This is what happens when Clemmie misses her bus home.
Clemmie and I, you see, work at the same venerable organisation. We have also been known to aid one another in the noble pursuit of shitfacedness. On occasion.
So when Clemmie misses her bus, there’s really only one thing to be done.
We begin, then, with decorous restraint — neatly polishing off a leftover half of Naked Wines’ rather good Picpoul de Pinet (which I’ll review properly another time). According to Clemmie, this is an outstanding match for Marlboro Lights.
(Though it transpires that just about anything is an outstanding match for Marlboro Lights.)
Picpoul drained, we move onto a nifty Albarino. Now, Albarino is a happy, summery kind of wine, and this was no exception. So it’s hardly surprising that, by the end of the bottle, we are talking about family breakdown and terminal illness. Because THAT’S THE KIND OF CRAZY CATS WE ARE, ALRIGHT?
But I’m afraid, Albarino, I remember little about you. Don’t take it personally.
And (in any case) at this point we welcome Chris — Clemmie’s paramour — and, without ado, bellyflop our way into a bottle of The Wine Society’s Suagna. I’m going to review this’n properly, another time, too. But, for now, let’s just say it’s rather good.
This means it doesn’t last long.
Our next resort is a bottle of Minervois from M&S. Unfortunately, as resorts go, this one is the kind of resort that looks lovely on the website but turns out to feature views of a building site, stinking loos and an all-night death metal club located directly underneath your bedroom.
‘Do you know what this smells of?’ says Clemmie, as I return to my seat.
Chris and I sniff our glasses. Tears rise to our eyes.
‘Balsamic vinegar? I think that’s pretty charitable.’
Turns out that Clemmie’s balsamic vinegar is everyone else’s nail varnish remover.
If there was any nail varnish in the flowerbeds of my garden, it is now (I confidently predict) removed. Because that’s where three glasses of M&S Minervois rapidly make their way.
While I (natch) make my way again to that trusty wine rack. To uncover a bottle of Errazuiz Merlot. Given to me (I now recall) by the same kind folk who gave me that bottle of Oyster Bay Merlot.
Chris notes that the Errazuiz doesn’t have much tannin. No indeed not. It does, though, have a bountiful crapload of sugar and fruit. But there’s an odd mouth-shrink to it, nevertheless, even with the sweetness. Kind of like the worst bit of tannin somehow did make its way into there, but without any of the benefits.
‘It’s not really very nice, is it?’
‘No. Not really.’
After a meditative pause, we all continue to drink.
At this point, Clemmie is emphatically vowing to buy shares in local businesses. Errazuiz Merlot has evidently tapped into her capitalistic streak. Millions are (hypothetically) changing hands in the balmy evening air.
When, at length, Errazuiz too is emptied, and I sway gently to my feet to go to the bathroom, we suddenly become aware that it is half past eleven. On a Tuesday night. And in front of us are five open (mostly empty) bottles of wine.
‘Oh my god!’ exclaims Clemmie, ‘We have to go!’
But as I return, minutes later, Clemmie is sloshing more of the abandoned M&S Minervois into her glass — the scent of solvents filling the night air, as insects spiral and die in the fumes.