So my mother is still in this habit of buying dirty red wine, storing it with the rest of her booze, then some weeks later insisting that I take it home, given that she doesn’t actually drink red. Apart from this, she’s got all her marbles, I swear.
This time it’s everyone’s favourite critter wine:
I decided on Monday that the best thing for it was to reduce the bejaysus out of it in some kind of improvised chicken/veg one-pot, masking its grot with as many herbs and as much black pepper as the stomach can take. Against all odds - and my culinary ‘skills’ - we both actually quite enjoyed the resulting sauce.
In the interests of science, I also poured myself a small glass. The first wave of attack on the nostrils came in the form of sickly-sweet oak chips, followed quickly by an isolated rush of meths enough to make even Withnail think twice about taking a sip. This all seemed to be encased in what could only be described as undiluted Ribena that had been left open on the countertop since 1986. I found that my tongue was jutting out of my mouth involuntarily, like it was making a desperate bid for freedom. It was a fascinating experience.
Anyway, for some reason I decided that evening against a second glass, so about a third of the bottle was left in the warm kitchen, my hope being that if it turned into vinegar, it might actually achieve some kind of balance.
Well, I’ve just tried some more and I can honestly say it’s better. I mean, the bar was set mighty low, but all those nasty components have pulled together into something only moderately nasty. There are some anonymous jammy dark fruits, a harshness that suggests it’s been spiked with student union vodka, and sugar on the palate that fails to mask the bitterness of shoddy raw materials, but it’s just about manageable.
I might even pour myself another one.