Three months ago I called wine writer Frank Jacobs to share with him a rather hilarious wine story. I did not have this blog yet, and I thought it could be suitable for his monthly wine column in Perswijn. And indeed, the story ended up in the August/September edition of this magazine.
Nevertheless, Frank regretted that he hadn't heard the story before: the deadline for the book he was writing with Gert Crum had already passed... Well, this week the book has arrived in the bookstores (for now in Dutch only). Without the story about our building contractor and his unfortunate bottle of Château Mouton Rothschild 1995.
What happened? Well, our contractor - at the time - is an exuberant man, crazy about good food and about good wine. And a skilled worker also, but his one big problem: planning. We didn't have any idea about when things would be finished. And the project lasted, and lasted... But we still felt that in the end everything would be fine, and to express our trust, for Christmas we gave this man a beautiful Bordeaux. Yes, I 'gave up' my only Mouton Rothschild 1995.
He never drunk the wine, but - months later - smashed it against the wall of his house. Why? He was fighting with his girlfriend, and just to provoke him, she'd opened his carefully kept bottle Mouton and downed about half of it. His extreme reaction to this, the blatant cursing, the BANG! from the bottle against the wall, the noble juice spattering around, the red stripes crawling down slowly and dramatically, and finally his outraged exit from the house, all that frightened her so much that she had the police change the locks of the house. That night, our friend ended up in a sad hotel. Fueled with beer, not Mouton.
Anyway, there are other great stories in Legendarische Wijnverhalen, Legendary wine tales. For example: which wines were drunk by the six bankers from Barclays at the diner that lead to their discharge (one of the most expensive dinners ever recorded)? Which bottles do you find in the private cellar of Château Lafite Rothschild? What was the price of the wine that was given to Helmut Kohl at his visit to London?
Both Frank Jacobs and Gert Crum were my teachers at the Dutch Wijnacademie. Only one time have I seen a man trying to explain the grandeur of a wine by adopting an elegant ballet pose in front of a large audience: it was Gert Crum dwelling about great Burgundies. I'm sure this expressive capacity can again be found in this new book.
Frank Jacobs & Gert Crum