What will your last champagne in life be?

Picture of Björnstierne Antonsson

Björnstierne Antonsson

TheChampagne Sommelier aka Björnstierne Antonsson reflects on the last hours in life.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Double cheeseburger with bacon, a quarter-long hot dog with cheese and mustard and a large banana milkshake. Or maybe a bucket with 21 fried chicken thighs, two family pizzas, a bowl of vanilla ice cream and six cans of Pepsi.

The hull targets above were the last killers Robert Alton Harris and John David Duty devoured before being executed.

Reading about the death row inmates’ last meal desires is depressing from both a gastronomic and socio-economic point of view. 95 percent of the food can be eaten with your hands, 87 percent is fried and most can be ordered from a fast food chain around the corner. We are talking food cooked without love and care …

I was surprised. Had guessed that more people would want food that reminded them of their mother’s kitchen. A few bites of homemade security, before life goes out. Maybe it was naive of me, presuming that lack of parental care was a contributing factor to many death row prisoners embarking on the wrong course in life.

There are some exceptions. Child killer Robert Anthony Buell, for example, wanted a perfect black olive before he was executed with a poison injection.

As a sommelier in the third decade, I have asked the last meal question in a variety of gastronomical contexts. And for most people, the question is of course hypothetical. You rarely know which will be the last thing you eat, or do You …

When I visited my grandmother at the old people’s home, I sometimes thought about what would be her last meal. She went on a food strike towards the end. Tired of life but even more tired of the sad food she was served. Several times I found her sitting in front of an untouched plate of rice pudding and juice sauce – a dish I had not seen since school meals in the early 80’s. Not a dignified last meal.

Personally, I know exactly what I would order if death was at the door. And mother must forgive, unfortunately her cooking does not qualify for my last plate. There I want a steak minute with french fries, béarnaise sauce and simple tomato salad. Rinse the dish with a glass of Château Latour. Dignified. Or should it be a plateau of Gillardeau oysters & a bottle of 1990 Salon ‘Cuvée S de Salon’?

I think you should ask yourself the last meal question. And maybe treat yourself to the answer already this weekend. You never know. Life is fleeting and no one can predict what Putin is going through and thinking about.

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