Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Little fill up?


Let’s get straight to the point here. I’m in my twenties and I like to drink sherry. I’m thoroughly tired of feeling that this is not acceptable and thus being reduced to secret sherry drinking at home to avoid the cruel mockery of others.

I keep several bottles in the house, ostensibly for cooking, but really it’s because I love tucking into them. Once upon a time a lady’s tipple of choice, the fortified wine has experienced a decrease in the trendy stakes over the last 20 or so years. In fact, probably almost all of my lifetime. So why then do I enjoy glugging it down?

The attraction is probably due to the fact it’s super, amazing and great. Much like wine, which everyone now knows about and supposedly understands, it comes in many varieties depending on your palate from very dry to pudding wine sweetness. Tasty either cold or at room temperature, it’s also relatively inexpensive. I’ll concede that after consuming an entire bottle the flavour could become cloying, but what doesn’t get less tasty when drunk in such massive quantities?

Thankfully I have some friends who understand its beauty and total deliciousness. Even so, to date, we only dare order in public when out for a night of tapas. Two small glasses act as a prelude to several bottles of Rioja and even then we make a noisy point of announcing to the surrounding tables and disinterested waiting staff that we want it for the full ‘Spanish experience’. This is of course a lie; we love the sherry but are still too intimidated by its stigma to drink it openly and proudly.

I relish invitations to an older person’s home for dinner as there I know it will be offered, quite correctly, as an aperitif. For the uninitiated that funny word means a drink before dinner whether it be sherry, a G & T or a pint of Stella depending on preference, occasion, weather and level of general chaviness.

It fills me with immeasurable sadness that instead we feel obliged to quaff cheap and nasty pinot grigio in order to be normal, trendy girls in our twenties. I drink it at times as it’s the easiest thing to say at that awkward moment when someone asks a tittering group of you “what’s everyone drinking?” But really it’s the Topshop of drinks and, much like their clothes, never fits me perfectly.

I’m genuinely perplexed as to why people are so quick to sneer and deride my chosen tipple. Does it bring back previously repressed painful memories of dangerously boozy trifles served at childhood Christmases? Revulsions to certain foods based on school dinner trauma are not uncommon and moderately understandable. However I can’t believe that the masses were pinned down as small children and against their will forcefed a nip of Harvey’s Bristol Cream.

The more broad minded have agreed to taste some, all in the name of science, of course, and many have been surprised by how good it is. So I say, let’s bring it back to bars! Someone ring up the MD of JD Weatherspoons and get the mighty pub chain selling it. Within the year it might just be the latest fad with sherry bars popping up all over London and sherry tasting events becoming standard fodder for corporate entertaining.

Before I get truly carried away with that particular fantasy I must point out countless numbers of people frequent expensive coffee houses only to buy hot chocolate and just as many who 10 years ago would have squealed at the prospect of scoffing raw fish but are now regularly seen in hip sushi restaurants. Fashion goes so much further than clothes; it seems to have an almost autocratic grip on the minutiae of how we live our lives. Isn’t it crazy that we’re all eating stuff we don’t like and missing out on delicacies and delights because someone’s dictated it’s out of style?

If I was having this rant in a pub, I’m sure some platitude-spouting pain in the arse would pop up now, saying: “Well, it’s all a matter of personal taste.” Yes, it is. So please have the common courtesy to accept mine even if you’re too narrow minded to try it yourself.

And what’s more, try silencing your inner small child that shouts ‘EEERRRR DON’T LIKE IT!’ at unknown substances. Embrace the novelty and remember that constantly being outside your comfort zone is an integral part of finding the next big thing, a quintessential pastime of all super cools and über trendies. Read more by Rosie.