Monday, March 25, 2013
Five Glasses of Port
Saturday evening after dinner, I said to Mother, “My original recommendations to Father Goodfellow really were too expensive, however I was reading the Wall Street Journal today and I saw a marvelous article on Port. It is not lost on me that the Chalice we use on the altar at Church is tulip shaped and slightly flared on the edge; a perfect chalice for drinking port.” I am amazed that all of the Wall Street Journal Port selections were under $50.00 a bottle, so I have resolved to sample each one of them. After all, how bad could they be?
Mother said, “Well, Alfred, that accounts for the five glasses of port that are sitting on our Chippendale coffee table. Surely you don’t expect to drink that all by yourself?”
“Certainly not, Mother, I was rather hoping that you would help me sample each of the offerings before us.”
“Me? asked Mother, “how lovely. I was hoping you wouldn’t leave me out.”
Mother and I sat for a while by our Chippendale table, sipping and savouring. The Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve was too sweet and fruity. Neither Mother nor I really cared for the 1997 Dow’s Colheita Single Vintage Tawny. The 2009 Croft Vintage was dense and sweet, but not really suitable for a Communion wine. The 2000 Broadbent Vintage was admirable, but the one that really hit the spot was the Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny. I must admit we had a merry time sampling each of the Port wines, and I resolved to recommend the Taylor’s to Father Goodfellow at Church tomorrow morning.
This morning after our Sunday Communion service I waited looking for an opportunity to chat with Father Goodfellow. I half expected to be rebuffed, after all, in a way it’s really none of my business, and I know it. It just that that the pale yellow Angelica they are using is truly terrible, but I didn’t go there.”
Father Goodfellow immediately said, “Alfred, I’ve been thinking. I have to admit that the Angelica wine we have been using has never been a favourite of mine. It’s just that the parish has been using it for years. Not only that, but the symbolism of a pale yellow wine conveying the image of the Blood of Christ doesn’t quite fit.”
“Blood of Christ? Said I. “That’s an uncomfortable image.”
“Nonetheless,” said Father Goodfellow, “that is after all what it is all about.”
With that I changed the subject, as well I should. After all, blood. And I made Father Goodfellow an offer, “Father, I have found a reasonable port at $40.00 a bottle, and it is certainly a deep red colour.” I saw him raise an eyebrow at the mention of the price, so I immediately barreled right along, “I’ll make the parish an offer. I will donate a case of Taylors 20 Year Old Tawny if you will allow the parish to try it out.”
Father Goodfellow fixed his eyes on me as he thought, then answered, “That’s a very handsome offer, Alfred. If it’s that important to you I’ll let the Altar Guild know that we will try the Taylor’s port wine at our Maundy Thursday Communion service, but one condition. Just remember that this port wine of yours will convey the reality of the Blood of Christ.”
“Jesus said to them … Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” [ John 6:53-54 ].