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Cutting the Mustard

Written by Giles MacDonogh

Cutting the Mustard

Posted: 18th August 2021

July was a month of near normality in which I did nearly normal things like enjoy a long boozy lunch with old friends and go to the opera at Garsington (which is no longer anywhere near Garsington). There was even a family excursion to seek out Roman and Saxon remains in Saint Albans, and I made a second batch of Dijon mustard that was more successful than the first, but I might still have a little way to run before I achieve perfection.

There were wines to taste too. Some very good boxes of Nero d’Avola and Greco came from When in Rome, which specialises in the wines of the Mezzogiorno. I think there is still a suspicion when it comes to bag-in-box wines in Britain, but there is no intrinsic reason why they should be nasty, and with their airlocks, they keep pretty fresh for weeks. I came across them first at the friend’s house in the Lot. She used to buy the cheapest Cahors from the cellar doors of good local growers, the sort of thing they made from young vines or from their least distinguished terroirs. As an everyday wine it was fine, and it had the advantage of being very cheap; indeed it was all the cheaper for not having to dress up in bottles and corks. The When in Rome wines were predictably full-bodied: the white Greco maybe a little hot, the Nero d’Avola a proper fruit bomb, but also the sort of thing that might put a few hairs on your chest.

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Giles MacDonogh

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