alexander mccall smith

  • Remember Mateus Rosé?

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    Over het meenemen van wijn naar een feestje...

    "If you are a student and you are invited to a meal or a party at another student's flat, there is absolutely no doubt that you must take a bottle of wine with you. If you do not do so, then the host is perfectly within his or her rights not to let you in. This is an absolute rule and cannot be avoided by saying that your friend, who is coming later, will be bringing a bottle for you. Most hosts have heard that line before and will not believe you.

    'Students should not bring good quality wine with them as to do so will be seen as elitist and arrogant, and will imply that you do not approve of whatever your host will provide. This rule does not apply if you can explain that you took the wine in question from your parents' stock while they were away. That is perfectly acceptable in today's dishonest climate.

    'In my own day, the correct thing for students to take to a party was a cheap Spanish wine of, if flush with funds, Mateus Rosé, distinguished by its squat oval bottle, wich can later be turned into a lamp stand or a candleholder. This wine can occasionally be found in the back of parental cupboards and may be circulated at dinner parties without ever being drunk, in the same way as boxes of out-of-date After Eights do the rounds, like bankers' negotiable instruments never presented for payment.

    'If you are no longer a student, you should nevertheless continue to take a bottle of wine when invited to dinner unless the invitation comes from people who are much older than you. As far as friends of equal age are concerned, you should take a bottle of wne with you until you have all celebrated your fortieth birthday. After that, you must assume thay your hosts will be in a position to entertain you without assistance.

    'It is never wrong to take a bottle of champagne, even to a host who is well off. If the host is not on the breadline, this should be in a presentation case; it should never be taken chilled, as that implies that his own supplies of champagne will be exhausted and recourse may need to be made to the bottle you brought with you.

    'In no circumstances is it polite to take away with you the bottle that you brought if it not has been consumed at the table. It is also impolite to say at the end of a meal "I hope that you enjoy the wine we brought". That is not a friendly comment, and will be interpreted accordingly. Nor, as a host, is it polite to examine the label of a bottle brought by your guests. If you do, always misread the vintage, saying for example, of a 2007 Bordeaux, "Ah, 2001. What a treat."'

    That is the advice that William would have put in his leaflet had he written it. 

    William French, wijnhandelaar, MW (Failed) and Bordeaux-liefhebber is een fictieve figuur die ontsproot uit de creatieve geest van Alexander McCall Smith, het bekendst voor zijn N°1 Ladies Detective Agency reeks over een vrouwelijke detective in Botswana. Dit citaat komt uit het eerste deel van Corduroy Mansions een soap-novelle met veel Brits flegma en humor die ik iedereen kan aanraden. Als je dit deel uithebt kan je het vervolg ook laten voorlezen op deze site, waar het wordt voorgelezen en een online novel wordt.

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