When I was 23 years old, I was given a bottle of wine as a housewarming gift after moving into an apartment in Boston. As my roommate and I finished the last of the bottle, there was a dead fly clinging to the inside of my glass. Yuck!
Disgusted, I wrapped the fly in a piece of aluminum foil and sent it off to a winery in France I'd never heard of. Little did I know that I sent that red wine-drenched fly to one of the top wineries in the world.
A month later,an invitation arrived in my mailbox to be a guest for lunch at Chateau Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux, France.
A Boston high school art teacher at the time, I decided to spend that summer vacation in France and cash in on the invitation for lunch.
Dressed in my favorite blue Diane Von Furstenberg wraparound dress and matching espadrilles, I spent an afternoon at the Chateau eating an extraordinary lunch of duck livers on butter-drenched toast, duck breast and a strawberry tart and drinking wines I will never forget.
We started with a Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1966, then '47 and '24 and ended with Chateau d'Yquem from 1896. I remember thinking that I was drinking nectar of the Gods.
This would be a day that would change my life forever.
For years after, I've thought back on this day... how I fell in puppy love with my host, the Chateau Mouton exporting agent Xavier de Eizaguirre in his white linen suit. He was so much older, oh-so French and oh-so worldly. He was all of 30!
I remember every moment of that day. I was so high on the experience (probably quite tipsy too) that I remember speaking like I was fluent in French. I was so not! But the thing I remember most is singing all the way to Biarritz that late afternoon.
Thus my love affair with wine began!