(A tale of four wines where the author ends up looking rather foolish.)
I was downstairs in the office the other day when the doorbell rang. Anita, who was upstairs answered the door. It was a FedEx driver with a package. He confirmed the name, handed her a box and left.
When I came upstairs she said there was a package for me and it looked like wine. That seemed odd to me because we hadn’t ordered any for a while and I wasn’t expecting anything else. As a wine educator/judge/writer, I get samples of wine shipped to me now and then, but I am always contacted ahead of time so I know to expect them.
Earlier this year, I was shipped two wines that were going to be a part of an online Zoom tasting since companies can’t travel for trade tastings anymore. Once again, I was notified well in advance and I marked the time and date of the meeting on my calendar, but I couldn’t remember any sessions that were upcoming. To be sure, I checked my calendar – nothing. I checked all my emails, in case I had missed an invite, but again, nothing. Curiouser and curiouser.
All I could tell was it was from Everything Wine in the River District of Vancouver. I never thought much about it. I opened the box, expecting to find a note saying these are the wines we will be tasting for . . . . . and some technical sheets with details on the wines, but there was nothing. Hmmmmm . . . . . odd. Also, these were wines not from just one producer as is often the case, nor even one country which is what I would expect, but three countries. Hmmm . . . . must be from an agency that represents many international wines.
When I receive wines, whether I have ordered them from a winery or they are samples, there is always a card, note, or letter inside and often some technical sheets on the wines as well. Inside this box there was nothing. How very odd.
Inside the box were four bottles of wine – one French, one German, and two Spanish. Odder yet.
I sent an email to Leeann at Town Hall Brands, a PR company that often includes me in their wine events to see if they had sent samples out (though they are always impeccable with both communications and information). No, it wasn’t them. Hmmm . . . . .
Then I contacted another reviewer and asked him if he had gotten some samples sent to him.
Nope. OK. Head scratching time.
I considered it could all be a mistake and if I contacted Everything Wine they might want them returned, but it was my name and address, and no, I didn’t do the equivalent of late-night drunk texting an ex and order wine online and then forget about it.
I wasn’t familiar with any of the producers, so I went and took a photo of them so I could check them out on the Everything Wine website hoping I might find some helpful clues. Nope. But then I noticed the prices and realized that NOBODY would be sending me wines like these except for . . . . . . (my son?) . . . . . . . and River District is close to where he lives . . . . . . but there was no card or anything in the package and no email mentioning that something would be arriving . . . . but if not Byron, then who? OF COURSE! It HAD to be him.
Indeed, when I sent him a message, he said that they were from him and that he did go a little overboard as he hadn’t sent anything at Christmas. He had dropped into the nearby wine shop and said he wanted some good wines, that someone might not buy for themselves. He was happy when the knowledgeable salesperson assured him that these four would be ‘interesting’.
Mystery solved. Thanks, Byron. You have truly spoiled me on all accounts. They are all very highly rated and I have never had a rosé from Bordeaux nor wines from the Canary Islands. Anita and I are really looking forward to opening these wines.
(All photos – Sam Hauck)