Thursday 17 March 2011

Looking for Legs

I’m in Spain with three generations of my family.
We’re on a mission to decorate the house in preparation for my (future) in-laws visit.
They’re coming over from Colombia for the wedding in May, which may sound far off but then you haven’t seen what there is to do.
As I write this, my hands still smell of white spirit.
To date, I have painted three doors and my slippers.
In addition to improving our house for the special occasion, we’ve also been exploring possible refreshments.
You may have heard of the fine supermarket ‘Lidl’.
Forget the branch in South East London, the outlet in the nearby Catalan town is sheer quality and boasts an exciting variety of wines.
Whether they taste exciting is another matter.
On Tuesday we invest in a healthy selection ranging from 0.99 cents to 4.99€
The plan is to open a bottle (or two) each evening and mark it out of five stars.
First, we sniff.
“Rounded,” someone says, “Sort of.”
Then we taste, carefully.
Is that a hint of cherry?
Or is it blackcurrant?
Perhaps it’s Oak?
I read the label of the Navarra Reserva (expensive at 3.99).
“Tobacco and leather,” it says.
I’m not sure I want my drink to taste of either.
As our tasting continues, I get a sneaking suspicion we’re not connoisseurs.
“The question is, does it have legs?” My auntie says.
She swirls the wine around her glass and holds it up.
“What does that mean?”
Supposedly, if the wine has legs, it will visibly trickle down the side of the glass, (the inside of the glass that is).
The first wines we try are vinegary, get low scores and don’t have any legs.
The next lot are only marginally better.
On Day three we open a Rioja Reserva.
It doesn’t sting my nose when I sniff it, which is a good start.
It’s smoother on the tongue and I wonder if the previous acidic wines have numbed my taste buds.
I don’t swirl it around in my glass because I’m afraid I’m going to spill it and with seven of us drinking, there’s not loads to go round. My Grandmother is far from impressed with the tiny trickle in her glass and suggests we open another.
Does the Rioja have legs?
“It has more legs than a centipede,” Mum concludes.
It certainly gets the highest score at 23.5 out of 35.
But it’s not over yet.
There are still more to go.
The suspense... is palpable.

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