Going to someone's house just for a drink feels like a retro thing to do. Here, it's a normal part of entertaining which can range from very simple spur-of-the-moment to a session around the table that starts anywhere between 6 and 7 p.m. and ends long past the usual hour for dinner.
Tonight's was with our friend Mark from Scotland who we've known since the mid 1990s. He and wife, Cath, own an enormous barn in Treziers, a village about 9 km away. (Walking distance, actually. That's where the mechanic who cared for and nurtured our previous voiture lives. When the car needed work, we'd walk over or walk back.)
The traditional drinks for apero hour are pastis for the men and muscat or wine for the ladies. The accompaniments can be as uncomplicated as a bowl of chips/crisps or peanuts or olives, or include little plates of charcuterie.
Mark, a journalist, just returned from near Bordeaux where he was working on a story. He had brought back a bottle of Sauternes which he said went well with the hunk of Roquefort he set out. Sweet wine, salty cheese... Ham from Spain, nuts, other cheeses, it all meant that we only needed a small plate of pasta when we got home.
The sauce was the leftover peperonata from last night, thinned with water and with chunks of leftover fish folded in. Nice.