Monday 18 June 2018

A Taste of Branaire-Ducru

Producer: Château Branaire-Ducru

My first experience with wine was not from a glass, but from a book. Apart from being known for children’s novels such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda, Dahl also delighted in writing short stories that often had an unexpected twist. One such story was Taste, in which a wine critic accepts a bet from a rich man over whether he can identify a bottle of wine that is served to him blind. The critic has his eye on the rich man’s daughter and wagers two of his houses for her hand in marriage. He goes through an elaborate show of tasting the wine and describing its qualities, stunning the rich man when he is able to identify the producer and vintage accurately. The twist is that the critic already knows what the wine is, having spotted it earlier in the rich man’s study. The tasting scene is brilliantly detailed, and it is clear that Dahl knows quite a bit about wine. When he passed away one of the items that was buried with him was a bottle of wine from Burgundy.