Simple pleasures

By | 01/11/2017

As the mother of three small children it’s been a while since I was the one on the receiving end of a telling off, yet that was exactly what I got during an otherwise most excellent pub dinner in London’s Highgate. Those of you who know me will not be surprised to hear the person dishing out the scolding was my biffles and fellow IWMer, Jane. The subject matter was this site, or more specifically my lack of contribution. It would be fair to say both Jane and I have long got over the shame it moving from The Independent Wine Monthly to The Independent Wine Occasionally but clearly, things had gone beyond the pale. And having not long uploaded a flurry of pieces, she was occupying the moral high ground. With quite some relish apparently.

Anyway, I’ll spare you the details of and the excuses for my slackness, but it was obviously the motivational speech I needed. Despite having recently found myself with a bed on the flight home, I forsook not only its embrace but also the new Tatler on my iPad to instead finally finish and upload an article. Plus write the outlines of several more. There’s nothing like a Capricorn displaced from a high horse, especially by a Scorpio.

So then. It is said that to say something in a complicated way is easy but to find a way to say it simply can be very difficult indeed. Wine it seems, runs a neat parallel. So many try too hard, convoluted to the point of contrivance; all too few speak their complexity with simple ease.

The 2014 Prophet’s Rock Central Otago Dry Riesling is firmly in the latter camp, neatly illustrating how deceptive the concept simplicity can be. One could quite easily overlook its layered depths, so tightly are they held at first. Allowed to unfurl, it reveals a rich waxy citrus and honeyed brûlée fragrance with a compact, concentrated palate, lively and precise with a graceful complexity. It just keeps giving in the glass, delivering as much pleasure on the nose as the palate, suggesting good things for the future. Yet there’s nothing forced or overly complicated about this wine, it’s just the variety grown well in a good place, made thoughtfully and allowed to speak clearly.

It seems fitting too, to write of this wine as it was its very maker who recommended the aforementioned pub of my ignominy, and as it’s made from the variety that is Jane’s guilty pleasure (she may protest but reader, I have photos to prove otherwise).

As much as it pains me to admit it (and oh how it does), Jane was right. This site is the place where we enjoy writing the most. Unfettered by responsibilities to reader demographics or editorial themes, beholden to none, we can instead write simply for the sheer pleasure of it. It’s good to be back.

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