Celebrating The Spirit Of The Winter, The Beaujolais Nouveau Way

Celebrating Winter
Image used for representation only.

If all is going according to plan, dear reader, I will still be in France while you read this – and let us hope that this turns out to be the case.

I hope to be able to tell you much about the place when I get back, and regular transmission resumes next week, but based on what I have been reading thus far, I can tell you this much – I expect to be shivering a fair bit over here.

We will be gallivanting our way through Paris, Marseille and Nice during our holiday, and while the latter two cities are expected to be fairly pleasant, Paris is likely to be a wee bit chilly.

The temperatures, Google cheerily informs me every time I ask, are likely to be uncomfortably low. Ranging between a brrrrrr-inducing zero degrees and a not much better teen degrees.

And that, I submit, is another reason to love Pune so much. It does, I contend, winter just right.

It gets cold in Pune, but never uncomfortably so. A chill here, a nip in the air there, but that’s about it. You might want a sweater on your back on the bike, and you might want to wrap yourself up in a shawl in the early mornings but nothing more than that.

Cold enough to work up an appetite, but not so cold that you can’t bring yourself to make food. Chilly enough to decant a bottle from Scotland, and nippy enough to load up coals on the barbecue. Also, and this part is particularly gratifying, cold enough to make visiting Mumbaikars look like they’re setting off for the North Pole.

But you know what I mean, dear reader – Pune’s winters turn what is already a great city into a near perfect one. And while I’m all for croissants and baguettes, and towers and bridges and churches in Paris, the knowledge that I’ll be back to the soft welcoming glow of Pune in the winter is a very comforting thought indeed.

But in the meantime, excuse me while I sample the many delights of this, the most romantic of cities. Today, for example, happens to be a particularly fortuitous day to be in France.

The third Thursday of November, you see, is when the good citizens of France bring onto their tables a wine called Beaujolais Nouveau.

I am not, I freely and frankly confess, anywhere near to being an expert in oenology, but I plan to enthusiastically participate in the launch of this year’s batch of this wine, by sampling as much of it as is possible.

It will bring, I have been told, a warm glow to the cheeks, and is liable to fill my soul with goodwill for all and sundry. Pour away then, I say, and let the good times roll.

The next column should see me back in Pune, in its much and justly celebrated winter – but in the meantime dear reader, I say to you and indeed to everybody…

Santé !


Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish is a confirmed Punekar, which guarantees eternal undying love for the city, but also mandates an incurable sense of cynicism about it.

He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime
Ashish Kulkarni