Are any of you nappers? Napping is an art, and a very important one indeed. In our hectic lives, it seems almost ludicrous to take time out in the middle of the day to recharge your batteries, and yet there are so many examples of famous people who have done so. Winston Churchill would, after playing a post-lunch game of cards with his wife, Clemmy, settle down for a 2-hour nap. John F Kennedy would do the same after having lunch in his bed. Leonardo da Vinci took 15-minute rest every 4 hours. He timed it by holding a heavy key in his hand and as soon as he fell asleep, he would drop the key and be woken up. In each case, they believed it had great benefit in their ability to be at their best in work and life.
My napping experience mainly took place at school, in particular on Monday afternoons after a solid weekend playing rugby. During the last period of the day, my eyes would get heavy and my head would begin to nod. On the odd occasion I would not catch myself in time and bang my head on the desk (which woke me up!) and Dr Lewin, my Physics teacher would get a little upset. If only I had known enough to tell him I was emulating Leonardo, that might have saved me from a few scoldings.
You could say our first wine is dedicated to the art of napping. Its name, La Cabotte, refers to a tiny stone building that was traditionally built in vineyards as a place for workers to have their afternoon nap while sheltering from the midday sun or winter storm.
A fabulous Syrah and Grenache blend. This is one of the best basic Côtes du Rhône I have had. I have seen a huge uptick in quality since this vineyard converted to biodynamic farming -- more tension and structure and acidity. It has wonderful rich spiced plums on the nose and if you want to try a wine which taste like velvet, this is it. With notes of red berries and white pepper, this red is so drinkable you could have it every night. It makes me want to cut up a log of goat cheese into ¾ inch discs, roll them in some garlic breadcrumbs and pan fry them, serve on some frisée with a zingy dressing and partake in a glass of this wine. Heaven.
If the first wine is a carefree and joyful child, the next wine would be the sophisticated uncle:
This 100% Syrah is a stunning glass of peppery, spicy mulberries. The perfectly balanced tannins create great elegance and leave you smacking your lips, as the flavors of dark berries and spices twirl around your mouth. This is a seriously great wine for the money and could grace a dinner table and raise some eyebrows. If you want something special, a slow roasted pork loin rubbed in sage would be perfect. Here is a great recipe.
So, tip for this week is prep dinner, have a nap, have dinner and wine, have another nap.