6 August 2007
By Douglas Blyde
"The First Duty of wine is to be Red...
the second is to be a Burgundy"
[Wine Diarist, Harry Waugh]
I intended this article to be an unsullied account of what was possibly the apex of my wine career thus far: serving 50 dignitaries within the marble floored and wood panelled splendour of Forbes House, Belgravia. The occasion, Bill Clinton's 'Climate Change Foundation'.
I was Lead Sommelier, classily-clad in white tie, in charge of the top table, offering amongst a rich wine diet, muscular yet powerful, garnet hued, truffle, cedar forest floor rippled with sorels and Arctic raspberry scented, sleek textured Burgundy - Gevrey Chambertin from Le Motrot (approx £36, Four Walls Wine, T. 01243 535353). This was tribute to tender of 'immaculate vineyards', Dennis Mortet, 'young, intensely ambitious and fiercely self-critical' winemaker who shocked the wine world by taking his life last year.
Alas I am not able to fully recount the evening, which in addition to 'The President' had the definition of 'lithe', Claudia Schiffer, Getty family members and somewhat rebellious James Murdoch in attendance because my tasting notes were unexpectedly removed, along with camera and phone the following evening in East London. I was - I believe the description is "bottled" - by a ternion of teenage nasties, leading to broken nose, ripped eyebrow and scratched eye-lid (or eye-closh?)
Never mind. Now undressed from white police issue tracksuit (my clothes were taken for forensic analysis), I know that stitches will be unsewn. Beetroot bruises and sobbing wounds will heal. Nerves will unfray. I even think that my nose, broken before, has been inadvertantly re-augmented.
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