cherry flavours complement a lively, brambly character in this rustic and robust Bordeaux red which goes wonderfully well with red meat or poultry. As close to sublime as you’ll find in this price range.
“It’s been a long day, mon cher,” says my Madame, “come on up to bed”. A man, Vladimir or Raymond (who knows anymore?), agrees. We’ve waited long enough, he says, let’s just call it a day. Until tomorrow.
But that’s just some other time. They do not move.
Till next week, tipplers, sante!