Tunisia needs another revolution. Nothing wrong with the democratic developments, but the wine could do with a coup.
There I am with ancient historian son in a bar in El Kef - at the furthest reaches of the Empire (Roman) watching Esperance Tunis FC win the African Champions League while tucking into some rather lovely herby crispy pastries, curried chicken etc.
The mood is liberated in every sense, less than a fortnight after their elections. The drive from the capital out west has taken us past a vast swathe of fertile farmland with vines here and there.
Then the wine. Well the rose was worse which made this red seem adequate. Smooth, rounded, pleasant but entirely characterless. Certainly not Grand Cru.
Still, who's complaining at the price and the setting of the hillside medina and the context of new-found freedom.
Maybe the climate isn't perfect and perhaps the soil doesn't offer much in the way of mineral input. But with the French influence and the Lebanese example surely Tunisia can have a wine to match the glorious evocation of Carthage?
Go to the fabulous mosaics of the Bardo Museum and there's lots of evidence that Bacchus has a fantastic history here, now it needs some investment in the future.