The one and only time I’ve ever been a fan of wine was when I was in my early 20s, when it was too teenager-like to still be drinking Archers and lemonade or WKD, but wine gave you that more sophisticated grown up feeling. But no matter how hard I tried (and I did try really hard) I never particularly enjoyed drinking wine so I very quickly reverted back to the sweet and fruity spirits and cocktails that I’ve always loved.
On the odd occasions when I do drink wine now, I end up embarrassingly tipsy after just one glass which kind of defeats the point of a grown up drink out with friends and rapidly turns into a drunken night reminiscent of my late teens. The next morning is not kind to me either, leaving me with a horrid headache and the promise that I will never ever drink wine again.
But on our trip to Italy last week, it was pretty much impossible to avoid. Bottles lined the walls of shops and bars, people sipped at their glasses full of wine outside street side cafes, and in every restaurant we visited the wine list was always longer than the food list. On the very odd occasion we overheard someone explaining “no wine tonight” to a waiter, the waiter looked like he’d just been slapped around the face his expression was one of such shock!
So, to avoid being blasphemed by any Italians, and because I just can’t resist trying all the local food and drink when travelling, of course we tried out a different wine with every meal.
(Try to avoid looking at the drool-worthy food – I promise I will tell you more about this soon!)
A sweet and fruity rose would be both our pick when it comes to wine. In fact Mr Ayla has been known to order a glass of rose when on a boys’ night out to much jeering from his beer drinking friends.
But we were in Italy, the home of some of the world’s best red and white wines, so we tried everything we could based on the locals’ recommendations, from Chianti in Florence to sciacchetrà in Cinque Terre or any of the region’s other popular white wines.
We bought pizza and focaccia wrapped in take away paper bags, along with a chilled bottle of wine and plastic cups in Cinque Terre, perched ourselves on the rocks on the edge of the sea and watched as the sun set over the Italian Riviera.
While I can’t say that the wine didn’t give me a bit of a blurry head, I found myself surprised every single morning wondering where my headache and hangover were but they didn’t show all week. Maybe all it takes is a good quality wine (and possibly a stunning location) for me to be the sophisticated grown up I envisioned when I took my first sip of wine years ago.
How I wish I could live on Italian wine and bruschetta in Italy forever but I guess just going for something a bit more special the next time I fancy a glass will have to do. Tesco’s 2 for £10 wines will never catch my eye again!
As the Italian saying goes:
“Una cena senza vino e come una giornata senza sole”.
“Dinner without wine is like a day without sun” – and there was lots of sun while we were in Italy!