We have to go to Chinon. It’s now officially an emergency...
I went down to the cellar the day before yesterday on a little reconnaissance mission. True, our medium-sized wine rack is full and there are still two or three cases next to it on the ground - but we no longer have a single bottle of wine for “everyday drinking.”
What to do? I know Arnaud’s nostrils would flare in surprise and indignation if I dared to uncork a Lynch-Bages 1995 or Beaune 1er cru "Clos des Mouches" 2000 to accompany our small evening meal.
So I went out into the cold yesterday night, a Sunday, to do some walking and stretch my legs – and stop by the Caves du Panthéon. Where I bought a pleasant little 2005 Valençay from Jacky Preys.
Drinking it with our filet américain (yes, Arnaud once again clamored for the Belgian-style steak tartare, and I complied), we started talking about how "little wines" had grown up and became more polished in recent years.
True; the shift has happened fast. Personally, I can remember a fairground in July in the Berry. It might even have been the "Festival of the Tomato," with samples of that fruit brought back by the exhibitors from regions as remote as Russia or China... And also a few stands offering gastronomic items and wine, including Valençay, which I tasted, there, with Chantal and Alain, under the summer sun. And it wasn’t expensive, but it wasn’t good, either... Really not good.
The one we drank yesterday was well-constructed, an easy-drinking country wine, worlds away from the spiky, thin stuff of memory.
But then there's tonight. In just a few hours we’ll be faced once again with the crisis. Maybe I’ll throw Arnaud a few coy little glances... Surely it’s a good time to open a Meursault 1er cru "Charmes"... Surely a little Volnay 1er cru "Champans" will match my subtle, tasty cooking...
In any case, we’re off to Chinon in two weeks. We’ll have a car. Which will come back, I bet, weighed down by a dozen or two simple, everyday bottles.
But until then... hmm, until then, what to do?...