Friday, July 22, 2005

Carlos Falco, Marques de Grinon

A Midsummer Night's DreamDinner...

How it felt entering the Rincon... Posted by Picasa

Ms. Seachestnut took another rabbit out of her hat and hops! there we were on the N-V, direction Extremadura, to reach the finca before the sunset. This time the invitation was neither for a Snowhite and the Three pigglets garden-party, nor for a black-tie Sultan and His Eighteen Friends birthdayparty. This time a small committee, with as many people as main roles on the cast of a Shakespeare comedy.. As we entered the gates, the sunset light was at its golden glorious best, and the tree-lined lane was taking us to enchanted valdepusian territory..

The Honourable Host was very generous with his warmth in people relations, with his produce (all foodstuff at dinner was homegrown, so to speak, with the exception of the red peppers granted from a neighbour) and with the wines which made him, among other reasons, a very famous person (VFP). During the aperitif, taken under strict gender-segregation, a white oak-vanilla pleasantly tasting white was enjoyed, accompanying the traditional quick check of portfolio and M&A news. As we sat at table, adorned with elves and fairies that looked like little friends of Titania, the red wines keep coming. First a Syrah/Grenache which was a bright young thing, then the well versed, emeritus even, PetitVerdot/Syrah/CabSauv, the flagship itself that has made our Honorable Host the darling of the wine press (incidentally, in the land of the press "de corazon", the wine magazines are the only media you want yourself to be mentioned in ..)

The Honourable Hostess, who presided with consummated sense of timing to the garden festivities, including making the full moon appear between a huge cypress and the corner of the stone house at the exact moment as we were engaging in the pudding, had one additional talent to add to her already filled bag. She speaks an almost accent-free Portuguese which, as the Honourable Reader might understand, made her win several brownie-points from this blogger of yours.

All the guests were equally charming, but maybe the FatwaSister was more equally charming than the others. Her husband, working in risk capital ventures, spotted her once and went on to marry her just ten months later. As another guest commented: "A typical risk capital banker's decision.. Tremendous risks incurred but awesome rewards if everything goes well". (I hope promises of ravioli al parmigiano will not be forgotten...)

Fuelled by the excellency of the wines, the conversation was lively, and rather Sex&the City-related at some point. At soup time, the well-known impotency-inducing side-effects of lettuce soup were mentioned and the Hostess rushed to stress she had excluded that recipe from her kitchen to avoid sensitivities in these matters. Many stories were of course wine-related, even the dog is wine-related, for Goodness sake! "Alo", strolling around in the lawn, is a "bodeguero andaluz" , an autochthonous race that descends from the terriers that Sherry-oriented Englishmen brought with them two centuries ago, at the start of their migration to Jerez. The Sex&C.-addicts immediately swore that Charlotte had a bodeguero during several episodes of Season 3 but I have my doubts. Every wine-grower should have as his pet dog a member of this race whose name means an habitué of a wine-cellar...

The stories told around the table allowed me to pursue my linguistic studies in Spanish slang. I was introduced to the term used to describe a very daring outfit that leaves almost nothing to a male's already vivid imagination. It's called a "posseme", the imperative of the verb "to possess", and therefore un-literally translatable as a "fuck-me dress". Another semantic discussion involved the difference between a "quarentona" and a "quarentañera". The English language is not subtle enough to deal with those differences between the quality of life of those born between 1957 and 1964, fortysomething all but some more forty-ish than others. All ladies want to be remembered, in the legend of their fourth decade, as "quarentaneras", of course...

The perfect wine-related concluding remark, arrived, with theatrical timing accuracy, as the dinner was coming to its end, via Short Message Service to the FatwaSister's mobile phone. I cannot evn attempt to translate it. A wordplay between the names of two very famous wine regions (Penedes and Rioja) and the words "Pene" (which means "penis") and "Rijo" ("stiff") , it went like this: "Tu que tanto entiendes de vinos, sabes que relaciòn hay entre un Penedes y un Rioja? .. En que cuanto màs pene des màs rioja se te pone."

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