Inside Perth Bus Station, two adjacent offices offered conflicting information, both encouraging me to secure a timetable from the other. Marvellous, eh? So I walked aimlessly along the “stances”, fruitlessly looking for a bus to Errol. The times, as it turned out, were posted at an unmarked stand – a forlorn area, noticeably absent of passengers, at the far end. I’d missed a bus by two minutes.
The afternoon’s destination was Cairn O’Mohr, a winery unlike any other. ‘We’re the only UK company that makes wine out of tree leaves,’ boasted Linzey when I finally arrived. ‘Others use sap, but it’s just not the same.’
Also on offer was an array of berry wines, raspberry being particularly good with venison and game meats. I tried a thimbleful in a paper cup. It was remarkably drinkable, strong (13.5%), but perhaps a little cold.
Room temperature red wine has become misunderstood, however. Those heady days of stone buildings without central heating would have yielded considerably lower room temperatures, I was told. I wondered how the principle worked, then, when opening a Chateau Neuf du Pape in northern Europe during winter. Or, indeed, at lunchtime during a fierce summer. And aren’t wine-producing regions generally a scintilla warmer than Perthshire, The Heart of Scotland?
Linzey offered me a brambly drink next, a little acrid and tasting distinctly of hedgerows. Clocking my wrinkled nose, she said, ‘oh, you won’t like Musting, then.’ She was right – I didn’t. ‘Musting fruit wine is everything just thrown into the tank,’ she explained. ‘All the others have recipes.’
Food and wine
The plastic cups mounted higher as we progressed to gooseberry wine. It is, Linzey prompted, just the poison to accompany tagliatelle carbonara. And astonishingly, as she had confidently predicted, the first and second sips tasted utterly different. ‘What are you writing?’ she asked, as we moved onto Spring Oak Leaf Wine. ‘Linzey talks crap?’
I bought seven different bottles in the end – and a special yellow bag to carry them – forgetting entirely about the thirty-minute walk back to Errol. Perhaps there would be a nice bus back? No, I’d missed it again. ‘Wait twenty minutes and I’ll give you a lift,’ she said charitably. ‘Oh, and your gay yellow bag can be re-used for shoes and hair straighteners.’ Funny thing to say to a man..
(Photos courtesy of chatirygirl)