I'm a white wine drinker. I always feel a little embarrassed about this, white wine seems so frothy somehow, so not a 'take me seriously' drink. I'd like to be a red wine drinker, red wine says sophistication, complexity, substance. Whenever I have red wine I always have a brief moment of 'look at me, I'm such a grown-up!'. This isn't to say that I don't like red wine, I do - very much. But when it comes down to it, I veer instinctively to the white and then perceive myself to be without depth or character.
Genuinely I do prefer white wine. I like the sharpness of the taste, the crispness of the flavour. I like the way it cuts across the top of food all tangy and zingy and fresh. It's my version of the sorbet course that comes between the starter and the main at full on many coursed dinners.
I think my obsession with white wine stems from one lunch in the garden of my grandfather's house. A blazingly glorious sunny day and I'd just had my A-Level results which I'd completely nailed. Life was uncomplicatedly good. Better than good, it was great.
Grandpa loved his wines and that afternoon he'd chosen a special wine to celebrate. It was a beauty, pale as can be, almost clear and the sun reflected through the bottle all the way through lunch. The taste was as close as I have ever been to vinticultural heaven. Perfection through and through. One of those tastes at one of those moments that can not be bettered in any way.
Ever since that afternoon I've been trying to find out what that wine was. Grandpa died 15 years ago and thinking he would be around forever I'd never thought to ask him what it was. I've asked the others who were at that lunch, but noone can remember.
It was a dry wine. Very dry, Sancerre maybe? Sauvignon Blanc? I don't know, probably never will. But every time I open a bottle of white wine I have an anticipation that this wine might be the one. It never is of course, I think hunting down this vintage is destined to be one of my life's great unending quests.
But for better or worse I'm a confirmed white wine drinker. Reds just don't cut it with me. For all their complexity, depth and character I prefer the shiny uncomplicatedness of a summer's afternoon perfection.