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Uncle Markie out and about.

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Nov '19

Home Report: Boxing Wine For The Holidaze

Weeks ago I got a notice from my favorite US winery that they were clearing out their cellars – and offering 60% off with flat-rate $20 a case shipping. SIGN ME UP!

My favorite part of this sale was the formats other than 750ml – 375ml splits and 1.5ltr magnums. In the splits, there were enough vintages to make a four-year vertical. Incredibly rare, and even rarer in smaller formats, and at 60% off. Needless to say, I ordered three, 4-year verticals, and two magnums from other years.

The plan was to give the sets to friends who also really like the Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant – the Flying Cigar, a reference to French appellation rules:

The label has a picture of a cigar with a “beam” of red light shining down on a farmer in his wagon who is about to be beamed up to an alien spacecraft. Literally translated, “Le Cigare Volant” is French for The Flying Cigar. From the US perspective we’ve called UFOs flying saucers, but the French called them flying cigars. This was Bonny Doon’s homage to the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region, while at the same time making fun of silly French people.

Well this story is actually rooted in truth. A few goofy Frenchmen started to see flying cigars after drinking far too much wine. As time went on, more and more of them started to see funny things in the sky. They got scared (and most likely tried to surrender). They felt those flying cigars would be interested in their wine/grapes, and might steal them. Rather than cut back on their wine consumption they complained to their politicians and local governments. The local governments knew those who worried about flying cigars were crazy, they also knew wine was a large part of their culture and the local economy. So they passed ordinances against flying cigars and threatened the immediate impound of any flying cigars caught landing in the vineyards. The law was considered a success as no flying cigars ever landed in or near Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Source: Irrational Diversions

Time to make some presentation boxes!

And the final product:

You should note that the wood for the display boxes I made was recycled from the tops of wooden wine boxes – and once you drink the bottles you can turn the box upside down and mount it to the wall as a spice/condiment rack, recycling the wood for a third use.

Got them all boxed up for shipment, though one of them I took to Berkeley with me…

Speaking of Bonny Doon – Randall Graham (winemaker/owner of/for Bonny Doon) stopped by the wine shop years ago when he was in town and making sales calls with the distributor:

And as an endcap to the story, when I was in Berkeley, we opened the vertical that I brought down for Mark and Onyx – it went VERY WELL with the seafood bisque for dinner:

It was a damn fine meal accompanied by damn fine wine, with damn fine company!

Sadly, one of the other sets lost a member due to gorilla handling….Dan said the box smelled nice:

Dan said the cornstarch peanuts soaked up most of the liquid – but they even manage to break the wooden box!

A sad day in Denver. Amazing that the Boston package made it in one piece.


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