This article could have just as well been written for the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge for the topic “serendipity.” I did mention the organization Les Amis du Vin in that article as well as the article that I linked to it for a wine tasting evening with Harry Waugh. Les Amis du Vin means The Friends of Wine, and while I am no Francophile, nor can I speak the French language, I can translate that phrase. While I was in college, I was working my way through, one of the high school part-timers that I was training for the store told me about his girl friend’s Father who really enjoyed wine. I tend to hear that quite a bit, and I tend to take remarks like that with a grain of salt, of course he really was into wines. He was the state director for Les Amis du Vin and he had the finest wine cellar, I had ever seen amassed at that point in my life.
He gave me information and an application for joining the society, but at that time, it was an expense that I thought I could forgo, as I had other fixed expenses that were necessities, and even though I thought of wine as a necessity, I could live without the society. The society offered a magazine that was published bi-monthly. They also offered a wine of the month, with no obligation to purchase. There were also wine tastings to encounter, and they even had travel excursions at times to places like France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. These were all a little heady for me at the time and perhaps still too heady as I am thinking of retirement.
One of the grand moments of meeting this gentlemen, was that he invited me to his home to have a bottle of wine, so that we could talk and get to know each other. He told me that he had a bottle of wine that he wanted to check how it was doing, as he still had another case of the wine resting. He was very nonchalant about the wine, but when I saw it, I was not, even at that point in my wine knowledge; I knew a classic when I saw it. We were sharing a bottle of Chateau Ausone 1957 from Saint-Emilion. Even today there are only four wines that are considered Premier Grand Cru Classe and they are Chateau Ausone, Chateau Angelus, Chateau Cheval Blanc and Chateau Pavie, of which I have had all save Chateau Pavie. I do enjoy the wines from this district and I still think that they are a bargain for the most part as compared to the Medoc. Chateau Ausone is a rather small vineyard and it is planted half and half with Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The other unique aspect of this famed vineyard, because of its size, is that the harvest can be done at the most optimum point in time, because the fruit can be harvested in two afternoons. The gentleman was very happy with tasting of the wine that evening and he did allow me to leave with the empty bottle, and he knew that he had still plenty of time to enjoy the wines that were still in storage.