Monday 2 August 2010

Oddbins Obikwa Rosé/Pinotage

The pinkness of pink: sunset over Hounslow; rhubarb; lips and gums; a beetroot sandwich; tail lights in the rain; dentist's mouthwash; cooked prawns; acid in universal indicator; bubblegum; Lady Penelope's car; scar tissue; candyfloss; a sticking plaster; rare roast beef; a flamingo; porphyry.

There's something inauthentic about pink, something sinister and unnatural. Why the hell did I decide I preferred it to white? Oh, because every time I went near a white wine (see the post for 19 July) my teeth started to hurt and I suffered a mild occipital neuralgia. It seemed, anyway. And having put up with that for a while, I thought, the rosé, that's the one, it's like a white, but without that anarchic, disinfectant threat lingering in every glass: because as we all know, the nearer a wine gets to being a red, the easier it is to keep down.

And it works, in a very real sense, for a while, until some law of diminishing returns sets in, or the patient's physiology starts to change and what was once tolerable turns out to be almost as much of a minefield as the thing it was supposed to replace, and yes, I'm looking at you, Oddbins' very own Obikwa Rosé (£4.99 on special offer at the time) with a cartoon ostrich on the front of the bottle and a label the colour of a bloodshot eyeball, creating an area of hotly vibrant visual interference right at the point where you grip the bottle with so much expectation, that's not what we want at the end of a long day -

And even the Wife noticed, once I'd cranked off the screw cap (accompanied by the faintest of hisses), that the air had changed and there was a shimmering quality to it, like a gas leak. I took a few tearful sips and thought that maybe my Obikwa needed to be colder. It had a physical presence at the table, like a large sweaty, pink, and yet quite cold, man. I wondered if leaving it in the fridge to get it even more frigid would be a smart move, whether that would lessen the mood of intimidation. Or freeze it until it was like the outer coating of a Mivvi - it was colourful enough, to pass muster as a lolly, really freakishly pink. What do I know about rosés anyway? Candyfloss and flamingos?

So I drank a bit, wiped my eyes and blew my nose, and stuck the bottle back in the fridge, where it remained until...

Day Two: out it came again. Slight phosphorescence, no audible hiss when the cap came off, cartoon ostrich still in place, clearly the wine couldn't dissolve glass, not at low temperatures anyway. And in a long moment of distraction, I necked the rest of it without even noticing. And that was it. The threat disposed of. Didn't even get a headache/blurred vision/sense of overwhelming cosmic doom, such as one normally experiences as a result of over-swift imbibition.

What do we learn from this? Was Day One just an abreaction to the colour? Is it the deviant appearance of rosé that presents its own challenge, particularly one as luminescent as this, which sits on the table wearing its own high-visibility workman's jacket? Or does it just need 24 hours to breathe? Or if I wore dark glasses? Or drank with the lights off? Or do I need 24 hours to breathe?


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