I thought I’d use this Thursday to reflect on some memorable wine drinking occasions, if you’re accustomed to social media you’ll know it’s #throwbackthursday which sort of makes this relevant.
One particular memory of mine that can be painfully extracted starts in the French ski resort Les Arc 1950. I’d been whisked away by my then boyfriend who shall now be referred to as ‘him’.
We’d been skiing on fairly good conditions for most of the week, I remember the snow was extremely compact because they hadn’t had any fresh powder for a while but there was plenty for some decent whizzing around. However, a lack of powder means going off-piste is about as exciting as going to Milton Keynes, it’s all been skied before so has either turned into a slope in its own right or has transformed into a slightly more exciting blanket of moguls.
After becoming bored of analysing each other’s technique, we booked in for a lesson on the fourth day with a hilarious well seasoned French chap we’ll call Pierre. I always get this term wrong and call it cutting, but Pierre actually taught us how to use our edges properly, otherwise known as carving. This new found knowledge gave him some newfound agility and confidence and following the lesson we took to the slalom runs for some competitive racing.
Now, I partly blame myself for encouraging the behaviour, but I mainly blame him for what was to come. Alongside the slalom track there was a sort of cheese wedge shape of snow that could have potentially been used as a jump in another world. I hasten to add that there were no previous tracks on this wedge, meaning others had realise it was not a jump at all, and sensibly gone round the lump of snow and ostensibly carried on with their day. I thought it was a fabulous idea to give it a go, and suggested filming what would no doubt make me £250 on You’ve Been Framed at the least.
I went a reasonable distance away and parked up in trepidation, wicked person that I am, camera at the ready. Just as I started filming the run up I realised I had made a terrible mistake. You know how if you look down on a horse, you end up on the ground? Or if you focus on the tree while riding a bicycle, you’ll no doubt become acquainted with it. Well, the other half bailed half way across the cheese wedge and landed sort of with his ski’s horizontally forming an ominous V shape. As I was filming, he was looking right at me so the V for Vendetta hit my squarely in the back and I went flying.
“Divorce him!” shouted people who were lucky enough to have viewed the spectacle from the safety of the ski lift. My brain buzzed with the realisation that we are merely computers with emotions as all I saw was an out of signal TV screen for several moments.
Call it karma, call it what you like, luckily I am fairly tough from falling off the horse all the time and managed to take the whole situation in good humour – I also detest crying in public. Those fatal words, “Are you ok” can either inhibit whaling that comes from an infantile desire for attention or you can be sensible like me and get sloshed for the rest of the day and tell everyone how funny it was.
I said I’d like to visit the alien spaceship restaurant (it wasn’t actually called that but it looked like that in the middle of the slope) to chill out for a bit and that he could carry on skiing…but I’d find him later. For people who may visit Les Arcs, the restaurant is called Bulle Café and I can’t recommend it enough, definitely get the crevettes.
Suddenly, I was in bliss. I adore being alone and I zoomed to the funny shaped restaurant as fast as my little skis could take me. I swept in and ordered a pizza, a bowl of shell on prawns a lemon meringue and a bottle of rosé and took myself outside to a deck chair in the sun, stripped off and got tucked in.
That rosé was one of the best wines I have ever had, it was pale, perfectly chilled and tasted of luxury. Combine it with the prawns, a pizza covered in olives and a lemon meringue and I had pretty much died and gone to heaven. Why did I choose the rosé? I wanted the prawns and red would have been too heavy, it wasn’t too expensive and I wanted an ice bucket to look fancy.
What this experience taught me: I’m incredible happy alone and I love prawns, skiing and wine.