“We want the finest wines available to humanity. And we want them here, and we want them now!” – Withnail – Withnail & I.
This week I was kindly invited on behalf of Remy Martin, to an exclusive trip to Cognac to experience Carte Blanche – an exciting new collection of Limited Editions created by Remy Martin’s Cellar Master Baptiste Loiseau.
The first drinking competition I ever won was over a bottle of Brandy, (not Cognac I hasten to add. We should drink Cognac responsibly) Rob Johnson and I squared off at my bedsit in Liverpool circa 1996. Rob sensibly caved after 4 shots, I carried on, playing to the galleries a little by finishing off 12 shots. I threw up in no time at all and until this week, had not touched brandy since. Even the brandy aroma could be a trigger for a not so warm, nostalgic memory. To quote a line from Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, ‘The poison was in the wound, you see. And the wound wouldn’t heal.‘ Although the protagonist of Lolita (Humbert) was referring to his reasons for being a paedophile, not for drinking brandy. A slightly tenuous facsimile but I’ll stick with it for now.
We landed in Bordeaux, took bus ride (1hr and 30 mins) over to the hotel Le Ligaru in Cognac. After missing out on free drinks on the flight (now I know that British Airways offer free booze…now I know) I was gagging for an aperitif when I arrived at the hotel. The concierge showed me to my room and when I asked if I could get a drink he looked at me in complete horror. As if I just I asked for reach around before bed.
“But it is 2am??!” he said. And left, tutting.
In the morning it was off to the vineyards. On the bus I was locked into my Roger Moore autobiography, engrossed. But thinking I should be making the most of the French vistas I put the book down and looked out expecting to be seduced by the endless vineyards that stretched to the earths curvature. The first thing I saw was a guy on the side of the road pissing on the hood of his car. “Well there you go.” I thought, and returned to my book.
The unveiling of Remy Martin Carte Blanche.