Wime Reviews: Rowan Ireland is The Oxford Blue’s wine reviewer. He had a really cool dream last night where he stole a car, and could somehow drive really well. He went with a friend up to a beautiful field and it was all very romantic.
De Bortoli 1628 Durif, 2015: Majestic £6.59 (mix 6)
Rowan’s tasting notes:
On the nose: The moist, fabric smell of your face mask.
On the palate: Unfailingly.
Pair with: The microwavable lasagne that you can get delivered whilst you’re in self-isolation.
Score: “About 60” I think, wondering if anyone reads this bit.
“Very good!” I exclaim as an ice cream van rams me into the cliff, again. I stumble up, pulling handfuls of sand from my mouth as the van revs it’s Mr. Whippy machine.
A 99 flake is forced down my throat backwards. It’s like the Pingu beak is ‘nooting’ into my oesophagus.
This wine has a funereal after taste. Licking at the varnish that has seeped through the nail-holes in my coffin, I knock twice and the lid swings off. I am somehow now at a party on a boat, but I don’t know anyone so I stride off down the gang plank back onto the beach.
It is a steady wine and the sort of thing that I would recommend if I were in the business of recommending wine. A red purple foam swims across the surface, goading me like bubble bath. But like bubble bath, the foam is best taken with a sip of that which is beneath. I slip down further into the warm wine until, like an alligator, my nose, eyes and upper lip look out across the water. My mouth swims in a pond of wine, replenished by the pool which splashes against my tonsils before floating back out between my open lips.
A frog looks down on me from the bank and invites me to see his lily-pad, and to meet Mrs. Frog. I swim off down the creek, following the frog-man, my mouth still open, like a basking shark filtering the foam from the wine-river’s surface. My editor appears ahead, tapping her stop-watch to remind me to return to the wine review, and I pull myself out of the river; “You’ll have to show me your house next time Mr. Frog” I call out as I return to the wine-reviewing office.
The wine has a girthy taste – clever but infatuated with the inside of my mouth, it laps furiously between my tongue and soft pallet. It’s like a mouth-wash advert, filmed from the viewpoint of my gag-reflex.
A demon awakens and crawling from the depths reminds me to say words like “dark fruits”, “meaty tannins” or “fresh choccy milk”, but I beat it back with a broom.
“No one understands you” I scream through my tears.
The ice cream van revs again, reminding me that I never finished that point, and at the same time a vanilla pod bursts within me. Vanilloid ooze
Tyres spin on the dry sand – the van’s wings are clipped. I stroll away, brushing sand and blood from my cuts. A Cornetto gripped in one hand, I am a success. I will phone mother later to let her know of my victory.
This wine tastes like that ice cream – neither frozen, nor warm, it’s temperature tepid. I sublimate subliminally.
And sip once more.
Rowan Ireland is a 2nd year Fine Artist at The Queen’s College.