Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Thoughts On A British Wine ...

I'm not a wine connoisseur or a wine buff. I'm not even a wine snob. If it's wet but also a bit dry, tastes alright and makes the world look just that little bit brighter through the bottom of a bottle of it, I'll drink it. Quite a lot of it to be honest.

So I wasn't entirely worried about the wine I'd carefully selected at a reputable local supplier at a reasonable price last night.....Though for "carefully selected" read "snatched off the shelf," for "reputable local supplier" read "the local Londis" and for "at a reasonable price" read "three for £9.99. What? Don't judge me .... they usually stock a very palatable Pinot for the same deal. *Huffy face*

Not my actual Londis

Anyway, the usual plonk wasn't on the shelves and new bottles filled the space. "How bad can it be?" I thought, grabbing, thrusting over the cash and running (which is how I do absolutely all my shopping).

And the wine looked suitably wine-like; it was in a bottle, it had a label that struck me as Antipodean in origin. It was stuck in the fridge until the sun had gone over the yardarm, the yardarm in this house being just after putting one of the four children to bed and just before that one child decides to come downstairs again.

It was then, after the first taste, that I actually looked at the label, the one they stick on the back that usually guffs on about buxom hillsides and bulging grapes bursting into a citrussy, woody, smoky, fresh, fruity floral experience to enjoy with fish and chicken. (Not once have I seen a bottle that claims "Ace with a kebab." *Sigh*)

This label said many things but the first thing that hit me were the words "British Wine." On the back of the bottle, not the front, not where you could actually see them or anything useful like that. And I felt misled. The name, the label on the front of the bottle, that it was sold in an actual shop had all led me to assume an Australian or New Zealand wine but now, in not very big letters on the back of the bottle, it declared itself to be British. It was like discovering Kylie is actually a docker's daughter from Glasgow.

But no matter, I am nothing if not adventurous in my drinking *shuffles the meths behind a curtain* and I have even, in a previous life, visited an vineyard in deepest Yorkshire and tried their wares with a smile that became increasingly glazed.

We make wine at home out of things like elderflower, dandelions and rhubarb, all of which are much easier to find than a vineyard full of grapes though no doubt if they had been easily accessible we'd have used them too. Through the trial and error that is homemade wine tasting, I have tasted what can only be termed as "some well dodgy wine." Those wines that make you go "Oooh" but not in a good way.

So I took a second taste of The British Wine.

And you know, if you're a homemade winemaker, you get those brews that are a bit iffy... not quite bad enough to throw away and they do the job, but you'd really rather drink creosote. Those bottles you give out as gifts to people you don't really like but have to give something to anyway. Yeah, those. Well, the British Wine tasted JUST like that.

But worse.

It only added insult to appalling injury to notice that it was 8 per cent proof... EIGHT PER CENT. Somewhere on the back of the label it claimed, in even bigger letters than "British Wine": "GREAT FOR PARTIES" but I beg to differ. That's the per cent proof I want to be bailing out the day after a party, not shipping while I'm there.

To be honest I was not enthused .....though I AM thinking of knocking out the results of our own wine production for a fiver a bottle.

*puts on flat cap, pushes barrow* "Gertcha Rhubarb Wine here matey, Rhubarb Wine... "

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