Thursday, August 02, 2007

In search of gentleness

I've been writing a piece for Wine & Spirit on small (less than 10,000 cases) producers, and as is often my wont, the deadline is somewhere in the distant past. So this morning, I set the alarm for 5:30, got up early and had polished it off by 9. A good job too, as I'd promised the editor I'd eat a copy of the Argentine supplement that came with the August issue if he didn't have it by first thing.

Then I went back to bed for a couple of hours, woke up just as the rest of the family was setting off up to Pots & Pans, and decided I'd have an early lunch rather than a late breakfast. Having written 1500 words by 9am, I felt just a bit smug and figured I deserved a glass of wine. A trawl through the sample rack revealed five wines with screwcaps, so feeling lazy, I thought I'd just try these. Any half-decent wine writer never has a shortage of wine to taste, but usually they're not always the wines you want to drink. Expressed mathematically...

A = Enthusiasm of PR Company OR Budget of Marketing Depertment
B = Quality

A x B is a constant

So there I was, lunch ready to go, but unable to find a wine I wanted to drink. Yes, all five were OK, but there's a cheesy old adage that says 'Life is too short to drink bad wine' and like many cheesy old adages, it's true. I didn't mind tasting these wines, and if someone had given me a glass of any of them at a party or over dinner, I'd have drunk it. But given the choice, I wanted something more stimulating. I ended up pulling the cork on a more ambitious Portuguese red, Quinta da Romaneira from the Douro. I can't fault its concentration, nor its complexity. But a nice gentle lunchtime quaffer? Dans mes rĂªves...

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