Sometimes you need acid. Perhaps it’s because you’ve just captured that irritatingly smooth secret agent who’s trying to foil your plan to TAKE OVER THE WORLD — and you’ve decided that the most risk-free and tax-efficient option is to lower him slowly into a seething vat of corrosive liquid. I mean, what could go wrong?
Or perhaps it’s because you’re a foreign chap called Beblenheim (in which case — could I just say? — you’re already well-equipped to be a fuck-on awesome supervillain) and you want to make a damn fine Riesling*.
Because this wine is candied, fruited, plump. Both literally and metaphorically golden, it’s a shimmering fat jewel of flavour. Fruit and flowers. A heady brew that’s almost indecently aromatic.
And this is where the acid comes in. Not like Bond crashing vengefully through reinforced glass; no, like Bond deftly insinuating himself into the bed of a sultry maiden.
Its suave acidity is absolutely the key to this wine. A suave acidity that checks (without obscuring) those floral excesses with a razor cut of clean, bracing sharpness. Leave it lingering in your mouth for as long as you like, revelling in the luxuriant texture, the steadfast refusal to descend into banal sugar. And when you swallow, the flavours slip away without a belch, without a rasp, without a jolt.
This, my chums, is what they mean when they say ‘balance’. A perfect alignment of classicist austerity and romantic ebullience. Reason and emotion.
A balanced wine (like a balanced person) doesn’t start off great yet gradually begin to irritate; no, it’s consistently good company for your gob. Meaning the last swig is just as beguiling as the first.
So, yeah. Old Parn has been beguiled by Beblenheim. Let’s just hope it’s not some kind of sophisticated honeytrap.
Price £8.82 from Waitrose Wine