Wednesday, 3 June 2009

What's eating Gilbert Grapevine? or the Grapes of Wrath

Right. Let's talk about grapes.

More accurately you can read while I moan about grapes. Well vines in particular as if you don't have a vine it's highly unlikely that you'll be able to grow grapes. Which is kind of the problem.

So here's my last vine joke. I promise.

What's brown and sticky?

A stick.

Sadly this is my stick and and it is supposed to be a grape vine.

It's June and it showing as much life now as it did in December last year. I suspect that it has died but I'm in denial. I'm in denial because I have another one on the main plot in exactly the same shape.

La.

OK this one has the tiniest leaf shooting from somewhere so far south of the main growing stem I suspect that Harry might have stuck it there to give me hope. I'm a Spurs fan. I hate hope!

You know that could be a caterpillar. Lets take another look.

I'll take another picture on my next visit. Leaf watch. Will the excitement ever start? I smell very expensive compost in your near future young twig of mine.

Well there it is. The evidence is mounting. I'm a vine killer. A serial vine killer. One dead vine is unfortunate. Two looks like carelessness.

So the vines have me worried. These are vines that grow table grapes of course.

Who needs wine grapes these days? I can't make wine cheaper than Tescos grow it, ferment it, bottle it and ship from half a world away. That's just economy of scale you understand not exploitation.

You know what? I don't want locally grown or sourced wines.

We can't grow decent enough grapes long enough or consistently well in England. It has nothing to do with the producers who strike me as a wholly committed, industrious and slightly eccentric bunch. It's the weather.

Give me Rioja, Claret, Pino Grigio and Sancere. I want to feel sun kissed grapes flood deliciously over on my tongue, I'd rather not wince politely as I suck back something that tastes as if it has been made from unprocessed Gooseberries and nine volt batteries.

Some things are best left to the pros.

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