Banish the blues with empathy and Italian wine

I am saddened to report that it is a particularly cold and wet evening as I write to you.

Just like last night and the night before. And tomorrow night as well, most likely.

Earlier today, the 1st of June, I got drenched cycling through a hailstorm. Outside the walls of my lovely home, Rose Cottage, the winds still howl and a soft rain falls. Inside, my darling wife, the illustrious Madame G., looks like she too might howl and let her tears fall softly as she doesn’t quite ask aloud why she ever let me talk her into marrying me and moving to this God-forsaken country. The only acceptable answer to this question was to pour that noble, long-suffering lady a very large glass of today’s WINE OF THE WEEK, the sombre, brooding and remarkably intense 2011 Tereldego Rotaliano (£5.99, Lidl). Full-bodied and fruity, with pronounced black cherry and plum flavours alongside captivating violet aromatics, this satisfyingly savoury, delicately spiced and gently oaked Italian red was a perfect accompaniment to my Madame’s delectable lasagne.

The truth of why she is here has more to do with my exceptionally handsome looks, which the photo above this column does no justice to at all, than anything else. Oh, I take no credit in my matinee idol appearance. Tis a mere accident of birth and a burdensome privilege at best to be this good-looking. Having a charming personality is just the icing on the cake. The cherries on top would be my modest nature. And my gift for empathy. “Oh, ma chere Madame,” I counselled, “I fully appreciate how difficult it can be for one from fairer foreign climes to adapt to the cruel vagaries of our awful climate, even after so many years. Lord knows, it can be tough enough for us natives. But I promise you the good times will be here soon.

“Soon it will be time to sit out on the patio, cooing like a pair of lovebirds as we enjoy long balmy evenings sipping today’s second recommendation,” I went on, “the crisp, complex, elegant and superbly rounded 2014 Garda Pinot Grigio (£5.49, Lidl). This delicate Italian white has a floral bouquet before a rich citrussy palate with plenty of grapefruit and lemon flavours and nutty undertones lead to gloriously refreshing, tingly finish. One for a light chicken salad.” Inside, however, I doubted myself, all these promises to keep that I never should have made, and I wondered if I could live up to this; was I good for just a kiss and not a legendary love? Thankfully, it takes two legendary hearts to make a marriage work and to withstand the brutality of an Irish summer. Or, failing that, one heart that’s as big as a truck, which sounds just like my Madame. Till next week, tipplers, sante!