In my novel, Spank, my hero George Aloysius Brown and his Balinese wife Pem use their choice of wine as a code, a silent message to each other to convey their sexual desires.
It always added an extra twist of anticipation and excitement to their love making.
If Pem’s choice was a blush wine, he knew there was just one thing she particularly yearned for.
And if his choice was a gewürztraminer, which sparkles on the tongue with hints of lychees, roses and passion fruit, she knew he also craved to taste …
Well, you’ll just have to read the book to learn more.
I was reminded of how central wine is to many of life’s simple pleasures during a recent visit to Margaret River in Western Australia.
There are some 120 wineries in the region, but we visited only four or five.
It’s a lovely part of the world, vineyards set among rolling hills of bushland and gum trees. But for me, the great beauty is the coastline, which runs about 60 kilometres.
A lighthouse marks the divide of the Great Southern Ocean and the Indian Ocean; one way is Africa and the other is Antarctica, which reminds you how huge and isolated Australia is.
We stayed in a guest cottage in Prevelly at the mouth of the Margaret River. It was just a short walk from the beach.
At sunset, locals and tourists alike take bottles of wine to Lookout Point to watch the giant red sun slide into the sea.
There are huge breakers here. The wind rips the tops off them when they are still some way out, at which point they turn foamy white and surge towards the rocks.
It’s an awesome sight wth or without wine.