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Wine Tag

Windmills

Yes, the Dutch all live in windmills. The one on the right is Stefan’s.

A series of comments a few months ago on Stefan Gourmet’s blog led to the Wife and I packing our bags and traveling to Amsterdam for a long weekend. It was a leap of faith and a step into the unknown.

I have been struggling with this post for a couple of reasons.

Beef Short RibsSorry about the long headline but I have been talking to my butcher. He tells me that beef short ribs or Jacob’s Ladder, as it is known in trendier spots, is becoming quite chique. If the normal rules of economics prevail, prices will rise as popularity increases. So, don’t cook it. We want to avoid inflation here in Ireland. Things are bad enough. It is not as nice as it looks so don’t cook it. Please. 

There are few advantages to getting into the second half of the game of life. One is that the children are now adults. Despite their constant infantile behaviour their willingness to let us go on holidays without them matches up with our willingness to leave them behind. This year, we drove to the south of France on our first child free summer holiday in over 20 years.

I’m happy to report that I am one of the few exceptions to the ‘degeneration with age’ rule. Like a fine wine, I have gained subtlety and depth with the passage of time. I have also learned some interesting, if seemingly irrelevant, facts. One such pearl of wisdom is that the average bath holds 320 litres of water. That is about 84 gallons in American.

This puts me in mind of the story about the chap who, suffering from a skin rash, went to the doctor. The doctor gave him some tonic and told him to take two teaspoons of it after a warm bath. A week later, the patient returned. His skin rash worse. The doctor asked him if he took the tonic. He replied “No, I couldn’t do it Doctor. Sure, I couldn’t even finish drinking the bath.”

The evidence of many years enjoying wine is here. It also hangs in our home. I have made two notice boards from corks we have pulled and I have enough corks to make many more.

Living here in Ireland, I know plenty of chaps who get value in their drink by taking an estate car or a ‘white van’ across to France on the ferry to buy wine and beer in bulk at a discount. They travel the minimum distance from the port, load the van and having spent the minimum amount of time away, make their way back home. They succeed in getting cheap drink.

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