I have just had a visit from a rather earnest young man, who represents a particular winery in the UK.
I will, for now, not be commenting on the wines but I was amused at his dubiousness that the two girls who are the next generation of the estate he represents, would be up for the job.
My reply, laden with irony, was that there were a few pretty decent women winemakers around and he replied, wide-eyed “Yes, I can’t believe it . . . I’ve even met a few who seem pretty good . . .”
Oh, bless him. I understand he’s off on holiday with his girlfriend; I hope she’s going to use the time fruitfully, to bring him up to speed on 21st-century equality of the sexes.
I shouldn’t be too harsh. Sometimes things just come out the wrong way and you never live it down. I would know. I was once at a wine dinner with an extraordinarily witty and fabulously clever wine editor who filled the room with her larger than life personality and her stories that made me laugh so hard that it hurt to eat. I vividly recall that even my cheeks hurt the morning after.
To help complete the picture, I think of this editor as the wine trade’s answer to Dawn French. They have much in common, including a fairly substantial physical form. We talked and giggled our way through the delicious courses — which seemed to be never ending — and shared a good few glasses of wine too.
The conversation was fast and yet what happened when the first dessert courses appeared is forever etched on my mind.
My plate of delicate pastries appeared and a second was just about to be placed in front of my dining companion when I saw it being waved away.
“I’m not much of a pudding person, to be honest”. “No way . . . really?!!”, I exclaimed in genuine surprise.
The silence that descended was priceless because even I, in my somewhat giddy state, realised that everyone at the table thought I was suggesting that someone of her not so slender size could possibly dislike puddings.
In fact what I was truly wondering was how could anyone turn down desserts in a place where the food had been so blindingly good. I turned as pink as the raspberry sorbet.
Thankfully my companion transpired to be as understanding as she was funny.
One of the wines that we had enjoyed that evening is made by an extremely talented and svelte-like woman.
It seems appropriate that this week’s recommendation should be one of hers. DO Navarra Seis 2009 (£12.75 www.vintageroots.co.uk) is a stylish blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
There’s some modest oak ageing but it’s the ripeness of the fruit that gives this wine its delicious, succulent texture. A great wine to have in stock with autumn just around the corner.