My dear ladies and occasional gentleman, please bare with me as these little jottings are an attempt at thedrunkencyclist.com ‘Wine Writing Challenge’

Oh dear a magpie has just flown across the window, that doesn’t bode well for Jeff’s wine writing challenge, not that I am superstitious. But I did salute him, right hand to forehead, whilst saying, “Good day Mr Magpie how are you today? How’s your wife and children on this fine day.

Perhaps it was a crow, after all I did get excited this morning when I saw a hare out of the window, until I peeked through the binoculars and noted that it was in fact a pheasant!

What has this all got to do with wine you may ask and the answer would be, nothing!  So I had better get on as I have used up 142 of my 1000 words.

What do I know about wine I am sorry to say not a lot but I do enjoy drinking it. When I was a child there wasn’t any wine drunk or kept at home.

My father had a spell of making elderberry wine and it was maturing in the pantry in a wonderful old stoneware barrel with a bung in the side.

One memorable day my brother accidently knocked the BUNG out. It was like the ‘LITTLE DUTCH BOY’ trying to put his finger in the DYKE. As fast as we tried whilst slipping and sliding in the brilliant purple juice, we could not get the bung back in. The ELDERBERRY tide washed over our white socks and sandals on its way to spread across the kitchen floor like a PURPLE TSUNAMI covering everything in its path.

We stood and stared as it seemed like twice as much liquid had come out than could ever had been inside the barrel. We were THUNDERSTRUCK WITH FEAR. This was big! Bigger than the MARROW RUM incident!

My dad’s forays into home brewing had started with a net shopping bag, an extremely large marrow, some brown sugar and an airing cupboard. Apparently this is all you need to make marrow rum.

Having previously cut the top off the marrow, he scooped out the seeds, filled it up with dark brown sugar and put the top back on. Then he placed said marrow inside the net and hung it in the warm space in the AIRING CUPBOARD between my mother’s pristine WHITE COTTON bed sheets.

The MARROW RUM dripped from the bottom of the netted marrow into the waiting receptacle nestled below. We were instructed not to open the airing cupboard door as a constant heat needed to be maintained.

My sensible mother ignored this rule of course as she went about her housewifely duties, not amused about the miss-use of her laundry aid as she slapped her linen down huffily.

A few weeks later we were sat at the table at tea-time when there was a strange WHOOMPH from upstairs. The smell was INTOXICATING as we all trooped upstairs to the landing to find liquid seeping from underneath the airing cupboard door.

As my father gingerly opened the airing cupboard door, my mother’s face was a picture and on my father’s face was FEAR.  The MARROW had exploded! You cannot imagine the mess it had made.

My brother and I were just glad that this mess for once was nothing to do with us.

Which brings me back to the PURPLE PERIL, there was no way we were going to be able to conceal our crime. Our only chance was damage limitation but as fast as we tried to mop it up, more seem to appear. We had a growing pile of purple tea-cloths and towels but a never-ending supply of ELDERBERRY JUICE, so there was only one thing left to do.

My mother had been hanging out the washing but as we heard her footsteps approach the back door we both spontaneously burst into TEARS. With the MARROW RUM incident seared into our mother’s memory and her soft heart, we knew crying was guaranteed to extricate us from a potentially sticky situation with our father.

So that was my introduction to ALCOHOL but I am happy to say that my adult experiences are a definite improvement, although that MARROW RUM did taste delicious, licked off a sneaky finger.

My favourite wines are WHITE. I still haven’t managed to educate my palate to a red, although my husband is always trying to convince me of their merits.

A couple of years ago we cruised down the RHINE and oh how I enjoyed the wines of this wonderful region. The wine from German is particularly LIGHT and DELICATE. Unfortunately because of the market flood of CHEAP SWEET WINES in the 70’s people are a bit SNIFFY about GERMAN wines and won’t try them

REISLING is the KING of white wines from the RHINE and the most important grape. It is thought to have originated from various wild vines on the Upper Rhine in the 11th and 12th centuries. The grape  “RHINE REISLING” was first mentioned in the 15th century and the heat-storing mineral slate soil of the RHINE and MOSELLE gives the wine its UNIQUE TASTE. The wines are striking for their fine crisp, tangy, elegant and fruity flavour; though often thought of as sweet, most are either dry or off-dry.  

Reisling has now found a home in the New World, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa where it is proving to be well-suited.  You may not know that the famous ICE-WINES of Canada are mostly made of Reisling.

I went through a dodgy period of drinking ROSE but you need to buy wisely as some are too sweet for my taste.

I am finding it difficult to tear myself away from the German wines so as yet I have not sampled the New World wines.

But my dear ladies and occasional gentleman let us set forth together, and sip a few like the HUMMINGBIRD MOTH, then share results.

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