Wednesday, November 30, 2005

J's Cellar

J has got be the luckiest man in the world. Not only does he have a beautiful and loving wife N, but he also has an amazingly good collection of wine. This is how he got a large portion of his cellar...

A few years ago, J acquired a small wine refrigerator that holds about forty bottles. His wine buying habits really do require more than a forty-bottle refrigerator so he started dreaming about getting another larger one. N was at our house wondering what to buy him for his 40th birthday. She suggested buying him a much bigger wine refirgerator, which I thought was a splendid idea. And then I had another even more splendid idea. J and N are the friendliest and most hospitable people you could ever hope to meet, and their wide circle of firends spend many evenings at parties at their house.

J wanted to have a big meat-eating party because he has resolved never to eat meat again after turning forty. I suggested that the guests should be asked to fill J's new refrigerator with wine, and each of their friends would bring a bottle to the party.

To make matters simple. I made up a list of wines with the help of Mills, a wine shop (highly recommended) in Annapolis, MD. Each guest was sent the list with the invitation to the party. The guests were asked to phone Mills with their choice of gift. Mills put a label on the back of each bottle identifying the person who had given the wine. I picked up the wine, and we put it in the refrigerator, and so a refrigerator full of wine was J's present for his 40th birthday.

So, on the big day, when the ribbon was cut, not only did J get a new (and large) refrigerator, but it was also filled with wine. The list combined a few classics, wines that I think are particularly good, a few value wines, and wines from regions that J likes (Rhone, Burgundy, and Languedoc).

I can't remember all the wines in this collection, but they wines included among others:
Things got even better than that. After a few days, the refrigerator stopped working, and J called the manufacturer. They sent the part, but somehow could not organize the repair. J complained and the company sent him another refrigerator and told him he could keep the broken one! He installed the part himself so he now has two big refrigerators, one full and the other empty, and one little one.

The three best wine gifts that I have ever received are a Chateau Leoville Barton (1982), a Chateau Cos d'Estournel (1982), and a bottle of Dom Perignon (1990).
What is the best bottle of wine you have ever been given?

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