Survey Respondents on Favorite Wine Memories

“Wine is a very social beverage. I don’t know anyone who opens a great bottle of wine to consume by themselves. Wine lovers want to share the experience. I feel very fortunate to share wines with 800 students at a time.”
Stephen Mutkoski, professor and director of the Cornell Wine Program

“[One wine] which really knocked my head sideways was a 1955 La Mission Haut Brion consumed in the early nineties…It smelled like a cigar box sitting on top of a hot stretch of asphalt… I still dream about that wine and look for it at auction. I have a few bottles since, none quite as spectacular as that first. But then, it was poured on the occasion of my new wife’s birthday — and I have since been divorced. Such associations are never irrelevant.”
Jay McInerney, novelist and wine writer

“Under a full moon [in Spain], on the patio, we drank old and young vintages of Pesquera with owner/winemaker Alejandro Fernandez, with baby lamb chops that he had grilled in the fireplace. Afterward, we smoked Cuban cigars and chatted late into the night.”
Michael Bonaccorsi, the late vintner and Master Sommelier

“A number of years ago I was traveling through the northern Rhone with a good friend, en route to a tasting at a winery when we decided to stop at a restaurant…When we sat down we noticed that they… listed a 1978 [Comte de] Vogüé Musigny [red Burgundy] for about 80 dollars! Well, like most wine-geeks, we couldn’t resist a bargain and even though it was early…we decided to have lunch and enjoy what turned out to be one of the greatest bottle of Burgundies I’ve ever had. It may sound corny but the reward of finding a hidden treasure is taking the time to enjoy it with good food and good friends.”
Geddy Lee, rock musician and collector

“My best experience was during a picnic on the Loire with cheap French wine. The where and with whom made the wine special. (I shared an orange with my dad while climbing Tuckermans’ Ravine on Mt. Washington — which was equally special and memorable)”
Ann C. Noble, professor of viticulture, U.C. Davis

“I remember a great vertical tasting of Chateau Musar [Lebanese red wine] held in about 1992 at a friend’s house in Yorkshire with university buddies. Memorable for the wines and for the good company.”
Rupert Symington, owner, Symington Port Companies

“I recall my wife and me drinking Frascati…the Rome Zoo, vultures lurking nearby, a sun-drenched patio, perfect al dente pasta with perfect sauce…and all of Rome waiting….”
Eric Ober, former president, TV Food Network

“I remember a dinner [at Château Margaux]. We would be chatting away merrily…and then the sommelier served us a magnum of Château Margaux 1953. Then, all I can remember is a silence and the nose which was so fresh…and deliciously enticing. Everything then had suddenly become less important – except the nose of this magnificent wine – and I suddenly had the impression of living more intensely.”
Corinne Mentzelopoulos, owner, Château Margaux

Don’t eliminate a wine you don’t like – it may have to do with when you drank it…and most importantly who you were with. It’s happened to me many times having a wine I like over a business meal …the company can affect the pleasure. So drink wine with the people you like…”
Mireille Guiliano, President, Clicquot Inc.

“The reason I love wine so much is that it is like people–there are so many different types with different backgrounds and philosophies, and for so many different foods or situations. Open your mind and you will find grapes and wines from all sorts of different regions, and you won’t even need to spend much money.”
Heather Willens, importer, Jeroboam Wines

”You should drink a glass of wine everyday and just to enjoy it….[wine] can be taken too seriously for all of the wrong reasons, but to have a taste of good food and wine together everyday will make your friends and enemies seem nicer.”

Mario Batali, celebrity chef

“My best friend, boyfriend, and I enjoyed a bottle of 2000 Sassicaia [Super Tuscan] over lunch …we were in such high spirits and involved so deeply in conversation [that] time and place became immaterial. It was like as if there were only the three of us in the whole entire world and — a great bottle of wine…outside the rain slowly started to get the pavement moist…the moment, that moment seemed absolutely perfect to each one of us.”
Delia Viader, owner, Viader Vineyards

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