My mother and I, sequestered away in a house in the Scottish hills, a roaring fire in front of us complementing the howling wind outside. A melted camembert sits on the floor between us, waiting to be devoured, and I have just uncorked a bottle of wine. The glug-glug-glug as it reaches the glasses, one of the most promising sounds in the world, makes us both smile.
I finish filling the glasses and place the wine next to the sofa. My mother stands up and moves it so that it’s sitting right in front of the fire.
Me: “Why are you putting it over there?”
My mother: “So that it’s the right temperature.”
Me: “But surely it’ll get too hot? We don’t want hot wine, we want room temperature wine.”
My mother: “Yes, but this is a hot room. You have to make the wine the temperature of the room, and the fire is the thing that’s making the room this temperature.”
My mother: “So for the wine to be room temperature in this room, it needs to be in front of the fire.”