As much as I like you, you are NOT my favourite customers.
Let me explain.
Last Thursday it was my birthday and I may have grumbled a little about opening and working but when Val suggested closing and having some friends over instead, I stoically refused and kept my eye firmly fixed on the filthy lucre. It was good that I did as about 5 minutes later we had a group of 12 from Toulouse book for my birthday night who were coming over especially on a recommendation. Toulouse is 1 hour and 45 minutes away even for me and the demon 2CV, so it was a serious visit.
When they arrived they all grabbed the wine list and started discussing the selection. One asked me for a wine recommendation and I suggested the fabulous Tautavel wine by Gérard Bertrand which is on special offer at 29 €. A look of horror came over the gentleman’s face and I thought it was too expensive so started to suggest another nice but rather inferior wine at 19 €. Before I could, the gentleman pointed to the bottle of Cote Rotie 2010 at 99 €. That looks better he said. Indeed it was! A fantastic bottle from Janet, the absolute top Cote Rotie producer, this northern Rhone wine has long been a favourite and I had bought three bottles from a wine auction at some considerable expense. We are having a private bash just after New Year and I had intended to open the three bottles that I had bought with friends and had even planned the menu to go with it. To be frank, while it was put on our wine list as a touch of grandeur, I had never expected to actually sell the darnned stuff!
Rather pleased, I reached for the bottle only to hear almost simultaneously a slight ‘pop’ of a Champagne bottle being opened and a second ‘plunk’ from a different bottle being opened. The first was a bottle of 2006 Dom Perignon Champagne being opened by my long suffering wife, Valence and the second, a bottle of 2009 Chablis Grand Cru by the superb producer, Bouguerots, being opened by Corinne who also works for us and all ordered by the same table. Crikey! The Dom was consumed toute suite, and another ordered. In the end they drank all three bottles of Cote Rotie that I had, drank us out of the Chablis entirely and then went on to double measures of the superb 1967 Armagnac that we had at 48 € a time. The bottle, which was almost new when they started, was drained and they then finished with the superior, and I am ashamed to say, even more expensive 1961 Armagnac!
You will understand that any table which runs up a bill of well into the thousands is going to be my favourite. If you would like to return to the top of my list, then I do still have some Dom Perignon left………………..!
On a more serious note, we have wine from 16€ a bottle and also have wine by the glass and I do really like you…………..