I have to announce that on the Fourth of May, this Raconteur has been penning some unusual remembrances. Ever since I was young and first discovered the word “raconteur,” I embraced the word. Of course I am just old enough to have enjoyed seeing films and the old television shows when raconteurs were lauded. There were such greats as Myron Cohen, Henry Morgan, Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, Noel Coward, William Saroyan, and Buddy Hackett and though I never heard his discussions, they say that Harpo Marx, who was famous for being silent, was one of the great raconteurs of his time. Some of them were famous for being part of what was referred to as the Algonquin Round Table, and to pay homage to that questionable group, I once went to the Algonquin Hotel just to see the table.
What is a raconteur? Basically one who is a story teller, some utilize great wit, and I wish I could say that I belong to that subset, but I do not. Though I realize that I am a storyteller, not in the league of Aesop, as most of my stories do not have morals, but I try to talk about the joys and pleasures that I associate with having wine. Some wine writers are very erudite and rate wines by numeric ratings, some with great wordings of the color, the nose, the taste; and some are extremely knowledgeable about the production. Some of the writers have had training and are very serious about the craft and to relay their knowledge. I guess that I learned about wines from the School of Hard Knocks, as we used to say. I have had the pleasure of meeting some fine mentors over the years, but my learning about wine, has been normally one at a time, and sometimes in a concerted method.
As for me, I guess I shall continue to write my non-scholarly articles, because it is fun, and wine is so enjoyable. I have had wines, that I may wish never to encounter again and I have had wines that I wish that I could meet again, but alas, they are too dear to try again. I have also over these past four years had the pleasure, sometimes in person, but mostly through Social Media many others that enjoy wines as well. I also lament that I have seen many Blogs wither and die away, during these four years, and I am sure that there are myriad of reasons why this could occur and it is not mine, to even offer an opinion. In the vast spectrum of horticulture, viniculture is but one small aspect, but it is what draws our attention. While I speak of wine to my imaginary friend that sits across the table, in my mind’s conceit as I write, I just wish to impart the fun times and the enjoyment of wine. As I look at the huge assortment of wine labels that I have soaked off, that I still have not wrote about, I realize that I can write for years, longer than most people would be interested in. For every Chateau Latour or Domaine de la Romanee- Conti wine, there are perchance thousands of affordable wines that I have enjoyed. The same can be said for the restaurants that I have had the good graces to have dined at as well, and I do like to vary the mix. So, with that in mind I shall leave you with one of my favorite quotes about plants by Dorothy Parker; “you can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her learn.”