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Is it life's simple pleasures that really matter the most? Sicilia, mi manchi

I often find myself wondering that acquiring too much knowledge on subjects of the heart (i.e. drinking wine) will eventually spoil the passion and the joy - the thing that creates those special memories and moments. On a normal year, every October, we, the lads (my close friends, second generation Sicilian’s and Italians and I) return to a humble olive grove, in a humble Sicilian town for four days, to harvest Sebastiano’s olives and squeeze the oil. Hoping easyJet will transport us and it back home safely, we aim to have enough of the green gold shared between six of us to last until the following year. In the evenings we pick up some anti pasti and bread then go to the local ‘offy’ with its enormous barrels of local red and white wine and fill spare 5 litre canisters we get from the local agricultural supplies shop with the good stuff, €1.70 per litre. It’s young, fresh, fruity and strong - and so lovely on a warm Sicilian evening. That’s all I need to know at the time. Life is good. What else do I need? So, until I can return I’ll have to make do with The Society’s Sicilian Reserve Red. TN’s Eye’s: Garnets. Nose: Crushed blackberry’s and black pepper. Mouth: smoked cherry wood.
What’s your simple pleasure?


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Great! Here goes: Rugby League, spicy curry and TWS / Exhibition Malbec… all in one :+1::grin:

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My simple pleasure is a warm, dry evening up here in the Highlands with just enough of a breeze that I can sit out in the garden with a glass of wine (any wine!) without being eaten alive by the dreaded midges!

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Chereau-Carre Muscadet, grilled fish/sardines, green beans, outside somewhere in France!

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Not sure I can come up with my own after that, may have to just steal yours!

It’d be a variation on a theme anyway, possibly grilled prawns and rosé, limpets and vinho verde or oysters and an unoaked Bordeaux Blanc somewhere coastal. Seafood, warmth, crusty bread and very dry wine on a coast would definitely have to figure.

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Usually it involves an outdoor meal on the patio of a house we have rented somewhere in the south of France where we have been joined by some very good friends. Sitting enjoying the warmth, the friendship, a home cooked meal vaguely resembling something local with great ingredients and local wine we have bought from a vineyard or wine shop.

Right now it involves our patio, borrowed patio heaters, borrowed chiminea, a wine tasting pack of bottles, and a zoom-led tasting we ignore in favour of the newly rediscovered pleasures of chatting to real 3D people.

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That’s yet another wine added to my next order, thanks to this increasingly expensive to read forum. :astonished:

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With the weather we have all had this winter that is a sentiment we can all aspire to, even without the midges.

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You can’t do that, all those heaters, think of the carbon footprint :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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You might well find that the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is no longer quite such a “no-brainer.”

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Sat on a campsite, in really warm weather, somewhere in France, watching the kids ignore the fact none of their new friends can understand them, drinking great rosé from a pichet. Perfect :star_struck:

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I remember camping close to Royan on the coast. The wine had a deposit on the bottle which was refunded upon return. Never a problem getting a good night’s sleep. Eventually graduated to gites. Could never hack camping after that.

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I rather hope not as I have just bought a further 24 with the recent discount (=£6.67 a bottle)and I still have 9 in the kitchen rack…

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I really like the simplicity of what you advocate. Warm satisfaction is not complex. As you say it often goes back to what you found perfect in the past. For us that is drinking a bottle of Pouilly Fume that has the gun flint flavour. Difficult to find these days (advice welcome). The other difficult ingredient is a warm evening, which of course is much rarer in Suffolk than in Sicily.

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I did feel a little guilty but they saved our evening from illegality. Role on the next phase of unlocking the lockdown when we can repeat the process indoors.

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Love Royan. And Mimizan Plage. (And St. Jean de Luz and Collioure and Greece…and…and…:smiley:)

I miss travel, not anywhere specific so much, just the ability to go somewhere else that isn’t here.

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Interesting to note that so far people’s simplest pleasures seem to involve a glass of wine abroad… Maybe Pip Larkin was onto something when he wrote ‘Home is so sad’… :thinking:
Either that or we just can’t wait to break free from this prolonged house arrest. Here’s to travel plans rejuvenated!

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Just enjoying a glass of Chablis and Beethoven’s 4th symphony.

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A bowl of well made tomato pasta with a glass of Chianti. Here it is great; in Italy would be even better!

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Not really interested to go abroad @Inbar, happy to stay at home as long as I can have my 2 closest friends in my house, good food and wine. This is all about control now by the separatist zealots nothing else.

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