Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Wine Dinner Wipeout

Well, the Wine Dinner certainly was a lot of fun, and I certainly have been paying the price for such reckless abandon on a Monday night.

My new belt performed its sartorial duties with aplomb. The only problem was that the more I had to drink, the more I considered the belt to be an interesting topic of conversation: ‘Ah, yes, really bad news about your acrimonious divorce - ran off with the trainee didn’t he, how dreadful (pause) - do you like my new belt?’

The belt did take its revenge by gradually tightening its grip across my stomach over the course of the evening. Just my luck to buy a belt with sadistic tendencies. I suppose it just became tired of battling against the tide of food and drink I was consuming, and annoyed at finding no support in this unequal struggle from my stretchy trousers. I have noticed that I am starting to look for the lycra component in trousers in the same way that some people look for the percentage of cocoa solids in chocolate. Anything less than 70% and I’m not buying.

Anyway, the Wine Dinner aperitif was one of those very fashionable award-winning English sparkling wines (this was a Ridgeview, but I have also tried Nyetimber before). Now, I don’t wish to be disloyal to the English winemaking industry, but delightful as these fizzies are, I think they are really expensive (the Ridgeview is around £18). There is so much good cava and prosecco around, that I just wouldn’t pay the money for this. I suppose there would be some huge cachet in serving it at a drinks party and braying to fellow competitors about your ‘sourcing of local produce, darling,’ but you might just as well serve cider and say the same thing. In fact, it may just be me, but there is an unmistakeable hint of cider about these English sparkling wines. I love cider (I have an emergency can of Strongbow lurking at the back of the fridge) but I wouldn’t pay twenty quid a bottle for it.

Having ‘mingled’ to excess, it was a relief to sit down and enjoy the whites – a young, citrussy Australian riesling (as I suspected there would be) and a rich Chilean chardonnay which had a lovely long finish.

Talking to the organiser, it seems that my problems with riesling all stem from my over-reliance on choosing wine by grape type, and ignoring the vintage. Quite frankly, I always feel that for my level of wine enjoyment (I just want to drink it, not have its babies) knowing which grape types I like is sufficient. Not so with riesling. The petrol-tasting rieslings which I can’t stand are the older vintages, which are also more expensive. The younger wines, with their crisper, more mineral taste are the ones I like, and they cost less too. I always have been a bit of a cheap date.

The reds were a peppery St Joseph (Rhone Valley) and a rich, warm Argentinian Chacayes (cabernet sauvignon and malbec) which made me want to hunt down and savage a raw steak. Certainly, the beefy young waiter seemed to be rather nervous around me. I think he was worried I might try and lasso him with my new belt.

Finally, the pudding wine was a wonderfully light Napa Valley moscato. Thankfully this delicate peachy brew is only 8%, and at that stage in the proceedings, it could make the difference between getting out of bed the next morning or not.

Talking of which, I think I need to lay off the wine tonight, and aim for a Drunk Mummy Detox - a bacon and egg butty, cup of tea and a good night’s sleep.


Pig in the Kitchen said...

Ha Ha, I do that fixating on a pointless item (a belt) and then regaling everyone with its properties! Interesting wine review, I have also never paid much attention to vintages and was educated recently by a french friend (and unlike you I don't look at grapes, I look at price - pleb) all very fascinating.

I do admire your energy on a Monday night, hope you feel better tomorrow!
Could you describe the belt a bit? I seem to think it has some sparkly bits on it, am i right?!

expatmum said...

I never remember what a "sartorial" anything is? If you have the time, could you explain please?

Omega Mum said...

Very erudite. I can totally sympathise with belt issue. Particularly enjoyed the lycra versus chocolate percentage comparison.

Mya said...

Great fun. Enjoy your night off - I'm sure your liver will!

beta mum said...

My dad is a Big Wine Expert - he does know lots and I've had some great wines chez lui in my time.
And he too says there is good Reisling.

DJ Kirkby said...

Giggle, Snicker, Chortle, Guffaw, LOL! May I reccomend Milk Thistle capsules as an excellent liver restorative, available in all fine health food stores. Must go laugh over your belt and lycra comments again...

Heidi said...

I love your attitude to wine: 'I just want to drink it, not have its babies', well put. For someone who consumes vast quantities of it, I know very little about wine. Mostly, if it's there, I'll drink it. I am Fnnish and in our culture it's about quantity, not quality. But I do have a soft spot for Riesling, esp the new Aussie ones.

debio said...

So funny and so informative, drunk mummy. I think I shall fund research into whether people could ever grow lycra in their legs - a sort of Botox for the buttocks - thus enjoying the support without having to wear any!

Stay at home dad said...

Personally I find I'm on much safer ground when confining my dinner party conversation to items of clothing. Then again...

And please count me in for the DM Detox. Bacon & egg sounds like my kind of healthy alternative!

Mopsa said...

French bro-in-law knows little about wine, although thinks he does because of his birth. Any wine originating out of France is "wine for idiots" according to him. This would stand up better if the wine he brought with him from France was more quaffable than your average Australian plonk.

Drunk Mummy said...

pig - yes I've been up and shadow-boxing around the kitchen today.
Sadly the belt isn't as interesting as you are imagining. It is a wide suede belt in a rather boring neutral shade!

expat mum - to me 'sartorial' means anything that isn't machine-washable black.

omega mum - thank you! and thank God for lycra!

mya - it's a rare treat for my liver!

beta mum - I like the sound of your Dad - what is his favourite wine?

dj kirkby - I reckon the bacon and egg butty is a lot tastier than milk thistle capsules though!

heidi - the Finns sound like good party people to me!

debio - Buttock Botox - what an inspired idea! I'm sure it will be feasible, with the advent of nanotechnology.

SAHD - The Drunk Mummy Detox always works a treat (until the day of the heart attack, that is).

Mopsa - Argggh! I hate wine snobs!
He probably brings you ropey wine because you are British, and he thinks you would be happy drinking any old junk. The cheek of it!