THE ADVOCATE 707
VOL. 78 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2020
By Michael Welsh, Q.C.*
He who aspires to be a serious wine drinker must drink claret.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)
Dr. Johnson had strong opinions about wine, and for an Englishman of the
18th century, the only wine was red Bordeaux, then called “claret”. If Burgundy
is the wine of wine lovers, then Bordeaux is the wine of wine collectors.
Therein lie adventures every September, for September is a
momentous month for many lovers of French wines. It is the time each
year that a new vintage of Bordeaux is unleashed on the world. The vintage
is always three years old on release.
On a Saturday morning, at a number of BC Liquor Stores across the
province, the doors open to a long line of prospective purchasers who are
each assigned a number and will take their turns perusing and picking from
the many red and white (mostly red) offerings at hand. To help you through
this phenomenon should you decide to partake, I write this column. I trust
it will be a guide you can read before that fateful date in late September
(which, at the time this was written in July, was still a mystery date).
To give a sense of what you can expect, depending on where you live,
here are two of my very different “release” experiences.
The major release each year is at the BC Liquor Stores’ “flagship” store at
41st and Cambie, though smaller selections are available at other stores
* Michael Welsh, Q.C., carries on a litigation and ADR practice in the South Okanagan and is a bencher. The views
expressed here are his own and not those of the Law Society.