We have a small vineyard behind the farm and the grapes picked from it every October are crushed and transformed into a vicious homebrew, affectionately called “poison”. This is my husband’s primary source of vitamin C.
We had the official tasting ceremony yesterday. He went down to the cellar and filled up a 5 litre plastic container with wine from one of the old oak barrels, before bringing it up into the kitchen and setting it proudly on the table.
He poured himself a generous glass, then stuck his nose in as far as it would go without physically inhaling the stuff and breathed deeply. He swirled it around vigorously, watching his cherished premier cru slosh up the side of the glass, staining it an indelible shade of lurid purple. Then he took a gulp that would have sucked the Thames dry.
“Mmm, pas mal” he said, smiling with self-congratulation. “Much better than last year. Have a taste”.
I took the proffered glass and eyed it suspiciously, looking for signs of wildlife. It wouldn’t be the first time that something had decided to crawl up into the tap of the barrel, before being forcibly evicted into the container along with the wine.
Not being one to stand on ceremony, I took a long swig. It was grip the table, gut-searing, nostril scaldingly bad. My eyes watered.
“Tastes..about…the same as..usual” I stuttered, in a voice that had transmogrified into Yoda’s. “Is it strong?”
“I’ll do the alcohol test on it tomorrow; it’ll probably be about 7%”.
Poison it may be, but unlike most French wines, its bark is a lot worse than its bite.