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Cooking - meditation or meal?

There are wines to drink with food and wines to drink when you just want to drift away in your own thoughts.

Arguably, food wines are the easier recommendation to make: if it goes with beef/fish/cheese for one person, odds are it will for quite a few others. Of course there’s still room for personal taste and chianti would be my default (although perhaps that’s the result of liking tomatoey Italian food…).

Vini da meditazione are much more of a nightmare to recommend. The particular scent or taste that sets you off down memory lane is unlikely to do quite the same for someone else. Good Barolo does it for me, with Mascarello’s Monprivato being one I remember with particular happiness.

But where does that leave us when we’re cooking? Ignoring the easy occasions when there’s wine going into the dish and you’re ‘compelled’ to avoid wasting the rest of it, what is the wine to drink when you are settling into a long session of pleasure-cooking (or baking), with your favourite music playing and nobody in the vicinity to bother you? Do you choose a food wine or is your cooking a form of meditation?


Great question. I’ll often default to a sherry when cooking for some reason, usually amontillado. If not sherry then something bubbly and not too challenging.


We have wine with dinner every evening, but never have wine on its own… except on Sunday when 40-30 minutes before dinner I open a bottle of sparkling wine as an aperitif.

If it’s a 75cl bottle then we have another aperitif on Monday :slight_smile:


It’s Friday, the dough’s rising, the burger patties are made and in the fridge, the fire in the wood oven is roaring and I’m meditating with a Negroni on the sun lounger… I could be in the Med.



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Well I do.



That sounds amazing.

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Well said. I find it interesting that people think this is a legitimate thing to ask. You don’t see anyone asking how much sugar you eat, how much butter you add to your meals or how much exercise you take. When the scientists identify a nice, neat number for alcohol consumption, however, our adherence to that becomes fair game.

I’m happy to offer my own answer: around 30 units a week, ie 3 bottles of good wine. On one holiday - a fortnight in a cottage on a dune next to a stunning beach in Northumberland - I had close to 200 units, thanks to lots of great wine, a pub 5 minutes along the beach with its own micro brewery and mead brewed on a certain holy island. Too much? Of course but I also had an hour’s run on the sand and dunes each morning, walked the dog, ate beautiful fresh things and completely de-stressed.

It’s a fortnight my wife and I would never change. Live and let live.


The Ship Inn by any chance?

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Yep - you’ve been?

i do apologise. Your right its none of my business,
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Very sorry


Many times, though not in recent years. Ovingham Cubs used to go every year for a day on the beach which is when I first went there back in the 70s and it was always a treat to go at other times. I dream of having one of the bothies in those dunes.

Well, it’s never too late… We didn’t want to leave, to be honest. We stayed at Risemoor, the national trust cottage there. The website had boasted of a “1 minute walk to the beach” and we took that with a pinch of salt. Then we arrived, and it turned out that was an over-estimate. Our little dog took about 40 seconds at a gentle trot before he reached the endless golden sands and went a bit mental. I remember turning to the right and seeing a silhouetted castle, thinking “this doesn’t happen very often.”


Yes, that stretch of coast is a perennial favourite, been going to Low Newton and Embleton for over 30 years now, initially with my parents as a sprig and now with my family, both the Ship and the Grey’s in Embleton are lovely. The walk from Seahouses to Caster along the beach is awesome… via the Crater Arms at Beadnell, the Ship, Dunstanburgh Links golf club and then finishing off at the Jolly in Craster… :rofl: Beautiful part of the world.


We were to have a two week holiday in that part of the world in June. All hotels have been cancelled now as we won’t be going 'cos of you know what…

Yep, we’ve two weeks booked in August, every possible limb crossed at the moment we can still go…

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I tend to open what I fancy drinking rather than worry too much about what I’m eating. With special bottles I am usually more thoughtful, though not always.

Baking and bread making is normally done during the day so it is rare I drink along side.

But I like to have a glass of something when I am making tea. But I suppose I am at my most meditative late at night and then port and madeira come into their own.

I bought a copy of Roger Scruton’s “I drink therefore I am” which had a great deal on what wine to drink with various cultural experiences, moods etc. However when he started on about whether lettuces have intention I lost heart and put it aside.


Sometimes cooking can be a chore, but mostly it is enjoyable, and yes, I would say a form of relaxation or meditation. A glass of fizz always goes down well, but I have no specific wine that I would open. Usually, it’s something that’s in the fridge or that I’ve been looking forward to opening.

Just occasionally you open something that stops you in your tracks and when this is without food, I guess that makes it a mediation wine.