Sunday, August 10, 2008


I felt like doing show and tell with wine today. So here are two wines we've enjoyed in the last few weeks. The first is a wine from Verona, a Valpolicella, bought for us by a friend (hi Pam!) which we drank the other day when I hit the 50,000 word mark on Hild. It was lovely: soft-spoken, but with a kind of fruity heft just right for the hot-day-turning-to-perfect-evening. Despite the softness, it had some structure (unlike those flabby American merlots that everyone in the world except me thinks are so fine, pah). These were grapes from a land under cultivation for millennia. Well-bred, with a hint of steel. We spent an hour on that wine and a handful of walnuts as the sun was going down. Dragonflies added their titanium zip overhead; lamb and sausage braised with onions in the kitchen. We smiled at each other a lot, feeling full, and tired, and happy from a day's good work.

The second is the wonderful 21-year old Rioja we drank at our anniversary dinner.

Now this had more than a hint of steel, it was like a Toledo blade. Aromatic, haughty, as structured as a gothic cathedral. Brilliant, beautiful, the colour of an Anglo-Saxon garnet. And the dinner itself was wonderful. (There's a little bit, including the menu, in an earlier blog post here.)

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