The question above was recently posed by Dr B over at a Buddha Walks into a Wine Bar and it kinda got me thinking. To be honest, my first instinct is to say at home, on my terrace enjoying the view as part of one of our many Apéros or a prelude to dinner. My beloved husband has recently been promoted from Chief Bottle Opener to Officer in Charge of Drinks. He’s tackled this recent role with relish, even inventing a new cocktail in Lockdown I.
Consequently, it’s rare for us to go “out” just for a drink of wine. And, if we do, it’s much more likely to be a glass of champagne (me) and small beer (my beloved), or an Aperol Spritz (both of us).
We have a favourite bar in the town near where we live. We’ll occasionally pop in for a coffee, lunch or a drink after an evening stroll along the seafront. It’s nothing fancy and is always full of locals. It has plenty of competition nearby but for reasons I’m unable to articulate, this is our favourite.
You’re much more likely to find us propping up the bar in one of the major hotels in Nice or Cannes or pretty much anywhere. For this you have to blame my parents. As a child I ate out frequently, at some of the nicest places, a habit I’ve fully embraced as I’ve grown older – I was never one to drink in pubs. Obviously, these establishments are a bit more expensive than our local bar but the nibbles are first class and so are the people watching opportunities. Plus we can linger for ages over the one drink. That’s right, if we go out for a drink, we generally only have the one.
If we’re on vacation, we tend to do our research in situ and find our favourite spot for a drink. We regularly (pre-Covid) popped over the border into Italy just to shop, watch bike races and often enjoyed staying in Alassio. While our hotel there does a great Aperol, our favourite is from the bar next to the station which also has excellent nibbles. In fact after a good breakfast and lunch, we’re far more likely to settle for a drink and some nibbles for dinner than a full-blown meal.
In many of the places we eat we’ll happily follow the sommelier’s wine pairings. In theory this expands our admittedly limited knowledge of wines. If not, I let my beloved choose the wine. It’s not that he’s more knowledgeable, more that it’s often the cheaper option. Though we have been taking steps to remedy our lack of knowledge of local wines this year with trips to some vineyards in the neighbouring Var. However, we’re most unlikely to embrace this with the vim and vigour of Dr B who’s recently written and published a book on the subject, It’s Not About the Wine.