Old Red Eyes is Back

It is very peaceful in Casa Jones today. The slightest sound is greeted with groans and any sudden movement results in a rather pasty face. We had a few people around to meet our house guests last night.The house guests themselves drove slowly off down the driveway this morning on the first part of their grand tour, heading off to Lecce and all places south though who knows quite how far they will get. If it was me I would be around the corner with the seats in full recline and fast asleep.

They returned last night in time for supper clutching bottles of red wine. Whilst lovely to receive one often worries that maybe the house guests that do this don’t approve of the wine they have been drinking since arrival. I as I have explained before am a glugger not  a sipper and so buy looking for quantity rather than quality. The bigger the bottle the better it is. I buy a nifty Sangiovese from somewhere up North 1.5 litres for the attractive price of €2.39 . It weighs in at a gluggerable 10% alcohol level but I must admit it tastes better almost frozen than room temperature indeed at room temperature it has shall we say a distinctive taste. Still it hits all my hotspots though often like last night rather too well.

The house guests bought Primitivo which weighs in at 15% and probably should therefore have an health warning on it about not attempting to walk after a few glasses. However I needn’t have worried about them not liking my wine because as the food was eaten the bottles of every type, size and style were quickly emptied by guests and hosts who clearly were eager to enter the Guinness Book of Records.

We ate in the kitchen so I guess it should be called supper rather than dinner  though we like most Italians do not have a dining room anyway so always have supper. Kitchen suppers have been all over the news in the UK since the strangely spelt Rebekah Brooks a Rupert Murdoch starlet texted Brit P.M. Cameron to ask him to one. It reignited the debate about what is what.

I first came across the definition when in Porto Portugal in 1979 . The port growers being more English than the English had formal dinner parties with black tie and all the trimmings but then would have close friends to supper which meant an informal meal sitting around the kitchen table. At the black tie dinners ladies left the room and the gentlemen to their port. The first few times this happened Geraldine stuck to her seat and was probably singlehandedly the reason they started having port served to the ladies in another room . With this introduction she was nimbly out of her chair and through the door like a greyhound.

Supper is normally also served later than dinner at about 9 p.m. which suits the thirstiest of us who can engage in loads of pre supper drinks. I unfortunately was outside at the wood oven cooking the various meats and  as always when guests get on well was quickly forgotten so I was forced to ration my one beer while battling the heat as I turned the meats.

The Americans could never have supper. They seem to have managed to change all mealtimes over the years and I couldn’t ever get over having breakfast in the middle of the night at 6.30 a.m. lunch before midday and eating “dinner” in  restaurant at 5.30 p.m. when even my young kids hadn’t started on their fish fingers at home. I do remember at one power breakfast in New York at 6.30 a.m. a great throwaway line by a guy that turned up a few minutes late. “Sorry” he said  ” but my 5 a.m. meeting over ran”. He had actually overslept but boy was the boss impressed.

But back to today and Jimmy couldn’t say it any better for me

If I don’t die Thursday then I’ll be roaring Friday night. We are in fact off to the Festa in our local town of Villa Castelli tonight and if I can hold the camera steady I will take a few snaps and show them to you tomorrow. I hope the house guests aren’t in a lay by on the way down there. Should I wake them or not ?





About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
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2 Responses to Old Red Eyes is Back

  1. Alison Harvey says:

    Primitivo! Had a couple of visitors from Lecce last week for a business meeting. Eager to impress I messaged my cousin in Alliste, what wine do you recommend I buy for them? “Primitivo di Salento is good but strong” was the reply. After spending all morning on the internet I managed to find a wine company in the UK that supplied it and ordered 6 bottles. Needless to say the business meeting went well. We still have a couple of bottles left along with a bottle of Grappa which we are saving to ‘brighten’ up our christmas party… 🙂

    • hereinpuglia says:

      Stayed with friends near Alliste a year ago. Lovely neck of the woods. Great if you can sit on a couple of bottles of Primitivo and a bottle of grappa until christmas. Someone once gave me one of those things to put in wine bottles when you don’t finish the bottle and want to keep it for tomorrow, but I seem to either finish the bottle or start the next one and then forget to use it especially with Primitivo.

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