A health warning: I don't know if this is a surprise to anyone but me, but if you drink this ineffable wine, you will find that it tastes of nothing other than bubblegum, sherbert and Strawberry Mivvi; and that it looks like the stuff the dentist used to give you in order to rinse'n'spit.
It's also known as a Zinfandel Blush, and in the States they drink it in plastic cups, like a soft drink. Through a straw.
Am I the last person on the planet to have discovered this? I saw the word Zinfandel, noted the uneasy Versace-pink colouring, but decided that, nonetheless, it had to be on the dry side of the fence, I mean Zinfandel, no? And after that success with the Brightwell Vineyard Oxford Rosé, too. I bought it on special offer (that clincher) and settled down to enjoy it with a nice bit of sea bass and some sautéed potatoes. Of course the combination was entirely revolting, like eating sausage and custard, but I was so convinced in my own mind that it would somehow come right that I pressed on, mixing the two, insanely certain that some kind of alchemy would happen in my mouth and the combination could be made to work.
It was only when I looked at the instructions on the back of the bottle and saw the word sweet that I realised the depth of my own perversity, and gave up. The power of language to convince, where the undependable senses have failed. Listlessly, I paired it a bit later on with some cheesecake, but the damage was done. I couldn't drink it in any context without my teeth squirming.
Why am I writing this? I don't know. Shock, I think. It's the lurch into the unanticipated, the apple that turns out to be rotten, the unwashed shirt, the biscuit tin full of ants, the corpse in the nun's habit, the green sky and the blue grass, the smell of frying in an empty room. That's why. And I still have half a bottle left.