Tuesday, 29 April 2008

The Wine

Quite why it surprises me rather surprises me. I telephoned the delivery company on Monday and arranged with the lady there for the 12 bottles of wine to be delivered between 10am and midday.

That way I could take the boy to creche and get back. I forewent my usual coffee at Chez Prune and returned home.

While I waited I set about discarded bits of administration — organising folders and dashing off a few letters.

I felt productive. By 1245 my planned trip to the swimming pool looked in jeopardy so I phoned the delivery company and was told that the driver was in the area.

At 2pm I phoned once again to say that I had to go and pick up my son from the creche. I was informed that the driver was in the area.

Now the 10th arrondissement is not that big so clearly he must have been very busy in the district or well out of it when I called originally.

I've had this sort of lackadaisical approach from other delivery companies. You both agree times and they don't venture anywhere near it.

I got a call at 2.25 from the driver to tell me that he was a minute away from my front door. I said I was five minutes away as I was collecting my son.

I rushed back and still had to wait a few minutes for him to arrive. Maybe they're operating in another time continuum.

Well at least out of the vortex have emerged some bottles of Chablis.

We discovered Chateau Long Depaquit about 18 months ago when we went to stay in Burgundy in the house of a colleague at the Guardian

I know little about the top houses. And in Chablis — such a well scrubbed little zone — they all appeared rather choice.

We stopped off at Chateau Long Depaquit because it had an appealing courtyard where we could park the car while we did our tasting. As the boy was sleeping and the girls didn't want to get out. It seemed the perfect spot.

This all embracing approach now informs our decision on where we stop.

As we were heading into Vouvray last Saturday on our way back from the Loire, we noticed a discreet sign to a vineyard. But I couldn't manoeuvre the motor quickly enough and we went steaming past.

Everything else in the town looked much of a muchness so we returned. Parked the car, got out and waited for the chap on his tractor to come and greet us.

His was a welcome as warm as the Saturday afternoon. He said the girls could go and play on the swing and slide in the garden and off they went chirping.

Within 10 minutes or so I'd transferred driving duties to the missus and 45 minutes or so later we'd both been brought up to date on aspects of local history, met the mother who'd given the girls some orange juice after they'd helped her with the shopping bags from her car.

These being the same children who don't notice their socks on the floor.

But I can't admonish smooth young chancers. Especially when the charm offensive is occurring while I'm rolling the sparkling stuff around my palate.

M Monmousseau is a shrewd operator. He quipped that his Turonien 2006 should be drunk "à l'anglaise".

We had a friend round this evening for supper. We didn't quite reach those heights.

But the wine goes down so well that it was tempting.

Such honesty will be rewarded.