Wine not! It is an answer to a question that I ask myself most evenings.
It starts when I enter the kitchen to cook tea (for me, the Northerner) and dinner (for him, the Southerner). But that is a whole other topic!
I love to cook, I enjoy preparing food from scratch, with a dash of this and a splodge of that. But amongst the chaos of the kitchen worktop, a small empty space happens. Like a black hole amongst the plethora of carrot tops and dug out potato eyes. A black hole that only one thing can fill… the base of a wine glass.
It must be a certain shape wine glass though. I particularly like a set of stumpy ones I bought, with delightful bulbous bowls and short, different coloured, stems.
The wine must be red. Absolutely not French, not even European. New World wines are respectable, particularly Chilean. The grape must be Cabernet Sauvignon, or perhaps Merlot, sometimes a Malbec will suffice.
I take out the corkscrew from the kitchen drawer and have a little chat to it, it is probably my most favourite kitchen gadget after all, and I feel it should know how important it is. I tell the corkscrew that it is time for its daily exercise as I lift the wings up and down as if it is a mad 1980’s aerobics instructor. I position the sharp spiral above my bottle and turn, as my corkscrew friend slowly creaks and groans under the pressure. As I plunge down her wings the cork magically pops up and my wine is free to breath.
The corkscrew is left on the tiny bit of spare kitchen workbench, its reward is to spend the night out of the drawer until I can be bothered to unscrew the cork and put it away.
I pour the wine. I will always love the sound of the air going up into the bottle making the liquid come out in a pleasing glug. You can get about 8 good glugs in my short, coloured stemmed, globular vessels.
The first mouthful is bliss, it feels like velvety blood dripping down my throat – which is an odd comparison when I have actually never drank blood – but I imagine the way a vampire enjoys a good swill of blood, I enjoy that first mouthful of wine the same.
I stand still for a minute and savour the taste, the whole world stands still with me while that thick, rich liquid makes its way into my tummy, warming every inch on the way down. I snap back into reality when I realise whatever I am cooking is burning slightly.
I stir the pan, then have another drink, taste and have another drink, season and have another drink, until the meal is prepared and ready to plate. By this time my glass is empty, should I top it up?