My favourite place to drink wine?

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.

 

Holiday photos: day 27

My beloved returned midday on Sunday, feeling somewhat weary after working long days and a couple of evenings. I took him out for lunch to one of our regular haunts where we both ate a light  meal. I find when it’s hot and humid, I’m not so hungry. However, it’s important to keep up one’s intake of fluids otherwise it’s easy to become dehydrated. After lunch we sat and listened to some music, it was the last day of the Jazz Festival, most of which my beloved had missed. We then pottered back to our rental flat to watch the final stage of the Tour de France.

The final day of the Tour is a bit of a parade for all bar a handful of sprinters for whom winning the sprint on the Champs Elysees is a blue-riband event. I generally have paper and pencil in hand noting down the names of places we’d like to visit as the television cameras pan past a chateau or two as the peloton heads for its final circuits round Paris. Of course, I’m not the only one, 47% of the television viewing public watch the Tour to see France’s glorious heritage. The footage never disappoints.

Thereafter, we went back out to enjoy the final couple of hours of the Festival, sitting on one of the many park benches in front of the Town Hall. As we wandered back we popped into one of our favourite bars for a nightcap. Well, it would’ve been rude not to.