I must also talk a little about the cleverness of me.
November, and leaves fall and rot on the ground, covered in nasty black mould spots, and those of us inclined to mould allergies wheeze and cough and suffer from chronic post-nasal drip. The most important upshot of this for me is not the occasional voicelessness; it's that wine at meals becomes an impossibility because I already have quite enough histamines in my system thank you. Which is a great inconvenience: all my ancestral instincts insist that dinner, at the very least, must be accompanied by a glass of something cold and astringent.
The solution I discover is mugicha- barley tea. Classic summer drink in Japan, which I drink here cut with a bit of sweetened ice tea. As a summer drink, better than nothing, but it goes tepid and thus disgusting too fast for my tastes. But. BUT. With one slight modification it's the perfect accompaniment to meals.
The modification is to drink it from a wine glass. Crystal for choice.
Works like a charm. My expectations are fooled into thinking this is a dinner beverage, and my eye is deceived by the colour (so it looks closer to sweet vermouth- so what?) and the small quantities remain cold and delicious. Go me.