At lunch the other day, my companion shared the wonderfully poignant story of his aging father, the man who inspired his lifelong love of wine. He related how, as his father approached his final days, he would ask his son to "go to the cellar and get something good."
Far too many great bottles of wine are denied their purpose: to be shared with those you love, or at the very least, to be enjoyed in contemplation of everything they represent, whether that be decades of careful cellaring, or the whim of a passionate purchase.
I can understand the urgency of an approaching end as a motivation for doing some serious drinking with loved ones. Which is why I heartily approve of the news that a French hospital for terminally ill patients has recently installed a wine bar.
"Why should we refuse the charms of the soil to those at the end of their lives? Nothing justifies such a prohibition," NBC News quoted a statement released by the University Hospital Center in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
The charms of the soil, indeed -- not to be lost on those who will soon be under the soil themselves. And of course, their appreciative families as well.
Speaking of wine and death, I can't count how many times I've now seen the story shared on Facebook of the Chinese billionaire killed by his own (possibly counterfeit) Champagne cork.
Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, if you deplore the senseless loss of life), the story is, in fact, as outrageous as it seems (read: fiction). Still, there was something quite compelling about the idea of a counterfeit bottle with higher than acceptable levels of pressure.
What a way to go, and certainly better than simple poison in your wine, an iniquity scientists now believe may have been suffered by none other than Alexander the Great. Imagine the shape of the world but for that fateful glass of wine.
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Vinography Images: Above the Coast 2015 Seven Percent Solution Tasting: May 6, San Francisco Imagining a Better Future for the Soils of Champagne A Brief Video Lesson in Champagne Disgorgement Vinography Images: The World of the Leaf Book Signing on May 9th, at Raymond Vineyards in Napa Doorman: Changing My Wine Delivery Life A Singular Expression: The Champagnes of Cédric Bouchard Acid Freaks Unite: Highlights From the 2015 IPOB Tasting Vinography Images: A Brief Oasis
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune