Two fine wines make everything alright

Raymond Gleug
Raymond Gleug

I’m currently reading a biography of Leonard Cohen. He had a very privileged upbringing, wrote many beautiful poems and songs, drank a lot of fine wines, travelled the world, seduced an unseemly amount of women who were far too glamorous for him and yet he rarely seemed happy.

Poor Laughing Len, he must have been drinking the wrong wines.

That’s not a fate which will await you, dear tipplers, if you follow my advice and invest a mere £8 in today’s WINE OF THE WEEK, the smoky, supple and nicely balanced 2016 M&S Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.

Dark cherry and plum flavours dominate an exuberantly juicy palate before a lingering finish with hints of dried fruit, spice and toasted hazelnuts.

This Italian red went wonderfully well with the baked sausages with tomatoes, butterbeans and harissa lovingly prepared by my darling wife, the redoubtable Madame G., at our lovely home, Rose Cottage.

Schopenhauer diagnoses Len’s problem thus: “life swings like a pendulum between pain and boredom”.

Essentially, what he was referring to was that we all suffer the pain of want- whether for food, money, sex etc and then once that want is satisfied we gradually become bored.

Our boredom is then replaced by our next desire which causes us a new sensation of pain until it in turn is fulfilled and we get bored again. Ennui, the poets call it.

Artistic types tend to feel pain even more acutely than normal mortals like yourself.

As a general rule, the happier and more even-tempered a person is, the less there is going on upstairs. Look around you for proof! It won’t take long.

Schopenhauer prescribes the disengagement of the will for relief from the pain of existence, something which he assures us can be achieved through aesthetic contemplation.

If that all sounds a bit too complex and fancy-schmancy, well I wholeheartedly agree with you and suggest that instead you put on a nice record by anyone other than the Bard of the Bedsit and pour a glass of today’s second recommendation, the exceptionally fresh, fragrant, zippy and zesty 2016 Kumala Reserve Chenin Blanc (Tesco, £7.50).

A luscious palate full of round, gently spiced fruit flavours with bright citrussy backnotes combines with grassy aromatics and hints of mineral in this racy, refreshing white which will also be an ideal match to your roast chicken on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

It’s a very rare pain that can’t be assuaged by a glass of vino and singing along to a happy tune. Mozart’s Queen of the Night for me!