Whine of the week: Stubborn Northerners

CHARLIE DOWELL doesn’t understand why people like the North.

bbc bums grim north rioja whine Wine

The sun set a couple of hours ago, but the air is still warm.

Exhaust fumes and a Chinese industrialisation have extended our summer, allowing me to enjoy this glass of Marqués de Montino Rioja, Reserva 2009, outside, shirt unbuttoned to mid chest.

The wine is exceptionally smooth with chocolate overtones. For £6.50 from Sainsbury’s, it is probably one of the more surprising finds in Cambridge. One of its hidden gems.

Rating: 4 star

Value for money: 8.5

Smooth, like having Pierce Brosnan in your mouth.

Smooth, like having Pierce Brosnan in your mouth.

The surprising nature of the wine is almost as astonishing as the attitude of stubborn Northerners. Chatting away beneath the stars to my friend from Yorkshire, I couldn’t help but get annoyed with her stoic love of those higher latitudes.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like Northerners, they are perfectly normal lovely people after all. However, what I don’t like is their insistence that somehow the North is better than the South.

If you were an alien speaking to a Northerner, you would get the impression that everyone is friendlier, the countryside is better and the food is more delicious up North. Why did you land your spaceship down in the home counties, when it is far better 200 miles up the A1?

Better? Thought not.

Better? Thought not.

Well here’s a fucking news flash, the North is grim. I’ve been there and I didn’t want to live there. Yes you have hills, eccles cakes and perhaps the people are friendly, but it is also grotty and bloody depressing.

The glaring facts of unemployment figures, teenage pregnancies, obesity, child abuse scandals, deindustrialisation, lack of investment and fucking awful weather make the North undoubtedly shit. I know you Northerners love it because it is where you are from, but that is not a good reason.

I am from Chelmsford in Essex, a highly unremarkable town where the most exciting thing to do is get your haircut and not talk to your barber. Do I wish I could be there in its dreary streets, popping into Poundland or getting a snack from Burger King? No I don’t, because it is fucking dull and quite frankly it is not a very nice place to be.

Here's my home town. It's grim and I don't love it.

Here’s my home town. It’s grim and I don’t love it.

The same can be said for the dingy streets of Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Bradford, Hull, Huddersfield and so on. Take a step back and see the grim reality objectively and examine the North for what it is.

After all, you Northerners will probably get jobs in London and never go back. You will enjoy the cosmopolitan and capitalist delights of the South, but still complain that people don’t say hi to you in the street and that Margret Thatcher ballsed up the UK.

You may want to go back to the North, but the reality is the South has more to offer and is therefore better.

Anyway, I might as well open another bottle of that soothing Rioja as I read your vitriolic comments below.