Thursday, 17 January 2013

In the Liquor Desert

Two straight months without wine and I start to wonder if The Navigator hasn’t broken one of her own constitutional tenets and so doing negated her right to a healthy existence. She hangs tenaciously to any medical research that extols the positive virtues of coffee, chocolate and red, red wine.  Again it’s not been a conscious decision, but one brought about by the paucity of selection. Is there an Uruguayan wine? Didn’t find any. Does anybody drink Paraguayan wine?  It’s pink, just like the soil, and the writing is on the box: ‘made from grape extract‘: Think skins. Think Lambrusco. Think student sophistication and 1970s plonk. There is some excellent Argentine wine, it's just not for sale in the Jujuy kioskos. There, it’s boxes of ’Vino Viejo’, - ancient wine. Where last year’s is considered old and the year previous - antiquarian.

To break the drought and to celebrate our arrival in a new state, it’s a Bolivian that gets a first tasting. A pleasant state of induced mild inebriation; we really are cheap drunks. One that will need to be repeated, which is more credence than we ever gave that Paraguayan box of pink skins. Frankly I hadn’t realised that there was a Bolivian wine industry. Another reason to travel, another piece of travel enlightenment..

This bottle comes with overtones of blackcurrant and raspberry, aniseed and anaesthesia. Excellent with llama and wind-burnt lips, for it enhances one and nullifies the other.