Ugh. 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.
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 photo courtesy Chris Hourcle.
a.s. byatt possession a romance, lamb with ratatouille, monthly wine writing challenge, provence lamb ratatouille, wine with lamb