WINES

I was first introduced to 'wine' at the age of perhaps nine or ten, when I would be permitted to have a small (very small) glass of wine with Sunday lunch - usually something along the lines of the Yugoslav 'Lutomer Riesling'; pretty grim, looking back, but at the time (late 1950s or early 1960s) it seemed the very height of sophistication. My consumption of wine remained low until my early 20s, being limited to the occasional bottle of potent Bulgarian or Spanish red.

It wasn't until I was living in Casablanca (Morocco) that I began to drink wine much more regularly. Moroccan wine doesn't have a particularly good reputation outside Morocco itself, and perhaps France. In some ways this is rather a harsh judgement because there are a number of quite good wines from Morocco which are little known outside the country; only in France (because of the historic links between the two countries) is this different.

For most people, the most important factor when choosing a bottle of wine is to select one which will provide a pleasing, enjoyable experience. Most of us consume decent, but fairly ordinary and relatively inexpensive, wines most of the time. On occasion, however, something more is called for and rarer and more expensive wines are used - I think the pleasure of such occasions is heightened because they are infrequent.

The link to 'Wines for the Occasion' discusses suitable wines to drink with or without food, and the link to 'Grapes' is a brief introduction to some of the wide variety of grapes used in winemaking.


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