I have a question. In fact I have two but first I need to share the trauma of last weekend for therapeutic purposes.
Whilst we were half term camping in Cornwall, the Brother-in-Law had been summoned from the Big City to tend to the Father-in-Law who is with us whilst he recovers from a hip replacement. (the FiL is a trauma in himself but thats for another day maybe.). Anyway, the BiL is reluctant to be summoned from the Smoke at the best of times as he is generally suspicious of a world where all the trains are above ground and you can usually smell cow s**t for several months of the year. So, the BiL was rostered just for the weekend and alternative arrangements were made for the rest of the week.
When the BiL is in town it is good news for Turn Right out of the door Pub, which is the drinkers pub in the village. The Turn Right pub by the way is also the Close When the Last Man Leaves hostelry (which is normally the BiL in my experience)
So when we left for the long drive down to the West Country we left a schedule for the FiL’s pills, some complicated instructions about leaving lights on, a suitable bottle of Minervois on the kitchen table left over from a party and some advice to Gary in The Turn Right to get some more Guinness in.
All seemed to go well and we only had 8 or 9 phone calls over the weekend (“The big pan is in the drawer under the cooker”, “Theres more beer in the garage” , “The carpet cleaner is in the cupboard under the sink”, “Yes, I guess we can claim the cigarette burns on the insurance”)
The shock came when we got home and there was a gaping chasm in the wine rack where one of the two bottles of 1997 Chateau Musar should have been. Seems the BiL returned from The Turn Right having drunk them dry of the black stuff, scavenged the fridge and still had a thirst on. After drinking the last couple of Stella’s form the garage, and cannily ignoring all the daily drinking occupying the upper reaches of the rack, he’d gulped (and it will have been gulped) down, at 2 in the morning, whilst smoking his roll ups, the Musar that I’d been saving for a suitable occasion since the WS found some at the back of a cellar a couple of years ago. He kindly saved us on the washing up by using the same pint glass that he’d been drinking the lager from. Apparently freshly opened Chateau M mixes quite well with Belgian Pilsner dregs.
My first question is, does anyone have any polite way of protecting their cellars and avoiding such tragedies without appearing mean in similar circumstances?
The second more pressing enquiry, is that I’ve lost heart and decided that one way to cure the pain of the loss is to quaff the other bottle with Mrs Bags tonight over a steak and some Epoisse. How long do people think I should decant a 20 year old bottle of Lebanons best for?