A warm hand on your opening….

The old ones are always the best and so it turned out to be with this elegant bottle of  1984 Chateau de Rayne-Vigneau Sauternes that I could no longer resist opening. One Christmas, some fifteen years ago, my cousin, who is also partial to glass of something good, put this bottle into my safe keeping. As a wine guard I would not be a first choice or, some would say, not a choice. The label, which still hangs around the neck of the bottle, reads “Roger/ This is a NON Christmas present. It needs a good home and I’m sure it will find one with you. Cheers, David” ..which is comparable to entrusting the NHS Blood Bank to Count Dracula or the Bank of Scotland to whoever it was entrusted. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? As rhetorical a question as ever there was, being that the answer is invariably “No bugger, they do what they like”.
And so it will come as no surprise to you to learn that this guard, who is quite good at doing what he likes, decided that it was time to set the contents of this bottle free. On a sunny Sunday in France, not too far from its birth place, the cork that in 1984 sealed in the genie of maturation was gently pulled from the bottle allowing the golden miracle within to take it’s first breath of the poisonous air that will kill it …..unless we drink it. Which we will, if only out of kindness.


About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in Digital photography, Drinks, Excellence, family, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Miracle, Photography, photography course, Sauternes, Sauternes, summer, Sunday, Uncategorized, Wine, wine, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to A warm hand on your opening….

  1. Mad Dog says:

    Ha ha – you’ve looked after it long enough, I’m sure it would have been reclaimed by now if it wasn’t meant to be drunk. It does look lovely, backlit like that 😉

  2. I’ve only enjoyed a bottle like this one once in my life. A 1959 vintage.

  3. brincs says:

    Great writing as usual. I am sure the contents of the bottle were just as good. And your patience has been rewarded.

  4. Nice. I don’t care for dessert wines but this sounds and looks wonderful.

  5. Viva el vino. I’m sure that wine was happy to sacrifice itself for you and your enjoyment.

  6. Lori M-I says:

    !15 YEARS! Good Lord…you’re a better man than me Gunga Din 😉

  7. So very compassionate of you. 🙂

  8. No way I’d last 15 years, well done. A very good friend of mine gave us a bottle when we got married and said we should wait to open it after 5 years. We have one more year to go!

  9. 15 years! Now that’s control! And was it worth wait?

  10. Conor Bofin says:

    I have a bottle of vintage port for at least that long. I must do something about that…

  11. What a wonderful bottle! Cheers!

  12. Nice. With a title like that, how could I resist? 🙂

  13. I’m impressed you had restraint for 15 years!

  14. EllaDee says:

    I don’t often drink dessert wines, something I should remedy because I enjoy them. But it pleases me that you have done this bottle justice.

  15. MELewis says:

    Roger, this story leaves me gasping for details. What did you have it with? Do you enjoy dessert wines as dessert or rather as an apéro?

    • We had it with a very simple dessert of raspberries nestling under a bed of yellow cream from the Vallee d’Auge…perfect. As to the other point, I think they work wonderfully as an apero in summer…I used to collect German Auslese and Eisweins which are low alcohol and delicious.

  16. MELewis says:

    I also like the Canadian take on those – icewines.. Funnily enough the French always seem to drink port (‘porto’) as an apéritif but never at the end of a meal.

  17. Amanda says:

    Oh wow. What an incredible treat. So jealous. Gorgeous photo. You’ve done it justice and immortalized the moment.

  18. Karen says:

    You are too kind, my friend. 😀

  19. thomas peck says:

    Love a good dessert wine. Monbazilliac is my favourite. Partial to a nice Riesling too!

  20. You are a man of great pateince (or was that a bad memory?!) and even greater compassion!

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