Thank you very, very much to the Corkdork for hosting this Wine Blogging Wednesday, on the theme of "The Spark - the wine that got you hooked". In writing this post, it turns out I've managed to make a fair go of summing up everything about me and wine and blogging.

To start with the meta:
  • late  - that's me. Congenitally late in more or less everything (starting with having to be forcibly removed from the womb a fortnight past time, and continuing thus ever since)
  • a list - that's me. Confronted with any situation where I need to get the finger out (say for example an overdue blog post) my first instinct is to make a list (practical, but also a delaying tactic)
  • Um. Is it even a list with only two items on it (obviously this doesn't count because it's about the list (note, please, the meta meta)?
To the wine. Le Roc Folle Noire d'Ambat, a big soft red from Fronton in South-West France. Good Lord but it ticks every box. It's French; from an obscure appellation; made with an even more obscure grape variety; with a comedy label; and closed with a cork.

It's a dark red, wild feral stinky wine. Delicously refreshing on the palate thanks to a nicely judged acidity and grainy but ripe tannins. And it smells of horse (dear reader, this is a good thing, trust me).

Crucially, for a person with a massive caffeine habit, a short little attention span, and severe neophilia, it keeps changing. It's a wine which has been evolving nicely over the past few months, and also offers an interesting series of flavours and aromas in the forty-eight hours after you open it. I think the equine note is gradually going away, however, and taken with the level of tannins, I don't think this is a wine for long keeping.

The only box left unticked by Le Roc is that of price. It is neither ultra cheap, a bargain to be hoarded and gleefully shared with good friends, nor yet is it hideously expensive (which is always allowed if the wine can justify it in terms of quality. See these past examples). I bought it in Oddbins for £9.50, which seems about right to me.

So to Wine Blogging Wednesday. This institution (is it an institution? It has been going for quite a while) played a part in motivating my early Sentir le Bouchon postings, and the theme for this post, Spark, has been very interesting to address.

In truth I might have picked any number of wines to write about. What really truly sparks my interest - and continues to do so after ten years in the wine trade - is the endless infinite diverse variety of wine. I love that Burgundy has 500 (or is it 700?) appellations. I love Carignan when it's made old style and reeks of garrigue herbs and blood. It delights me to know that until 1994 Chilean winemakers thought their wonderful Carmenere was just plain old Merlot. I even love (well maybe not love. Like. I admit I can't bring myself to love it). I even like Bastardo, that vile Portugese grape which reeks of silage, because unless you taste the bad stuff you can never know just how good the gems are, and anything is better than awful bland homogenous supermarket tripe.

So thank you to Wine Blogging Wednesday, and thank you for proposing Spark. I really enjoyed writing this.

Whoops, nearly forgot. Le Roc La Folle Noire d'Ambat 2009: delicious, savoury, floral and complex, 4.