Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Little Tipple

The other day Mother and I were enjoying a little tipple, and I said to Mother, “There’s nothing like a fine glass of wine and a small plate of assorted cheeses.” I remarked, ‘that the communion wine at our church is absolutely dreadful.  It is appallingly sweet and too fruity.  I asked Millicent Ordinarius, the Altar Guild Directress, what kind of wine it was, and she said, it was “Angelica Altar Wine - Mont La Salle which is approved by the Most Reverend John T. Steinbock, Bishop of Fresno,” obviously, not that he knows anything about wine.

“You have enough fine wines in your collection, Alfred, to be a sommelier in your own right.  Why don’t you make a suggestion? “said Mother.

“You are quite right, Mother, “It says somewhere in the Psalms, “Lord give me wisdom and good taste”. The average person wouldn't understand the nuances of fine wines; why I was talking with a Burgundian vinter yesterday and asked him why they don’t acknowledge on the wine label that a Bourgogne Bland is actually Chardonnay.  How do they expect the general population to understand what they are buying?  Not that most Americans would care!  Imagine! They prefer cult wines like California Cabernet Sauvignon!”

With that I went to my wine custom wine room, and I must say with modest pride that it holds over five hundred bottles, and most of them are very fine wines.  I know that some of my wines are out of the question for a parish church.  Take for instance the 2009 Domaine Romanee Conti (DRC) burgundy at $ 12,900 a bottle; or perhaps a Bordeaux’s such as the 2005 Lafite Rothschild or the 1996 Latour.  But perhaps, a d’Yquem 1989 at $ 389 a bottle. Or even a J.L. Chave Hermitage 1999 at $325 a bottle.  That is the greatest vintage Chave has produced since 1990.

I said to Mother today, “How really very embarrassing!  Millicent Ordinarius as good as told me to mind my own business, that is unless I wanted to start washing and ironing the linens.  She really is a Vin Ordinaire!  Then she referred me to Father Goodfellow.  It was most discouraging.  He pointed out that the parish budget wouldn’t allow for a wine that was even $50 a bottle.  He upset me dreadfully.’

“Well, you know, Alfred, “said Mother, “the Priest is not there to shake everyone’s hands; he’s there shake everyone up.”

“That’s a horrible thought, Mother.  I thought the Priest was there to comfort the comfortable, or something like that.  I remember St. Paul saying something like. “The time is coming when we will have itching ears and gather teachers and preachers to encourage us in our lives.”

 “That sounds like another Alfred Montrose translation again! said Mother, Why don’t you look that one up and see what it really says; or perhaps even better, ask Father Goodfellow.  He would probably appreciate a spiritual question from his flock for a change.

“Well, I guess we don’t go to Church to drink fine wines,” said I.  “After all, it is the opportunity to sing a tenor solo that really keeps me coming to Church.”

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” 
1 Timothy 6:17.

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