Getting a group of sommeliers in the same room with a score plus four cases of magnificent wines is the start of joke along the lines of how many somms does it take to open a nebecanazer of 62’ Petrus*. There will be stories traded, cigarettes snuck, jobs offered, and more gossip than a room full of fourteen year old girls. And so it was when I was invited to pour wine for this Charity Event.
While our chefs prepared a five course feast for a few hundred people, we diligently double decanted almost 300 bottles of spectacular wines in preparation for the dinner. We were working from the administrative quarters of the estate. The four guest cottages were occupied. We could have worked from the tree house – it was bigger than my last apartment – but it lacked an elevator. Thus our prep-work and breaks between pouring wine for each course, was conducted in the Estate Administrator’s Residence – think small townhouse in the inner suburbs.
After we poured wine for the cocktail hour, and just before the first course for dinner, our dinner arrived. It was a reminder of the punishment for bad chefs – catering hell. It was barely edible. There was the grumbling one would expect from people who know and love food when they are served meals that hearken to high school cafeteria fare. The wines deserve a better backdrop was the murmured refrain.
Thirty minutes later salvation arrived in the familiar red heating bag of the Domino’s Delivery. 1982 Rothschild and a slice of pepperoni was the best wine pairing I have ever tasted.
*If that joke made sense to you, you are a serious wine geek.