Sipping my morning coffee in the sun kick starts my mental processes, gets the juices flowing, and pretty soon I’m thinking about food. I can’t imagine, at least I try not to imagine, life without bread, cheese and wine. Each is produced by one form of fermentation or another, and each exists in a bewildering multiplicity of forms, from the most humble to the most extravagant. The combination of the three of them is sufficient to produce the most delicious feast, or a simple snack. Try baked brioche stuffed with Perigord truffles accompanied by a glass of Gigondas, or a simple “pan bagnat” with a glass of red vin du pays. Both are delicious; admittedly there has been the tiny addition of butter and truffles in one example, and tomatoes, garlic and olive oil in the other, but calorie counting is not part of my remit. My taste in wine has become much simpler. I used to collect wine, and, on occasion, I even got to drink some of it. Most stayed behind the firmly locked doors of bonded warehouses, or in the cellars of various merchants scattered around the English countryside. I used to pride myself on having a little knowledge. Now I drink to enjoy, not to swoon or share arcane thoughts on fine wines with similarly inclined adults. Don’t be fooled, I still love tasting delicious wines, but it isn’t that important to me any more. I’m much happier being in my neighbour’s “cave”, sitting on the old car seats that serve as arm chairs, with a glass of local red and a bowl of walnuts.
Extract from my book “Simply Fed” (there’s a preview link on the side of this page)