Thursday, May 26, 2011

Goodbye, mate.

It was 2005 and Gwen Stefani had just come out with Hollaback Girl. I was working for Daniel at the namesake, and this dude comes in and the first thing he does he orders Clos Rougeard 1996 Poyeux and Bourg. Two seperate bottles. For a party of two. Nobody used to order Rougeard back then, it wasn't like it is today. So I'm like, Uhm, Excuse me? Who are you? Because my name is Levi and we should be friends, and that was how I met Michael Wheeler.

We became pals and he taught me a lot of stuff, the insider know how that he knows and how, and we had some epic meals together. There was the time we put on the Fiorano Fantasma, showcasing a deep vertical of Fiorano whites before almost anybody in this country knew that they were some of the greatest wines of Italy, and I feel like we had a giant impact on the market with that dinner, because now there are like 6 dudes out there who know that those are some of the greatest white wines of Italy, and that is like a huge multiple over zero when you think about it. He was there for Vallana. He introduced me to Cedric Bouchard. He contributed Pie in the Franco manner when the clarion call of Pie went out amongst the masses. And there was Santorini night. He showed the folks on the deck how to do it that evening. He was one of the few imbibers there to get home unscathed by the sheer number of bottles from the Greek isle that were opened. Also, I don't really know how many people would be interested in turning out for a Massandra dinner were one to be held again, but I know Mike and I were at the original.

Well, Michael is leaving for that other coast soon, so it was time for one last Hurrah. He got together some people for a lunch at Diner, in the fashionable part of town, and we did it up right like.

Everybody was there, let me tell you.

I always try to sit next to Rosette at these things. I feel like she's always got something to say. And she gets along well with everybody. She's a people person, know what I mean?

Jacques had this terribly sad story about getting sued for copyright infringement by P. Diddy and the Pope Benedict on the same day. How is that allowed to happen?

 Rougy!! Looking good, baby!

Noel said that his retirement is treating him just right, thank you. The people who think he is coming back, who do they think he is? Mick Jagger? Barbra Streisand or some kind of big shot? Noel said that if one more person tells him to sing Happy Days Are Here Again that he can't be held responsible for what happens. 

Raymond leads a charmed life. I mean for real. He was telling us about the time he visited the Price is Right as a member of the studio audience, and you know what happens? He gets called down to be a contestant on the show! And then Bob Barker asks everybody to guess the price of a Bucher Vaslin pneumatic wine press and Ray knew the answer down to the penny, because he had just bought one the day before. Seriously. I mean, who does that happen to? Raymond is the type of guy if he goes to a major league baseball game he catches the home run ball in the stands. That's just the way it is for him. It's amazing. There isn't a lot of major league baseball played in France, but still.

Old Mr. Laville showed up with Vanna White wrapped around his shoulders. Quite the entrance, I must say!

Party crasher.

Emidio, Emidio. How many times are you going to tell me that you have been around since before the day I was born? I've heard it before, man.

I dug how Ceretto got into the whole Williamsburg vibe with the retro threads. Well done, Sir!

When Egon Muller shows up, you know that it is going to be a party. The guy is a prince.

Auguste, you crazy for that one, son!

Anyway, as you can see, most everybody there was awesome. Total A-List peeps. It was a great lunch, the food was delicious, and there was even one or two decent bottles of wine there, too.

I'm going to miss you, Mike. Thanks for everything.


Francesca said...

When you say moving to another coast, does that by chance mean the West Coast of North America? I could use some inspiration, just saying'.

leviopenswine said...

Portland, Oregon, Frankie.

But the real question is when you are coming back home.