Whisky Magazine Issue 130
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Is there still room for wine on the table?
At least it wasn't going to attract many people. That at least was the consensus as we stood outside the tractor shed at 9am on the Sunday morning. I mean, who in their right mind would be up at this hour? If they were they'd be having breakfast or, this being Ireland, may already be on their way to chapel. Those who had been drowning in the ample hospitality of the Big Shed until the early hours would certainly still be a-bed. Like we wished we were, having been among that same carousing throng.
On the off-chance that there were some hardy souls, how many would contemplate sitting down and listening to five people debate whether wine was going out of fashion? The bright spark who thought that topic up was the Irish Times' drinks correspondent, the always excellent John Wilson. I suspect he thought it up at the last minute, not thinking that Colm McCan would ever accept such a ludicrous proposal.
John had clearly forgotten that the Ballymaloe Lit Fest is based around such vexatious discussions. We had also underestimated the stamina of the people who had paid good money to see the world's top chefs and wine writers discuss their work.
We took to our stools on the stage, looking like some pensionable boy band and looked over the empty tables in the drinks shed. (Ballymaloe, being a working farm, converts its buildings for the LitFest. The world of booze is ensconced where the tractors usually reside). A chat between ourselves? That would be just grand. I wanted to hear what...