top of page
  • Writer's pictureCláudio Giordano

The good winemaker

René Engel, Camerlengo of the Confraternity of the Knights of Tastevin, published in a beautiful illustrated edition and under the title Propos sur l’Art du Bien Boire, what we can call twenty-four relaxed chats about how to taste wine well. In one of them, he tells the following Burgundy History:

He was a brave winemaker who loved his vine and produced good wine. His mistake was drinking a little too much, which turned out to be the case: for the first time in his life he found himself in a doctor’s office, who did not hesitate to diagnose:

"So, my friend, you drank too much, huh?"

"Me?! Well, doctor, I only drink when I’m thirsty..."

"So you have violent and inexhaustible thirst?"

"No, replied the winemaker.— I haven’t reached that point yet because, as you say in your jargon, I take preventive measures and I’m sure you won’t forbid me to quench my thirst."

"No, returned the doctor, I do not wish the sinner to die, but I cannot help but give you a little advice: When you are thirsty, put a third of wine and two-thirds of water in your cup, and you will see your thirst well satisfied..."

So the doctor gave his message, tried his luck, made his dice throw. Sometimes it works and he is the first to be surprised, especially when he learns later that his patient has not taken the prescribed medication or followed his advice.

After a while, during one of his visits to the village, the doctor found his patient.

"So, my comrade, how have you been?"

"Bad, replied the winemaker in a bad mood."

"You didn’t follow my advice?"

Lifting his arms to the sky, the winemaker said to him:

"Impossible, doctor. You know I need my six bottles of wine a day. If, in order to follow your recipe, I still put twelve bottles of water in my stomach, I would end up dying..."

Time passed, the doctor had long since passed away, illustrating the proverb: “You see more old winemakers than old doctors.”

As for our man, he continued his little life, chattering... But everything has an end in the world below, and one day, very old, he found himself on his deathbed, surrounded by restless friends.

At one point our man asked for a glass of water. General astonishment of those present who immediately thought the end was near. He, shaking and asking for a glass of water...

As the dying person’s wishes are sacred, they serve him water. He takes a sip and puts the glass on the nightstand. Surprised, the friends ask him why that eccentricity.

"Ah!"— he says — "old memory of the catechism. The priest told us that before dying, people couldn’t help reconciling themselves with their worst enemies... Mission accomplished!" Of course, his companions would not be able to let him appear before the Creator with his throat moistened with water. They decided to brush his tonsils with a red wine and one of the best. They fetched an old bottle from the cellar, poured a mouthful into his old tastevin (tasting wine) and brought it to his lips. He took a few sips and, opening his already glazed eyes, blurted out:

"Chambolle-Musigny 1947; drink it right before it escapes."

That said, he gave up his beautiful drinker’s soul.

Dismay and sadness among those present, but they soon recovered, arranged for the funerals and led him to be buried.

However unhappy to see the bare earth roughly covering such a faithful companion, the friends gathered one day in the village tavern to resolve something that was very dear to them. After several suggestions and after many empty bottles, they reached an agreement: to erect a simple slab for it, but an inclined slab, in memory of its famous inclination... And engraved on the slab:

Antonio Bareuzay

Vosne 1850-1949

Here lies an honorable winemaker,

hardworking at work and at the table,

who in life had only two loves,

his loyalty and good wine.


2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page