Les 5 du Vin

5 journalistes parlent du vin

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Silvio’s bunga-bunga evenings

Since its inception, not I hasten to add as a result of a bunga-bunga party, Les 5 du Vin have never been afraid to tackle difficult topics. There may be some wine blogs and critics who prefer to avoid controversial and awkward subjects but this is not one of them – perhaps, on reflection, that should be not five of them!

On 6th April 74-year old Silvio Berlusconi will appear in a Milan courtroom accused of paying for sex on 13 occasions with an under aged prostitute called ‘Ruby Heartbreaker’, who Silvio apparently believed was a relation of the former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. No doubt the world’s press will be present in huge force anxious to cover the case from every possible angle and position. However, I doubt if they will give consideration to one of the crucial questions – what wine should a 74-year-old serve to a 17 year-old minor with whom they are contemplating exchanging bodily fluids later on in the evening.

Did I not say that Les 5 du Vin would not shirk our responsibility in commenting, advising and giving counsel. No pussy footing around here!

Selecting suitable wines for bunga-bunga requires considerable forethought (no, not foreplay, Luc!). Rushing into the local convenience store and grabbing the first couple of bottles that come to hand clearly won’t do. The selection is made all the more tricky by the considerable age difference between the two partners. After much reflection this is an occasion for  a ‘his‘ and a ‘her‘ wine and, naturally enough, they have to be Italian.

Let’s take her wine first. It needs to appear sophisticated but should not to be too high in alcohol. Best if Ruby drinks enough wine to make Silvio appear somewhat younger than his chronological age. Many seventeen years old tend to drink too quickly, especially if they are nervous. So getting the right dose is crucial – no point giving away 7000€ as a settling-into-Italy-gift if Ruby falls asleep at a climatic moment or even worse becomes unwell in the ministerial bed.


Sourgal 2010

Fashionable Prosecco is an obvious candidate but even more suitable would be a fresh Moscato d’Asti DOCG with just a touch of tangerine sweetness and around 5.5% alcohol. Fortunately, having attended a Wine Society tasting last week, I’m able to recommend just the one – a 2010 from Elio Perrone (£6.75). I hasten to add that the Wine Society, which was founded in 1874, is an extremely respectable wine merchant and entirely removed from the world of bunga-bunga, pole dancing and dressing up in nurses’ and policemen’s uniforms.

 And what shall we serve Silvio? Again the dose has to be carefully controlled. The Porter’s comment in Shakespeare’s Macbeth is apposite here: “Lechery, sir, it provokes and unprovokes: it provokes the desire but it takes away the performance.

Although Moscato d’Asti is unlikely to ‘take away the First Minister’s performance’, Silvio’s machismo image certainly wouldn’t survive too many sips of Moscato! His wine has got to be a powerful, rich, opulent red preferably suggesting hidden power.

 RomeoRomeo del Castello

Once again the Wine Society has just the thing: a ripe wine with figgy and pruny fruit and a long finish – the very appropriately named, 2008 Vigo Etna Rosso, Romeo del Castello (£22). Any slight hesitation that the choice of a Sicilian wine might give the wrong impression is easily offset by all the thrust of Etna with its barely concealed eruptive power!


NB: Silvio Berlusconi has denied the charges explaining that these were elegant dinner parties notable for their refined conversation. Ruby now says that she never had sex with Silvio. She is ever so grateful to her kind Uncle Silvio for giving her 7000€ the first time they met to help her settle in Italy.

 A post-script:

Berlusconi-inspired pizza a hot seller in Poland


5 Commentaires

Afrique du Sud ou la liberté

En Afrique du Sud, où j’ai séjourné une semaine en janvier, l’apartheid a été aboli. Même au plan des cépages!

On y plante ce qu’on veut, où l’on veut.

Les aides à l’exportation y sont très faibles,  l’Etat n’y subventionne plus grand chose, la distillation de crise y est inconnue, et, par voie de conséquence, on n’y produit à peu près que les vins qu’on est sûr de pouvoir vendre.


Franschhoek ou le coin où les « Français »  font à peu près ce qu’ils veulent (photo H. Lalau)

Coïncidence, en moyenne, ils sont plus que corrects. Un peu techno, pour beaucoup, mais loyaux et marchands. Pas sûr qu’à l’étranger, tous les consommateurs sachent situer Robertson par rapport à Worcester. Ici, les marques sont souvent plus fortes que les appellations. Logique: seuls une minorité de producteurs revendiquent vraiment un terroir. Mais quand ils le font, c’est souvent justifié. La pyramide de l’identité qu’on nous vante en Europe, avec les bons terroirs tout en haut, n’est souvent qu’un leurre; ici, pourtant, elle retrouve un sens.

Est-ce un hasard si ce pays a vu ses surfaces de vignoble augmenter de 20% en dix ans, et le nombre de ses caves tripler dans le même temps? Cette liberté ne leur fait donc pas peur?

Ces chiffres devraient faire réfléchir nos gouvernants et nos vignerons: nos protections, nos barrières, nos interdits nous protègent-ils vraiment ou nous handicapent-ils?

Hervé Lalau