What is it about wine? Why do we as a species rate it so highly? And who on earth invented it? What accident or providence led them to stumble upon it? Surely it is a gift from God for I can see no other reason for its discovery.
And why do we like it so, well for one thing it is alcoholic. And what does alcohol do for us? Well it makes us feel good, it puts us in another state; usually one from which we yearn to escape.
Wine is the key to escapism.
And in these rough and ready times with rioters and terrorists lurking seemingly at every corner who wouldn’t want to escape?
Today I escaped with a bottle of white. Innocent white, pure white. It was from the Loire Valley; a little know vineyard run by Isabelle Suire from Pouant where her father is the Mayor. She took over from her father not too long ago (2006) and the wine produced is sublime!
It is fresh and clean with a hint of mint or so my eldest says and who am I to gainsay him on his first trip to a vineyard and tasting? Wild mint does grow in the area. So perhaps he has a future as a master of wines when he is older? I think I could live with that. It certainly goes down well as I can attest. It travels too; well the 500 or so miles from the Loire to Suffolk doesn’t seem to have made a difference at all. It tastes of summer, of family, of sunflowers and lazy evenings. Swallows in the clear blue sky.
Isabelle has won many awards for her wine and I would say rightly so; but the ones I can find all relate to her Red wine, which The Boy said tasted of cherries and strawberries. It was certainly good but I would say you would be a fool to miss her whites and as for her Cremant de Loire, well at only £6.40 a bottle it was a steal.
I did not meet Isabelle, only her father. He was wonderful, just as you would expect a Marie to be, especially as my son is only eight and was tasting wine as if it was going out of fashion but the rules one applies when one is at home quickly vanish when one is on holiday. And I was interested in my son’s view point. A palate untouched by snobbery by anything but exactly what he thought.
Yes, he heard us muttering soulful things as we tried to convince each other, or possibly just ourselves what we thought but his was an innocent view point and however hard he might have tried to impress, he was not so old that he could dissemble what was really there.
So when he said he tasted grapes, strawberries, mint, caramel and cherries, I knew he spoke the truth.
Of course he showed off, what eight year old does not in a group of adults who hang off every word?
He enjoyed it I hope, I did.
And so when I taste the wine I am transported back to the courtyard of Isabelle Suire, the great big oak barrels, the ancient bottles covered in dust and cob webs, the chill of the caves and the sultry heat of an August evening, the broken down ping pong table and the bar where my son took his first tasting. Who would not appreciate such a wine?