Our Islands Man at Large
“Bring us a decent bottle of wine if you’ve got room” was a final plea from our son Toby before we set off for a first visit to the island where he and his wife Rosie have been living since last September. Well, the Islands are my only Wine In Cornwall responsibility, so here was a request to which I had to respond!
Rather farther away than the Scillies though, this particular island, situated as it is some 50 miles off the south coast of South Korea. Much farther away, but not that much more expensive to get to, it has to be said. Comparison of airfares shows that the cost of flying from London to Seoul (5,500 miles) is about 6 pence a mile compared with the Penzance to St Mary’s (40 miles) rate of £2.35 per mile!!...... and you get fed!
For Barbara and me it was a splendid holiday. We were able to enjoy the end-of-year Arts Festival, the Summer Ball and Village Fete (which, once they overcame their initial shock at some of the more traditional English pursuits, was enthusiastically enjoyed by students and their parents alike). We swam in the new 25 metre pool, sang with the (whole) school choir and were bowled over by the friendliness and courtesy of all the youngsters (practically all Korean). Toby even found time to take us out to see something of the island, which certainly whetted our appetites for next year’s visit.
So, back to that bottle. What I took was Patrice Rion’s Vielles Vignes Nuits St George, (£34 from Wine In Corwnwall). It was more than ‘a decent bottle of wine’. Much more. Superb, in fact, with glorious raspberry fruit intertwined with those alluring Burgundy vegetal aromas.
But not with Kimchi– definitely not!