вторник, 4 март 2008 г.

My first wine and my 13th Birhtday celebration


I had a rather long and busy weekend, starting on Friday, February 29th with my 13th REAL birthday celebration (hint - leap year baby) YEAH BABY!

To cut the story short, by Saturday evening, my guests from Hollywood land, and Ruth and I were slowing down when I remembered the slogan Lance Cutler had on his old Christmas card - In case of an emergency, start with the oldest vintages first.

I searched in my wine storage and we uncorked the last bottle in my possession of 1987 Menada Cabernet Sauvingon & Merlot Special Reserve. This was the first wine I imported and it brought me in the wine business for good or bad.

The wine was still well alive, with dark ruby, very little brick coloring and well concentrated berry, very noble flavors. It was even tight for a 21 years old wine, which was old enough to drink itself as Ruby stated eloquently. The rest of the leftovers from the old Menada winery in my storage are few bottles of 1991 Menada Cabernet Sauvingon Special Reserve, winner of the first Gold Medal for Bulgarian wine in the US, and a 1995 Menada Merlot from the times when everybody was drinking Merlot, not a Pinot Noir.

We were all wearing Martenitsa, a little adornment, made of white and red yarn and worn on March 1st by all Bulgarians around the world and had an easy evening after a hike above Sonoma and a visit to Jack London's state park. Mayberry, Pollyanna, you name it, we had forgotten the bad, the mundane and were slow and deliberate. We ended up at the Girl & the Fig, where Gary, the beverage manager was looking at me not so pleasantly, because I tried to sell him few months ago a Viognier Port, which he judged TOO SWEET, thinking it was wine...ha.

Anyway, we got back home safely and I told them the rest of the story about Menada Winery which after winning not one, but two Gold Medals in the US was purchased from the first Bulgarian oligarkh Ilia Pavlov, president of Multigroup, a well known in the nineties Bulgarian conglomerate ran by the former communist apparatchicks and ex security thugs.

He or they were certain that after the Gold Medals, and the established by me and the fine wine broker Charles Mara distribution in NY, NJ, MA, CT, etc. the brand will carry it all by itself and they cut me out of the contract. Multigroup ended up spending $200,000 in trying to sell a single bottle without success and the brand was out of distribution for 10 years. Now, after it was purchased by the Belvedere group from France it is back on the US market with the Tcherga brand.

The oligarkh was shot straight in the hearth by a hired killer on behalf of the Serbian mafia, for not meeting certain obligations. I think I coined a new phrase - a dead oligarkh obligations, sounds rather inflationary.

YEAH BABY, said Austin Powers and that's that.

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