Today Mr Fandango has set us the FOWC and the word is Edge, this photo as usual bears no relevance to the story apart from maybe in a literal sense this little tit was perched on the edge of the fence. M spotted it and wondered out loud if he would like some water or a worm. Good thinking but when N bought a jam jar lid with a spot of water in the bird woke up and flew off, maybe he was just having a nap.
I popped into the local on Friday afternoon to pick up my daughter’s wages and to have a swift half (pint, but I kid myself). The landlord, is chaotic at best, incompetent at worst, and perpetually pissed. The guy who keeps the landlord on the straight and narrow told me there was wine tasting at the pub that evening and I know I had booked it verbally and letting the pub down was not an issue, so I cantered home in my mechanical horse and mentioned to Mrs T we had wine tasting with matching foods this evening. This was met with an affirmative and so we set about sorting food out for the kids, and other stuff far too tedious to mention, the story is about the wine tasting, not about the minutiae of our getting ready to go out. We all know what that entails so I will not dwell on it.
Rocking up at 8pm, expecting hoards of folk to be in the dining room, where the tasting was set to take place, ordered a pint and were told that the tasting was under way, there were 4 people; 2 retired couples; Black country which for overseas readers is an area around Birmingham, so called because of the sootiness caused by the industrial revolution, and friendly, smartly dressed and caked in make up. T, the landlord, was expecting 44 people and there were 6! This is a symptom of T falling out of favour with the locals, his bread and butter. As a landlord you are meant to be the master of discretion, the person in whose confidence you can trust, the man or woman you can offload your troubles and who you can rely not to speak to anyone else about them. Not T; no, he’s not trustworthy, he talks about his paying customers, locals and new bugs alike, in a disparaging manner, he called the 2 retired couples Twats, after they left the wine tasting. We were having a right old time with them, a real laugh, I wonder if T talks that way about me when I’ve gone home?
So with 8 wines to sample, and only 6 of us to sample them, plus a load of different foods to complement the wines, we kind of had our work cut out, lets just say we must have drunk and ate double the £22 per person charge, and after a couple of the whites you could tell this was going to turn out messy. As the chap in charge of the tasting carried on, the questions got sillier and sillier, the volume increased and the retired couples boasted about their kitchen wine chillers. I revealed that for a good 6 years or so now I had been choosing my wines by the label; judging a book by its cover, if you like. If the wine has a picture of anywhere you can live inside such as a chateau, a house, basically any building, then i’m afraid I have to avoid that wine, its worked thus far and I see no reason to change things, it’s my life and I can do as I please.
There were 4 whites and 4 reds, and it soon became apparent that once the whites were down, we were all smashed and really couldn’t care less about the richer fuller reds, my personal favourite colour wine. All the time a new dish of food was being brought out by T, some cheese, spring rolls, some garlic prawns, some italian cured meats, antipasti, and that is where my memory of the wine tasting becomes a bit hazy, I know we had crackers at some point, the retired ladies were drawling over their words and talking about matters other than wine, T was getting pretty hot under the collar, trying to get us to pay more attention and the wine tasting man was looking at us and his watch begging T to stop talking so he could finally fuck off and get home. If there had have been more people then we would have been really just tasting but this was a full on, full speed cultured piss up in the name of sophistication, of which we failed to bring any to the party, what we had bought we left in the bar!
The tasting fell apart like a pair of old trousers as we all scattered to the winds, I went to the bar because I hadn’t had enough to drink and proceeded to down a couple more pints, Mrs T was chatting to the wine man and the swingers (we decided they were) and doing some guilt buying, which is when you feel like you have to buy some of the bottles of the wine we tasted, as they were the best thing ever. So we ended up with the third bottle of white and the first bottle of red we tried, I have no idea thinking back what the second, third or forth reds were apart from about £14.
Joining in with a family gathering; parents and a brother and sister who I hope were as drunk as I was saw T at his most vitriolic; the swingers had gone and he was slating them calling them heathens and twats, slightly harsh I thought as we all had a belting time, it wasn’t our fault that 36 other people dropped out. This showed T has a real sharp Edge to his personality, the locals are leaving in droves, he’s declared the pub not to be a summer pub, despite having a lovely garden and surrounded by beautiful walks (see entire blog, its loosely based on walking and I suggest you start at the beginning).
We will see what the future holds for our lovely pub, it’s not looking bright under the tenure of T.