Today was epic. We had to move all of Nicholas’ wine from his cellars here at the house in Nuits St. Georges to his home outside of Beaune. Started at 8am hauling tons of wine in incredibly heavy milk crates. Backbreaking work. We spent two hours straight loading up three vans and then unloading at his house. Horrific work. At about 10am we had a Riesling break. A tray full of wine glasses, mineral water, and two lovely bottles of German riesling came out. Then back to work. At about 2 we broke for lunch. Twenty people around tables, some made of milk crates with a door on top. Tons of beautiful canapés came out…smoked salmon, crostini with cherry tomatoes and ham and cheese, a plate of salami encrusted with dried herbs. Nicholas busted out the magnums: an 87 Corton-Charlemagne and a 89 Volnay 1er cru from his father’s vineyards. Already open were some 98 Pouilly-Fuisee and Moscato d’Asti. A friend of his from Chablis, Patrick, brought a 96 Fourcharme Premier Cru. Then we had grilled sausages, beef and chicken kebabs, and a tomato/cucumber salad. When the cheese came out, he opened a magnum of ’73 St. Emillon Grand Cru. It was living the French countryside dream…about 20 people sitting around eating, drinking, smoking, talking, laughing. Most of the guests spoke very good English, which helped.
After our three-hour lunch, back to work. Slaving away…he has another cellar at his house and we set up an assembly line passing crates and cases. They would slide the crates on boards placed over the steps to his new underground cellar. While doing this work we drank ’98 Moet and Chandon. You would hear cries from the cellar from Nicholas, “Champagne! Champagne!” We worked for about four more hours. He has about 25,000 bottles and we filled his hew cellar and barely put a dent in his stock.
It was a truly special day of fucking backbreaking work and pleasure…the camaraderie formed was something special. It started to rain late in the day, first rain we have seen and it was lovely and pure.