Celebrate with Cava on the Beach

Celebrate with Cava on the Beach

I, like every other Irish person, have endured many a blustery beach picnic, turning various shades of blue, while being sandblasted by Atlantic gales. Stoic,  is the word that comes to mind. Stoic but optimistic, deluded maybe, as we make the same plans for the following weekend, by which time we'll have recovered from the bout of hypothermia, and the sight of a wan sun poking through the clouds is all we'll need to perk us up again. 

Is it all worth it? Resoundingly yes. The reason for my unhesitating conviction is that one glorious day at the beach banishes all those brutish bad memories. 

We recently celebrated my daughter's birthday, as requested by her,  with a barbecue on the beach.  That optimism again,  a trait which baffles our neighbours from other parts of Europe, who believe in fantasies like the weather forecast. If we waited for the weather app stars to align, I explain to their Goretex shielded, incredulous faces, we would never see the light of day. No, we make a plan,  pack up the supplies, and come hell or high water- both of which make regular appearances- we picnic our hearts out.   

Ah, but when you're sitting on the beach and the sun does show up, and you've found a sheltered spot facing away from the east wind, you're invigorated and energised by that salty dip, and the glorious smell of sausages charring fills the air, truly, you forget every other drizzly disappointment.  

That bottle of Carles Andreu Cava, nice and chilled from the esky, pairs perfectly with the feeling of having won something precious.   

Many years ago,  we invested in a good picnic bag, stocked with all the accoutrements needed for a successful picnic. I like a nice glass to drink my wine from,  even if it's plastic,  but there's no excuse for drinking good wine from an ugly tumbler.  The selection of great picnic gear has exploded in the last decade or so,  and putting together your beach look is now up there with Grand Designs. All adding to the joy of that elusive, successful, forever-lodged- in-the-memory, sunny,  warm beach barbecue.   

So it went,  at the daughter's birthday party.  Sheltered spot, blazing sun,  glistening waves, smoky aromas, and that crisp, cheerful Cava sparkling in our glasses.  

Funny though,  as wonderful as the beach day is,  I think the dusk, going into moonlit night,  is my favourite part of the experience.  A blazing fire - responsibly minded - adds the necessary heat to keep us there late into the night.  This is when the more robust wines can come out,  to go along with that woodsmoke and a nice,  oozy cheese.  An Australian relation advised us many years ago regarding barbecues to keep it simple,  and we've stuck happily with this edict.  Sausages,  nice rolls, ketchup - no need to reinvent the wheel here. A stash of good cheese for later for the adults and marshmallows for toasting for the youngsters, and the day wraps up perfectly. All that stoicism and delusion are rewarded once again, and, really, does anything taste better than a fine glass of red as you watch the moon reflect on that calm,  momentarily-tamed sea?  



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