17h shadow

by jemma margaret

There is a certain time of day when it is after afternoon and not yet evening.

When one doesn’t know whether to say bonjour or bonsoir. When the hour is too late to drink tea (or risk being up all night),

but too early to drink wine (or risk being asleep before dinner).

It’s really terrible, I don’t know what to do with myself.

Otherwise, it is not so much a drinking problem, as a drinking solution. From mugs to glasses, or I might just use my universal yogurt jar for both…

But tea and wine are not the same thing

and one really shouldn’t confuse the two.

I have tea figured out for myself. Something strong and simple, bitter on its own and just right with a splash of milk (au point du lait). No sugar, but I wouldn’t say no to something sweet on the side.

I’ve also paid a couple visits to the well dressed gentlemen of Mariage Frères to supply an afternoon genmaicha and an evening rooibos.

Wine, however, remains a perplexing mystery.

I know enough to stay clear of the under 5 euro big names, but in the realm of minor varieties I am picking at absolute random.

In Brooklyn I enjoyed perusing the wine shops with helpful descriptor cards, but I am not sure what reaction I would get at the neighborhood caviste when I ask for the best cheap wine they have. Or tell them my weekly dinner schedule–what wine goes well with peanuts and carrot sticks? So I’ve been sticking to the supermarkets where every last bottle says it best accompanies fromage and viands.

To be perfectly frank, I may not even be able to tell the difference between a very nice bottle and a passable one.
Which makes my classy wine club membership un peu ironique, non?