Chronicle – Dear rendevous

Picture of Richard Juhlin

Richard Juhlin

This week I have mostly spent on our big launch of the Champagne Club. There is a lot that will fall into place at the last second, despite the fact that we have been building the portal for years. You never really get ready simply. There is always an idea that is too good to be rejected and a new champagne grower that I missed. Herman and Björnstierne, who slept four hours a night and worked 15 hours on average with the club the last few months, appeared yesterday in my autumn-adorned garden with a small film team and a newly written boast script where I would spit out accurate and cocky ‘one-liners’ in English with unusually un-Swedish grandiose commitments about my own excellence. With a bit of self-irony standing in the middle of nature’s splendor and a constantly laughing photographer who thought I was an excellent caricature of David Attenborough, the guys said it worked really well. We’ll see what you think.

That same evening I was invited home to one of my oldest friends for the first time in ten years. We played music together in the beginning of time and he was also with me when I took my first staggering steps as a wine enthusiast. We then created a small gourmet club together which has been in decline for a long time. It turned out, however, that even though his life took a completely different path, he was still a brilliant chef with an almost photographic memory of our dinners in the early 90’s. The meal he conjured up for his wife and me was like a nostalgic potpourri of the best dishes we cooked then.

His eyes shone when he got the chance to blind taste some exciting grower champagnes I had never tasted before. He had also managed to get hold of a magically fresh lamb from a farmer he knows on the island of Gotland, and since it had been so long since we had seen each other, I had looked carefully when I picked out two red blind bottles from my cellar. For nostalgic reasons, I brought a Clos de la Roche which was once the tastiest bottle my friend ever drank and the most Burgundian of the big castles, Château Cheval Blanc’s classic in 2004. In both cases, it was dear reunions that gave goosebumps and brought direct aromas and taste memories to life that opened up for even more interesting life-philosophical discussions. We ended up in the wee hours of the starry night on his balcony and promised each other not to wait another ten years before we meet again.

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