I’m getting ready to leave for Vinexpo tomorrow. It’s a huge wine fair, held every other year in Bordeaux. It sounds slightly daunting, and it’s my first time there. I won’t be staying long – just one day. I’m moderating a session of climate change in the Napa Valley.
A word on the weather here in the UK. After a scorching April and warm May, June has been rubbish so far. It has rained most days, but we took advantage of a mostly-dry day today to go for a walk with the dogs on the north downs way, along with some good friends. The walk took us past Denbies wine estate – the UK’s largest vineyard, and now making some really good wines after a few years of variable performance.
Yesterday we headed up to Malvern for a celebratory lunch to mark Fiona’s aunt’s 80th birthday. It went really well, and I had some lovely conversations with a number of the guests. My impression is that in the UK, we’re all really scared of getting old. But this could be because our society fails to value the elderly, and worships youth. People don’t really believe that ‘the wiser mind
mourns less for what age takes away, than what it leaves behind,’ to quote Wordsworth.
There’s one aspect of ageing that slightly scares me, though. There’s a loss of olfactory acuity with age. To put this more plainly, we lose our sense of smell as we get older. Having nasal allergies and colds is bad news, accelerating this decline. I hope that I’ll have the guts to call it a day rating wines when I can no longer smell them properly; I also hope this day is a long way off!