Monday: So Monday is a day without booze. Only tea, coffee or water. I go to bed feeling pointlessly virtuous.
Tuesday: This continues into Tuesday morning. Normally I get up after a drink-free day complaining piously to my wife that what do you know but that I actually feel slightly more hungover than when I've been drinking? What a paradox! Today, though, I actually feel slightly brighter than usual. I don't know if this is a good thing or not. A charming email arrives from Luca Turin, one of the geniuses behind Perfumes:The A - Z Guide. I realise that I forgot to mention, in my original rant, an advert for Tom Ford's Noir Extreme fragrance for men, found in an in-flight magazine and containing this imperishable garbage: 'An amber-drenched, woody oriental fragrance with a tantalising and delectable heart, Noir Extreme captures the aspect of the man who relishes in immoderation and dares to be extraordinary.' I am also so overwhelmed by the need not to lose face with Dr. Turin that it takes me a further two days to craft an intelligible reply.
Today's wine: Estevez Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, one of the whites I acquired from Aldi a couple of weeks ago. Not bad for £4.89, but not quite as terrific as the Freeman's Bay Sauvignon Blanc with which I started, the Chilean stuff revealing just a bit too much Listerine in the finish. And in the start. Next time drink the cheaper stuff first, I remind myself.
Wednesday: Aldi send an email, asking me to rate their wines. Cunningly, I send them a link to the piece in which I enthused about their service, their products, their prices. Within half an hour they have replied, informing me that my review does not meet their criteria. Idiots.
Today's wine: beer, in a pub.
Thursday: The morning is largely spent reading and re-reading PK's latest post, marvelling at his wit, envying his sagacity, falling into a stupor of admiration at his use of the word oenological. How does he do it?
Today's wine: I end up in a wine bar, where the drink being consumed is a Picpoul de Pinet Sel et Sable, chosen by my fellow-drinker, a person who knows his way around a wine list. It looks a bit top dollar, but off we go anyway. After a quarter of an hour we're running our tongues around our teeth like old men at a dog track, and it seems that the apparently impeccable Picpoul is a bit wild with its acidity. I don't know who first coined the phrase Wine IS red (last time I heard it, it was being attributed to Pete Townsend) but I'm starting to worry. Is it an age-related thing, this nervousness which increasingly attends the white?
Friday: A friend who claims to have a friend who used to deal in reclaimed wine (I can't remember if I've mentioned this before), reveals that this friend-of-a-friend doesn't much want to talk to me about his moody wine past, for any number of reasons. A shame, since the way this wine reclamation business was painted to me, it sounded pretty fabulous: the guy in question used to collect bulk wines from concerns that could no longer use it - SNCF in France, for instance, who might have a load of time-expired rosé in waxed cartons - which the guy would load into his van before driving it back to England, unloading it in a lock-up under some railway arches in London and re-bottling it as Fruity Red or Crisp White or indeed Floral Rosé and supplying it to, among others, Oddbins in one of their previous incarnations. I'll never know how much truth there is or was in any of it. I suppose I could keep repeating the story until someone either corroborates it or issues a writ for defamation.
Today's wine: still apprehensive about whites, I leave the Chilean stuff to rot a day longer in the fridge, and get out a flash-looking bottle of 2011 Chianti Classico which must have come from somewhere, once. It's disgusting, tasting like the bottom of a desk drawer, including spilled ink and human dust. What's the point of the little paper collar round the neck, complete with immense serial number and QR code, or the little black cockerel, if they don't denote some kind of quality? Why am I even asking this? I've drunk a ton of foul Italian wines, mostly with paper collars and the full bureaucratic imprimatur. All I ever learn is that I am incapable of ever learning.
Saturday: I take my watch to the jeweller's for a new battery, and am told it will need a full service, costing £200.
Today's wine: beer + immense Thai meal, partly to get over the watch shock.
Sunday: Two wines are still current at home - the now-senile Chilean white and the bastard Chianti. I eventually get outside the white and take a swig of the Chianti, on the off-chance that it might have had a complete personality re-think. It hasn't, and I end the day actively looking forward to a Monday of abstention. My week in wine: it's come to this.