Saturday, July 09, 2005


Baron Wihelm von Bruesser was by no means an extravagant personage. Indeed, he was parsimonious to a fault; hoarding the vast bulk of his considerable fortune in banks that shall not be identified here, and his ancestral estates were studies in practiced penury.

But as men say there is none save God whose mind is bereft of peculiarity, whether whimsical or not, and the good Baron was not, by any means, an exception to the rule. Indeed, part of the reason why he wore his socks in winter and hired but five-eighths the quantity of servants of his noble kinsmen was that some way underground his outwardly humble estate boasted a hectare of cellars, stacked with wines of a noble vintage, both old and sprightly, tangy and smooth;and oh, what a vast collection that was. Baron Bruesser was, rightly, immensely proud of his "treasure trove", as he cheerfully quipped during cricket with the Lord of Exeter a fine June's day, and indeed, he treasured it more than his Cambridge socks.

As one would very rightly think, the good Baron had more than a passing knowledge of his treasured art. His shelves creaked with the weight of volumes that described the intricate processes of caskery and how to weed bad grapes; and the infinite compatibilities of white wine and various sorts of fish, which he tried, with a certain fastidious relish, by fishing for trout in a nearby pond with a
Benjamin de Vieux Ch√Ęteau Gaubert at his side.

One blistery spring day Bruesser turned to his trusty manservant, Hobbes, and intoned his desire for such a wine to warm his innards on such a cool day in early April. The butler, who was uninformed in the complexities of oenology, inquired his good master as to what he might like. The Baron was, however, in a leisurely temper and merely dictated the use of the butler's own wit in such a choice. Sighing quietly with a certain dismay Hobbes left the Baron's side and some time later returned with a
Georg Breuer Terra Montosa, a white-wine glass and a silver platter, being unused to such banal labours.

The Baron took one look at the bottle and proceeded to gaze inquiringly at Hobbes. "Hobbes. Whatever has come over you today, serving a Riesling on a blustery evening? It isn't even lightly chilled. Get a red wine, my good man. A winter wine would certainly be delightful in this weather, don't you think?"

The long-suffering Hobbes endured some minutes in the musty cellars and returned with a
Grangehurst Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, which received a large smile from the satisfied Bruesser. Hobbes went back to work sweeping dust from his black suit.

Gazing around at his domain, warmed by the fireplace and enjoying the evening sunset, the Baron thought, "What joys thrift brings," and hereby proceeded to sample his wine.

This is not intended to be a story, more like a test chapter. Forgive the nonexistent plot. Hopefully its accurate enough.

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