A Wine for a Dreadfully Awkward Meal in A.S. Byatt’s Possession

Posted on: September 19th, 2013 by

a.s. byatt posession a romanceUgh. You ever read something that so encapsulates, with painful accuracy, a relationship on the decline? Or one that possibly never had an apex? This is my thought when I read A.S. Byatt’s Possession: A Romance. (Spoiler alert: the romance is not about these two, Val and Roland, who live in a dingy, cat-piss scented flat.) Here’s the passage:

Val put before him grilled marinated lamb, ratatouille, and hot Greek bread. He said, “Shall I get a bottle of wine?” and Val said, disagreeably and truthfully, “You should have thought of that some time back; it’ll all go cold.” They ate at a card-table, which they unfolded and folded again, after.

monthe wine writing challenge

I possess the ability to take part.

I was inspired to pick up this book again after reading about the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge on My Custard Pie. This month’s theme is “Possession” and, as you can tell, I took it quite literally.

So, OK, there’s the possession but where’s the wine? (I’m sure Val and Roland were wondering the latter as well.) Well when you’ve got lamb and ratatouille (and, uh, Greek bread) do yourself a favor and transport from a dank, dark London flat to Provence in the south of France. If Val and Roland wanted to perk up their chilly environs, what could be better than rosé? I’m thinking something from Bandol or Tavel, two southern French regions that produce a rosé that can match with both the lamb and the vegetables. Or if this duo wants to embrace the darkness, a Mourvedre-based red wine from Bandol would do the trick.

And there’s something about the unfolding and folding of the card table that makes it extra sad.

card table 05

The sign of a doomed relationship?

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Card table photo courtesy Chris Hourcle.

 

 

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12 Responses

  1. Thrilled that you delved into Possession for this challenge. I’m a fan of AS Byatt – have read the entire Frederica quartet – and did think of this novel when I chose the theme. Could opening a bottle of wine in advance have saved their relationship? This could start a whole new series…..wines that should have been chosen for scenes in novels. Absolutely love it!

  2. [...] bad they didn’t live in Seattle. Their romance could have been salvaged here. (BTW, I do have a wine pick for this meal on my [...]

  3. Oliver says:

    Have never read Byatt…might have to check it out.

  4. [...] A wine for a dreadfully awkward meal in A.S. Byatt’s Possession by Jameson Fink [...]

  5. Thanks for taking part in the challenge this month Jameson! Hopefully we will see you in subsequent months as well….

  6. [...] A wine for a dreadfully awkward meal in A.S. Byatt’s Possession by Jameson Fink [...]

  7. [...] A wine for a dreadfully awkward meal in A.S. Byatt’s Possession by Jameson Fink [...]

  8. mwwcblog says:

    [...] A Wine for a Dreadfully Awkward Meal in A.S. Byatt’s Possession [...]

  9. [...] week, I got an email from Jameson Fink, wine blogger extraordinaire (and former entrant in the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge) to do an interview for an article on Grape Collective where Jameson is a contributing [...]

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