Vin de Merde

It is a thing.

So it has been sitting in the wine cupboard stewing away for the past few months.  Himself’s mum bought not one but two bottles as a present a few months ago.  To make us giggle.  Probably.

We drank a few glasses of the first bottle and the next day my head fell off.  So we vowed not to drink it again.

Then what happened was I had a strong need to make an Irish stew last weekend.  Beef and Guiness, the works.  However we committed a fatal error, we neglected to do that thing that every French person MUST imperatively do – our shopping on a Saturday.  This was due to a number of different reasons, which if not listed in the order of priority could be: crappy week, confusion about what our motivation levels were, laziness and general lack of direction when we don’t have to manage the kids of a weekend.

So we found ourselves wandering around the cobbled streets of Grenoble with our little shopping trolley of a rainy misty Sunday morning.  The idea was that we would pick up ingredients from wherever was open.  We found the usual vegetable suspects at the market including Keyser Soze spuds.  We passed an Halal butcher and said sure what’s the harm and we went in.

There followed a true moment where we realised we had been walking past this gem of a place for the past couple of years where everybody knew each other’s name and the service is wonderful.   So to cut a long story short we succeeded in picking up the meat.

But for the key ingredient, i.e. the Guinness, there was nowhere near open.  Near being within five minutes walk.  We were very tired at that stage.

So himself says, “le vin de merde?”  and I was very dubious.  How could one contemplate the replacement of the premiere ingredient?  We then had a long instense debate whereby he raised an eyebrow and I put hands on my hips and we both said “feck it, enough with the shopping – vin de merde it is”.

So with a feeble heigh ho I set to cooking on Sunday afternoon and somewhere in the middle of the proceedings I probably lathered in about half the bottle.

And bejaysus, I made the nicest stew I have ever made.

So the lessons of this story are many:

  • if you are Irish and abroad and you really feel like a stew, don’t let anything stand in your way
  • if you live in France and are too lazy to do your shopping on a Saturday it is not the end of the world but be ready to make compromises, very very few shops are open on a Sundy
  • I think it might not be very patriotic but I suspect that le vin de merde is actually nicer in the stew than the Guinness  .. pains me to write that…this will probably generate a storm of publicity and international debate but some things have to be said for the good of all
  • ara that’s probably it

Next blog will be a killer tip about how to keep your red wine alive for weeks….

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