Somewhere, way beyond the dark blue yonder, a group of folks, who had physically departed from this world, gathered to celebrate bringing in the New Year.

Over the eons of timelessness, a group of six very diverse individuals had been coming together to share a beverage and discussion. Friendships formed were always to be honored.

The people at the banquet table came from Italy, New York, Virginia, Greece, Scotland and California. One can only imagine the conversations these interesting people have had over the passage of our years, and, somewhere today, they gathered once again to share thoughts, laughs and chuckles.

The conversations flowed from their experiences in the first century to those in the late 20th century. With that wide of a historical base and with their very different life’s experiences, wouldn’t it be interesting to be a fly on the wall and listen to them speak?

The celebration always begin with the participants revealing what beverage they brought to the table and all the bottles contained wine except for one bottle — a bottle of Scotch whiskey.

Following protocol, the eldest member of the group spoke first.

The Greek playwright, Aristophanes, began. “Quickly bring me a beaker of wine so that I may whet my mind and say something clever,” he said. A beaker of Rkatseteli wine appeared. He always enjoyed the wine’s light cherry flavor and tannic finish. It helped him focus while writing and talking.

Of course, he didn’t need wine to be clever — he was clever and his many writings proved it. The group honored him with a nod of their heads and the conversation continued around the table.

The fellow from Virginia was the next to speak. George Washington proudly stood and announced to them, “My manner of living is plain … a glass of wine and a bit of mutton are always ready.” He loved sweet wines and, in a presidential manner, he produced a bottle of Chateau de Myrat Sauterne — the perfect dessert wine.

He went on to explain that after a delicious meal, one must enjoy a fine wine such as a Sauterne from the Bourdeaux region of France. That country had been such a good ally during the American Revolution and they always produced delicious wines. The wine’s sweetness warmed everyone and the assembled group nodded theirs heads in agreement

The Scotsman of the group stood and asked for their attention. Robert Louis Stevenson stated that although, “Wine is bottled poetry,” one can’t beat an excellent dram of Scotch – such as a bit of Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky like Cairdeas – a quarter cask offering.

After all, Cairdeas means friendship in Gaelic and it seemed overwhelmingly appropriate for this gathering of friends. They all loved the peaty scent and rich smooth creaminess of it.

The New Yorker of the bunch was the next to speak and returned the talk to wine. “I am certain that the good Lord never intended perfectly good grapes to be made into jelly,” said Fiorella LaGuardia, the ex-mayor of New York City. He set a bottle of Mirassou Chardonnay on the table and everyone smiled.

They all knew of the wine’s nice peachy flavor that always included a bit of vanilla. What a wonderful wine – it always brought the group to quietness and appreciation.

At this point of the evening, the lady spoke. Julia Child, in her very joyous vocal tone said, “As you get older, you shouldn’t waste time drinking bad wine.” Accordingly, she took a bottle of Fetzer Gewürztraminer from her bag.

The group knew of Julia’s reputation for cooking and pairing wines with her mouth watering food. The wine from her bag was perfect as its medium sweetness and light apricot flavor flowed down their throats. There certainly wasn’t any time wasted finishing off the bottle.

The evening was getting long and even for these ethereal folks, the end was in sight as the Roman statesman stood to bring it to a close. Pliny the Elder, gathered his robes around him, raised a glass of cherry tasting Pasqua Sangiovese from Puglia and intoned, “In Vino Veritas.” Everyone in the room fervently believed, even the Scotsman, that in wine, there is truth.

Somewhere, way beyond the wild blue yonder, the celebration ended.

In the words of my son and in a toast to all of you, I raise a glass of Starpoint Cabernet Sauvignon and say: “Some ships are made of wood and some ships are made of metal. But the best ships are friendships – those that last forever.” Happy New Year!

As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon!



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