Cope with perhaps the last summer wine


Other examples are marriage, divorce, childbirth, bereavement, change of job or, if you can still remember, the transition from elementary school to secondary school and on to university.

What do all of these things have in common? Think, Dougal, think! Well Tippler, you’re a lot smarter than Dougal, so you’re all going to say, “It’s a change of archetype, isn’t it? Can I have a P, please, Bob? ”

And of course you are right. Once you were single, now you are engaged. Once you were a child, now you are an adult. Once you’ve been a renter, you can escape and travel the world in no time. Now part of the house is yours and you have to stay there for the next 25 years or so, weighing each morning until the damn mortgage you longed, flattered and begged for is finally paid off.

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Occasional drinker with Raymond Gleug

“So what?” sang Plato’s ghost “What then?” Then, dear drinkers, you must accept another shift in archetype – from a respected member of the community – a productive worker (a contributor) to an idle retiree (a dependent) – viewed by many with almost as much disdain and suspicion as a savage one Teenager. Only death awaits you. Everything about as happy as a passage by Beckett, which is voiced sonorously by Morrissey, to the melancholy music of Satie. Enough to make a man drink. And yet we have to deal with changes in the archetype there too. Because while the sun is shining as I write this today and I’m still happy to be sitting in the garden of my lovely Rose Cottage sipping a chilled white wine with a bagel of smoked salmon and cream cheese, we all know this to be true the row is the edge of the end. Soon we will have to acknowledge autumn is here and retreat inside to eat big, hearty casseroles washed down with equally big, bold shades of red.

Back to the vino, because despite the appearance, this remains a column of wine and not a philosophical treatise. And back to last summer wine that just nodded the shortest heads to be sure that today’s wine of the week of the fabulously fresh and fragrant 2018 AOP Paris Valley Road is Chardonnay (£ 11.50, Wine Society, www.thewinesociety. com or 01438-741177). A theatrically ripe pear and stone fruit nose welcomes a luscious palate full of citrus, peach and crisp, sweet apple aromas, which are cleverly balanced by subtle spice and very subtle nuances of oak and minerality. Lively and piquant, this spicy, wonderfully dry Californian white wine also goes wonderfully with seafood, salads or gently spiced Asian or Mediterranean cuisine. While the archetypal Californian Chardonnay is large, juicy, slightly sweet and full of fruit, this particular drop contradicts the trend and has all the sophistication and sophistication of a maconnais white.

Did anyone mention big, beefy shades of red? But above all, an apology and a blame. Excuse me for tormenting you with my tiresome, pseudo-philosophical ruminations about our dreary existence when you just wanted to know which wine to serve with your roast beef tomorrow. And to blame my beloved wife, the illustrious Madame G., who keeps making up about these things, if only I would like to bury my head in a big, beefy red and forget this nonsense in the desperate hope that everything will pass. It won’t go away. No delicious Californian or maconnais wine will change that.

Did anyone mention a roast beef dinner? And delicious wine? Let’s try, when my madame allows us, to tell us about archetypes, changing seasons and the horror of it all with a glass or ten of the big, beefy (where have I heard that?) And opulently rich 2020 Melini Chianti Governo (£ 9 , Tesco) with a wonderfully expressive bouquet full of plums, cherries and spices, while dark, juicy berries blend pleasantly on the complex palate, before hints of black pepper and dark chocolate enrich its wonderfully long finish. A pleasure with your Sunday roast or a finely seasoned beef or lamb casserole.

And yet and yet, is that the truth? Are we archetypes or are we fluent? Can we learn to deal with change? Is it all just misery, piled up with misery? Or are there not also sublime changes? And isn’t change part of the never-ending (that is, until the end) joy of life? When beautiful wine, delicious food, love, sex, laughter, and our fleeting joys teach us everything, then life is good even if it’s not fair. And the fact that it brings change and has to end, well, who knows, that might be a good thing, but also an unfair thing, hey? See you next week, drinker, Sante!

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