October 2016

Water makes rust

water-makes-rust-resized“Acqua fa ruggine” (water makes rust) replies Alberto, a little sniffily, I think, and reaches instead for a large flask of the earthy, vibrant home-made red which passes for practically everyone’s house wine in these parts.  (Bought here in bulbous green 50L demijohns and bottled at home.)  We’re in the middle of the vendemmia (the grape harvest), helping out our neighbour, and we’ve paused for a well-earned breather.  I say middle, but actually I mean mid-morning, since we started at a crisp and dewy dawn, and now the crew of exhausted, but resolutely enthusiastic, grape-pickers has assembled at trestle tables at the flatter end of the vineyard.  My mistake, even after all these years, was to assume that a glug of mineral water was the accepted idea of refreshment for the parched.  But, no, it’s explained to me – now cast clearly in the role of weird foreigner – the bottles of mineral water are there to rinse stained and vine-nicked hands, while the wine is the only refreshment any of us might need or want.

Read more →