Sometimes you need wine, whether it’s a bad day, a great day, a sudden burst of sunshine or unexpected rain, wine can be the best solution.
I’ve had those moments on the bike, when I’ve been out all day, eaten my own body weight in carbs, and just want to sit on outside and enjoy the wine from the vineyards we’ve cycled through. That’s great when there’s a local bar where you can order up a jug, but sometimes it’s not that easy.
Cycling through Italy, we found ourselves staying in a lovely room above Lake Bolsena, but without a functioning bar. We bought a bottle of Chianti at a camp shop down the road, along with some Gorgonzola and Ritz crackers. We didn’t buy utensils. It was easy enough to fashion a plate out of the cracker box, and the Gorgonzola was squishy enough to use as a dip. The Chianti was more of a problem. We had no corkscrew. Hacking away with the penknife on my cycle tool dug a mini hole in the cork, but didn’t open it. I resorted to bashing the cork in with an allen key and a shoe. It worked, we got wine, with the added benefit of fibre from the cork, and drank it from bidons. It was divine.
If only we’d had this advice from Sorin Mihailovici, who made a mini film explaining how to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew. I suspect we’d have had the necessary kit with us.