I had an amazing experience this Saturday. Or, a geeky experience, some would say.. Either way, I really enjoyed it, so go ahead and call me a geek, a snob and all that jazz.
Ahem, anyways, to make a long introduction short, my mom’s boyfriend, Klaus, is throwing a rather fancy wine tasting for some old friends of his featuring strictly wines from the Medoc region of France. He was short a few bottles and had been looking all over (and outside of) the country for them. I’d suggested he looked up my go-to wine guy and asked him.. And as it turned out, my guy came through and hooked him up with a local merchant/collector here in Kolding who just happened to “have a few bottles lying around.”
So, Klaus, being the guy that he is, thought I might enjoy the experience and asked me (and my mother) along to visit the Holiest of Holies.. I mean, this woman’s wine cellar.. When he went to pick them up.. And what an experience that was.. Or well, at first it didn’t look like much when we arrived at our destination and a rather innocent looking cellar door (which I hear is the most beautiful word in the English language?). It wasn’t till our host, Hanne, arrived and let us in and down a flight of stairs that things got interesting.
The first thing I noticed, aside from it being fucking cold down in this beautifully arched brick walled basement. Were some old, wooden shelves carrying bottle after bottle of Warres Vintage Port wine from the late 90’s all the way down through to the year 1900! “Yea,” I thought as I browsed on a little, inspecting crates upon crates of some of the finest Grand Cru reds to come out of France in the past 10-15 years, “this is DEFINITELY where I parked my car!” I pressed on, trying hard not to look too much like a kid in a candy store and even harder to not knock something over.. I mean, even if you don’t know much about wine, you don’t need to be a genius to figure out that when most things don’t carry price tags and those that do carry tags in the $100+ area, well, then you should be careful!
After a while of chatting and random browsing, our hostess asked us if we wouldn’t please join us for a small glass of wine. This sent me into a mild coughing fit which I did my best to attribute to the climate of the basement rather than the fact that she’d just pulled out a 1996 Medoc and was now offering me the most expensive wine I’d ever had the pleasure of tasting.. At 10:50 AM on a Saturday morning! Naturally, not one of us declined the invitation.. She then led us through a small, private study, the walls of which contained wine racks featuring some real treasures with small stickers showing the various vintates.. 1986, 1974, 1963, etc.. I even spotted a couple of pre World War I reds.. And a 1961 Pommery Champagne.. Even the candle holders on the small desk were made out of empty bottles of super wines.. Sheesh!
And that wasn’t even half of it. Our destination, apparently, was the tasting room which was like the inner sanctum of the place, featuring more beautiful arches, glass mosaics, a fireplace, a large oak table in the middle of the room and hundreds of bottles of wine ranging from fuck off expensive to downright priceless. The large crates from the first room were present as well, only now the featured vintages such as 1974-1986, and the walls featured long wine racks containing a breathtaking amount of collector’s items and sets such as Sauterne wines from 1920-35, pre-WWII reds, all wines ever ordered by (in)famous Danish politician Peter Brixtofte, and, well.. Just about everything you could imagine from within the last 100 odd year or so.. All of the rare, most of them in perfect condition and none of them (of course) carrying a price tag.
“This is ridiculous,” Klaus whispered in my ear, “do you have any idea how much all of this is worth?” I could only whisper back a guesstimate of “anywhere between DKK 10 million and price-fuckin-less” to which he silently nodded in agreement.. And so there we were seated for the wine experience of a life-time.. For me at least, being unable to take part in the experiences related by Klaus and Hanne of visiting French Chateaus and Californian vineyards.. I was perfectly, blissfully happy with just sitting here in this cold, stone-walled basement, sipping a 13 year-old red wine at 11 AM in the morning while being surrounded by one of the most impressive wine collections in all of the land.. I didn’t even notice the cold anymore. “This is insane,” was all I could text Tina, “I’m sooo overly stimulated right now!”
But, alas, business is business, so after our sipping session and a good talk, we figured we’d better let our hostess get back to enjoying the rest of our day. So Klaus picked out the two bottles that he wanted for his tasting and got away with paying “only” DKK 2700 or thereabouts for them which immediately made me feel better about some of the amounts I’ve spent on wine and spirits over the years. Then again, the bottles that he got were rather exclusive, two of them being the same vintage as yours truly (1981) and the other one being a 1984, I think, it was 25 years old to the date anyways, so must’ve been a ’84.
We then shook hands and went back from whence we came and let Hanne, who was apparently feeling a little under the weather from a cold, get back to her bed. I then checked my watch.. Noon.. And it had already been a rewarding day.. Which was only to get better and feature such events as the announcement of larger parts of the Rock Am Ring line-up (featuring Korn, Marilyn Manson, The Prodigy, Limp Bizkit and Flogging Molly), nearly getting into fights with a psychotic cunt of a next door neighbor, DIY labor, home-made pizza by yours truly and a case of getting my drunk on with Tina, Daphne, Jakob and other.. But that’s another post, I’m sure.. I’ve been meaning to follow up on these events, but it’s late and at least this post is a bit longer than that of the night before.. Or this morning, rather, I guess.. My apologies to any Cardinals fans out there, by the way.. Them birds did put up a good show and a good fight!