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Happy New Year to you all. I often wonder, for how long do you say Happy New Year?
When you speak to a business contact, acquaintance or friend for the first time in a new year, it is customary to commence correspondence or conversation with Happy New Year. However, it may sometimes be weeks before you make that contact – even into February. It seems a little stretched at that point. So, everybody, have a great spring break and Happy Easter.
Many thanks to those who commented upon and read the columns last year. Many have said how they look forward to the wine tips and, moreover, find empathy with the madness which is modern-day business life and kids. Oh, so many kids. Now the majority have a boyfriend or girlfriend, there are people everywhere.
The average dinner table over the festive has had twenty-plus, and our own produce was enjoyed. The year ahead promises larger numbers at many a convivial setting and a large bill for me to stand. I suppose the regular attendance of Itwas Notme will also be around, the little beggar stole my phone charger again this morning.
Younger generations can order a piece of clothing with one hand, multi-tasking two other conversations in text and verbally simultaneously, in some new code, have a conversation involving the words “smash” and “tidy”. However, none of them can turn off a bedroom light or buy a round. Apparently, Dad’s tab can extend far enough to pay for all the young ladies watching my sons play rugby or boyfriends watching my daughters play hockey. At least the new love interests watch them. The good news is they usually win. Rugby is unbeaten this season.
I often comment about the generations, their perspective is different to mine – or should I say ours. Narrow minds and broad middles swapping places. The next gen must be called the current gen, apparently. We have arrived Dad, they say. They consider different things than we do in the analysis of conversations, business, relationships and of course, celebrity gossip. Politicians, and even worse, the “establishment” continue to dismay them, and me. No wonder they feel frustrated.
Classic liberalism and a free mind and market are presently very hard to find, and this year I see no change to the left-of-centre big state group think paralysis. A young person should relish freedoms, but few are on offer. Sadly, all get sucked into groups and their (often misplaced and misunderstood) opinions, and the herd moves on.
How do you challenge this David, I hear you say? What can be done? The answer, my friends, I have found! Get young people engaged in a form of climate change activism. Get them to understand the true aspects of recycling, and how this is the undisputed way forward. Get them to drink good wine. It is a battle I am up for….
Plato said, “Nothing more excellent or valuable than wine was ever granted by the gods to man”. I am not sure if Plato is on TikTok, or Snap or whatever, but he did make a point. But the stuff he meant the gods gave us as a gift is fully recyclable; when you have enjoyed it, it does not require landfill or create omissions or issues, it seeps away undetected. Over the years I have recycled many, many bottles. Especially if you put down the toilet seat. Itwas Notme often forgets.
The container of wine has been recyclable for generations, even back when Ben Shaw gave you a penny for the bottle of glass from your lemonade and when Milkmen were more common – the glass packaging was part of the circular supply chain on which many industries and companies now strive to achieve.
Many of the wines I drink are independent and harvested by hand, giving love, attention and passion to the content and viticulture. It tastes better that way. It is not imported from China like most clothes, or the clothes idiots stick to the road when they are sat in them and then film themselves on their imported Chinese iPhones. Hysteria and hypocrisy are everywhere – but not with wine.
Here is another thing. I hate Avocado and for what it stands. The modern liberal avocado-eating vegan promotes chopping trees down in Chile to self-righteously eat “Avo on toast” imported all that way for £2. Wine would be better. 2 pints of milk are sold at a loss for the poor UK farmer, but we spend more on Avocado. OK, on that score, milk trumps wine. I have many dairy-farming friends. Moreover, I have never matched wine to Avocado, although Chablis brilliantly goes with, well more Chablis really and that does not ruin the planet.
Wine is the green future and can be the cornerstone of your efforts in 2024. It can be your climate change responsibility. Fight for it. Be passionate about it. Bore people senseless like those who have recently discovered ice baths bore everyone as well. Tell everyone, even if you don’t know them about your ice bath, and then mention this important crusade, Traditum and this column.
Wine can even replace water. One chap from Galilee could apparently change one to the other, but I think Gary Lineker now advises him. He advises everyone else. He is an avocado.
I never buy mineral bottled water. I object to paying for something which damages the planet and is readily and freely available under our feet and falls from the sky. Remember Evian spelt backwards is Naïve. Plus, it costs more than Avocado – and for that matter, milk. Madness – French water costs more than hard-grafted UK milk. You don’t get many Evian drinkers in Littondale.
So, there you have it folks. 2024 is the year of the green revolution for David Mitchell, and I look forward to further recycling multiple great bottles with even better conversation, convivial company, and brilliant clients for Traditum along the way. I feel empowered, sinews stiffened and ready for battle. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. This battle is on.
Oh, I nearly forgot a wine. Try St Aubin 1re Cru Le Charmois 2016, by Marc Colin. It is a family affair for the Colins, with the vineyard run by three of the children and the fourth making their own way. Outstanding White Burgundies flow from this estate. The St Aubin is excellent value. We enjoyed several with fish soup by a fire in the Highland room at Stonelands, it was a real treat. I needed multiple from the cellars as the table was full, but the conversation with the current gen was enlightening.
No, they did not offer to replace the stocks consumed. All had a partner in tow, who thoroughly enjoyed the lasting finish and understood why there is no better white wine in the world than an on-form Burgundy. Better still, it involved conversation and laughter – not texting, snapping and whatever else. From eleven to twenty-one years old, nine of the current gen enjoyed a glass (responsibly) with ten-plus older folk and understood that recycling is a worthy cause, and the essential lubricant to conversation. With St Aubin 1re Cru, there is nothing better. That is what wine can do, and for that, I do not mind paying. Cheers.