Ballymaloe Day 70: The best bottle on the table is always the empty one

It was a rough start to a Sunday morning. Waking up late to the sound of tweeting birds, I knew that there was only one thing I’d be studying all day: wine.

For those who don’t know, we have a flock of white pigeons that live above our Coach House that like to come down each day for a drink and a feed.

Somewhat soothing, their presence is quite lovely, especially when they let you give them a stroke of their feather – So you can imagine my horror when we saw a fat cat nabbing one!

Rushing out in my pyjamas and wellies, I tried to get to it as fast as I could but he was sadly pulled away. Feeling glum, we gave the rest of the birds a feed and then noticed another bird in distress.

Tossing and turning on the gravel, a small robin red-breast had flown into one of the windows in the courtyard and was in a complete panic – he sadly lost his battle too.

Totally disheartened, the rest of the day pretty much just involving me stuffing my face with nibbles at regular intervals while on my break from studying wine.

By the way, Colm always stressed that when it came to wine it was all about personal taste and even remarks in our notes that, “the best bottle on the table is always the empty one”. Don’t ever worry if you feel out of your depth when it comes to wine – I certainly once thought that I would never know anything.

Going through styles, regions, varieties and terminology, I think it’s only fair if I treat myself to a glass of Riesling.

Tomorrow marks the start of week 11 and with just two weeks left, I can’t believe that we’ve made it this far.


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