I am not really one for dispensing advice. Well not yet anyway. Too young, not enough white hair, and I don’t yet smoke a pipe. One day I will hand out wisdom in the form of long rambling tales from the comfort of a rocking chair. But until then I will hold my tongue. Well, most of the time.
Today, however, you can imagine me as a wizened old man with a staff and a pipe – a non-magical Gandalf who knows his Pinotage from his Ricoffy if you will – offering you some sound advice that, if heeded, will improve your life.
This weekend I re-found the joys of drinking bubbly straight from the bottle. I love bubbly and Champagne. I love it in flutes, in cups, and in hubcaps; I’ll drink it out of gourds, monkey skulls or Riedel flutes; but there is something simple, sensible and slightly visceral about a long draught of bubbly from a freshly un-corked bottle.
We were at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival. Now I generally shy away from these types of outings, preferring intimate dinners to the swelling masses. I do not trust crowds; their swarming rationale bothers me. So maybe that was the reason I tossed the tasting glass aside and raised a bottle of Villiera Brut Natural 2007 to my lips, drinking deeply and happily.
Oh yeah, we can all be friends. Villiera @ Simonsig.
So here is my advice: next time you raise your eyebrows at people like me who start getting carried away by structure, residual sugar, terroir, phenolics, lead pencil, sweaty saddle, and the faintest aroma of angles breath in the morning followed by grapefruit skin that has been caressed by a uni-cycling dolphin; when you feel the fun being sucked out of drinking wine by blind tastings, medal stickers, competitions, politics and ratings; slowly raise your bottle in one hand and your middle finger in the other and say “sod it” to all the nancy pancy wine bollocks we sometimes get stuck in, and revel in the fresh joyous pleasure of drinking bubbles straight from the bottle.