Tom NJ wrote:
We'd do it all again though, right Mark? Some things are just worth the price
Tom, LOVE your story. So much so I just read it to my husband, who is also a romantic.
My epiphany wine was a Fontaine-Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet. The year was 1986 and we were on our honeymoon, and when we checked into our charming little boutique hotel we were handed a message from the Paris branch of one of Bob's clients, congratulating us on our marriage and inviting us to dine alone that night at restaurant Laurent "bill paid". Laurent is the kind of place where the woman's menu is unpriced, and to anyone who expresses an interest they soak the label off the bottle of wine you enjoyed and hand it to you in a neat little folder at the end of the night. Framed, that label hangs in our wine cellar today. But it's only the name of the producer and vineyard--the vintage must have been on the neck or back label, and I didn't note it because back then I wouldn't have paid much (any?) attention to year anyway. I lived in California and didn't understand vintage significance much at all--we just enjoyed wine on occasion and pretty much bought day-of for those occasions. So at Laurent, we allowed the somm to choose for us; we both ordered duck with red currants and other berries, and my starter course was my first-ever foie gras (Bob told me later that my foie gras was about $80, which I'd have never ordered had I known).
All I knew about what we were drinking was two things: that it was chardonnay, and that it was the most complicated wine I'd ever had. Chardonnay as I knew it in California had three or four flavors, this one had about 100 and I struggled to keep track of them all. It was trippy, mind-blowing, that a wine could be that eloquent and complex. I was completely transported. I literally had no idea that such a wine experience was even possible, and I left Paris determined to find out what else I'd been missing. Next epiphany, perhaps a year later: a 1981 Haut Bailly fished out of a supermarket clearance cart for $4.