Friday, March 02, 2007

Dom Deluise, Dom Dimaggio, Dom Perignon: The Fat, the Dead and the Bubbly

I tell my reporting students always -- pretty much always; don't do this during murder confessions -- to stop right in the middle of interviewing when they don't understand something. Faking it leads to confusion and embarrassment.

But personal conversations have never been subject to quite so high a standard of scrutiny. Indeed, if a person is complaining about his/her personal life and the failures of those who feature prominently in it -- with whom you may be on more than a nodding acquaintance -- you really don't way to know the specifics of their little peccadilloes, size and/or frequency.

Indeed, I have always felt the size of one's peccadilloes is privileged information,

(And so at last I make use of a joke that everyone is allowed to use once in a lifetime. But only once.)

Back to the thread. Sometimes it's impolite to break into a personal conversation asking for more detail. Sometimes it's merely frightening to do so. And sometimes -- this is so true in our thoroughly Googly age -- you assume you don't need to. That is, later on (if you care) you can look it up if it's just some odd fact a specific understanding of which is unnecessary to keep the ball of conversational intimacy rolling.

So last Saturday we went to the home of friends ... or perhaps acquaintances; they're so rich and we are so NOT rich; we tug our forelocks and stare about us; God knows that's a quality I like in my friends when they come visiting as long as they keep their hands in their pockets and speak only when spoken to.

Anyway, there we were because these ... chums; that's the ticket ... these people said they had some good wine they wanted to drink up. On arrival, they explained, or so I thought, that the Wall St. Journal wine writer had been promoting this concept of occasional Drink Your Best days on which you looked among your prize bottles and goshdarnit drank some of your Fine, the idea being that if you put it off too long your rarest becomes too precious to drink and then it turns to vinegar ....

You get the point.

The host showed us a bottle of Mouton Rothschild 1936 filled with powder, a fine wine that had died undrunk. It had belonged to his uncle, he said.

So then we drank two bottles of Dom Perignon, the '95 and the '96, and several bottles of French red -- I hang my head in shame to say I have no memory of their names other than that those names should be said only in tones of worship -- and finished up with a sherry that was almost gooey with lovely rich sweetness.

We drank -- I say to you, dear Friends of the Blog, a title for which the bar is set so low it is virtually subterranean -- as we have never drunk before and almost certainly never will again.

Doubt we will be asked back. Personally, I though it was funny when I backed out of the presence of our hosts in a deep bow saying I was not worthy to live, but they will play at being small D democrats -- and cap D ones too! --and were not amused.

Some wine, FOB. Some wine.

I would have written about it five days ago but I wanted to have something to link to. I searched for Wall St. Journal and "drink best" and on and on through many variations. And found nothing.

So who knows why they shared their good wine with us?

Noblesse oblige? Finally, something to link to.

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