This week’s Remember the Time Blog Hop has the theme: Alcohol
Those who know me will probably not believe that I used to dislike the taste of wine. No really, listen. Will you stop doing that? Will you please stop laughing? Oh never mind…
Back in the day wine was not an everyday sort of drink as it is now (or is that just me?). My parents went to dinner parties and dances where my mum might choose a spirit and a mixer, my dad a beer or a stout, maybe rounding off the evening with a good, straight Irish whiskey. Wine was something that might be drunk occasionally, with a meal, a bottle being easily enough for four people. It was bought in specially for an occasion and finished on the night.
Then my father discovered the home wine making kit. He would sit in our cold kitchen (no central heating in those days) and work his way, step by step, through the instruction booklet. Sachets were opened, liquids mixed and drawn through flexible pipe to sit in enormous glass jars. These were then sealed and carefully carried upstairs to the airing cupboard to sit amongst the towels and sheets in the only space in the house that was always warm.
My mother was not impressed when one of the jars, previously filled with a red liquid, erupted all over her clean laundry.
Undaunted my father continued. When the required time had elapsed the bottling commenced, and then we waited. The opening of a batch was an occasion, so my sister and I were permitted a taste of this strictly adult drink. I was not impressed. Over the years I would accept an occasional half glass to appear grown up, but I did not derive enjoyment from the beverage.
Jump forward a few years to when I was old enough to drink alcohol and did. I was taken out to dinner on a date and my young suitor, presumably in an attempt to impress, purchased a bottle of white wine to go with our meal. Tentatively I tried it and was amazed to discover that the taste pleased me. I decided that Liebfraumilch must be quality stuff and confidently recommended Blue Nun and Black Tower to anyone who asked.
And then one summer, at the end of my first year at university, I was invited to a house party and instructed to bring a bottle. As an impoverished student I could not afford the purchase, so my father kindly stepped in with a selection from his recent home made. I gratefully accepted, idly wondering how it would be received.
On arrival I set the bottles in the kitchen and left them there until the party was in full swing. When opened and shared there were no complaints. On the contrary, several imbibers seemed pleased with the effects produced. Even I, still not a regular wine drinker at that stage, could see that it beat the sweet wines from my recent past hands down.
Perhaps my father had improved with practice, perhaps I had been too young to appreciate his original efforts. Whatever the truth of the matter, he no longer makes his own wine so I cannot compare his creations with those I enjoy today. All I know is that, in the early eighties, his wine was fully appreciated by the student drinkers who were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. And we all had the hangovers to prove it.
To read the other posts in this Blog Hop, click on the linky below.