Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Caroline Decoster

Caroline Decoster asked me the following :

“Maybe you are aware that I have started a master in wine and spirit management. For the marketing course, I was requested to ask 3 persons to participate in a subject called “Wine stories”: Each person must tell us about someone they met, an anecdote, a feeling they had, an emotion, in other words, a particular moment around “wine”.

This story should be relatively short (half a page only) and should give us the possibility to analyze, within the documents received, “unspoken” things about wine. Furthermore, this work can be anonymous or not.

My in-laws suggested to contact you as you know this subject, and as you publish this blog, you would have stories…

I have to give my essay back in a month. Let me know if you are not interested in responding to this project. Otherwise, I would be happy to receive your story.”

As you can see, things are off to a good start for this school where students can get a master in wine and spirits management.
In fact, the student must ask someone to do his (or her) homework… This is better than to do research or copy from someone who already did it. Have your homework done by someone else.
Nobody thought of asking me during my “little” studies.

Well now, what or which sort of story should I choose?

In our story, Murielle and I, the most incredible event what this bottle of Pétrus 1955 we drank in 1982 or 1983, in the bar restaurant Le Petit Prince in Montpon Menestrol to celebrate the sale of the bar and Murielle’s birthday.
This bottle, offered by Mr and Mrs Lisoir on the behalf of their boss (Jean-Pierre Moueix) was in response to my request as a beginner wine enthusiast. At that time I was a bank employee at the Credit Agricole taking care of their savings. In order to pad their retirement plan as bakers, they worked for this famous negociant-owner.
Up to that time, we only drank “wine”.
Wine from more or lesser known appellations, Bergerac, of course, Pécharmant, Bordeaux, Pomerol, Saint Emilion, Châteauneuf du Pape, Fronsac, etc… Some were already known at that time. However, this bottle (opened without knowing much about its quality nor its price) was served with a dish which I don’t remember, but with our friends – Friends from the bar, normal people, who usually drink beer, Ricard, rosé from Provence – We were all “flabbergasted”, surprised by this wine, probably drank in normal glasses. We all felt that we were drinking something different… was the wine responsible for this feeling? Was it this luxury and privilege bottle? Was it the fact that this bottle was a gift?
I don’t remember anymore, but what I can say is that it was very good, a delight, a delicacy. It was not a wine, it was a revelation.

We all signed and dated this bottle but I am not sure if we took a picture. I still have the empty bottle, the ink from the signature disappeared and the label is fading slowly.
Since then, we had the opportunity and the chance to drink it again, never as good, but always with some emotion. When you think that this bottle made us discover what a great wine is…

So, this story is in response to Caroline’s request, but I still have many: tastings with Philippe, Michel and Jacques Luxey, the tasting in Paris where I gave a bottle of Pétrus 1961 to have the right to participate in this tasting of 1961 vintage where I ranked Haut Brion 1961, in front of La Mission and Petrus, once more, etc…

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