Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Beginning

My interest in wine is a direct result of the times I shared with my Swiss grandfather in the late 70's. He kept a wine cellar of a couple hundred bottles in his home in Zurich and I remember him taking me downstairs to the cellar after breakfast to choose a bottle for lunch. It was an old house built at the turn of the century and he had a big ring of keys that unlocked several doors that protected the wine from the outside world. Then, with the flip of a switch the bottles were illuminated, all neatly laying in a row on their sides next to each other. He would show me two or three different bottles that were important to him and then pick one for lunch, there was always a bit of ceremony involved. Then we went back upstairs to open the bottle and let it come to the right temperature before lunch. During lunch he and I would drink and eat and discuss things, it was then that I noticed for the first time that the wine changed him. He became more open and accepting of me, the conversation flowed from us in spite of the fact that I had to struggle with my German. At that time I came closer to him than I ever had ever been in the past. I'm sure the wine had a lot to do with it.


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