I remember the story of famed English wine journalist and connaisseur Harry Waugh. He had lost his sense of smell in a car accident and in a famous moment, tasting the finest of fine Bordeaux exclaimed (more or less), “It’s a pity I can no longer smell because I could swear this wine is a Lafite 55.” Of course it was, so smell may not be everything.
He also remarked, “I haven’t mistaken a Bordeaux for a Burgundy since…lunchtime.”
Understatement, and humility, such admirable traits.
Well, blow me down, I have been battling a heavy (man-) cold for ten days and it is becoming very tiresome. I had not slept for the first five days and only intemittently since. Even if it was only the sprogs and we two for Christmas, well Christmas is Chrismas so pull something good, no?
We were going simply this year, foie gras, duck breasts with goose-fat roasted potatoes et al, Bûche de Noël and a comely selection of trans-manche cheese – Anglo-French to the core.
Inevitably Christmas Eve led me to Dijon’s market were the Siren call of various different oysters and sea urchins led me astray and…a bottle of 2008 Riesling Graacher Kabinett from J.J. Prum.. Well, sod it, Christmas coes but once a year – and the riesling could probably handle the oysters, urchins and the foie gras.
The problem is that when my nasal tracts have been free this last week you could have put the most most pungent aroma known to man to my nose, and I couldn’t smell anything. Nothing. Nada. Niente. Que tchi.
So for Chrismas Eve I abandoned the riesling and the oysters. It was foie gras, magret de canard and cheese. We drank a bottle of Cantina Rizzo‘s admirable, almost Chenin-like Amon Fianno and the second half of Quintarelli’s 2005 Valpolicella (forceful enough to fight through any common cold).
And just to make sure I would finally sleep, I finished (myself) off with a glass of Jacopo Poli’s straight Grappa.
On Boxing Day, having taking Duplo for a jog around les environs, I retired to my Corbusier with a Montecristo No. 4 and a (long) glass of Bourgeois Diaz‘s excellent 3c Extra brut Champagne.
Life could be worse.