Mr. M came in yesterday, a lovely gentleman who hasn't stored wine here since 2012. Last year he came in around this time of year to ask me to order for him a very special product, unavailable in California, and that I once shared with him. Which I was more than happy to do. So what if he's not a customer anymore; he's even better, someone who will always be part of The Cave. How many decent human beings, anyway, are there? I can count about a quick dozen, and most of them are in The Cave. (Not right now, it's just me and the crickets today, who are also lovely. They cricket here, not just anywhere. Special Cave Crickets.)
If you are drinking GOOD wine, chances are you are drinking good other things. Whiskey is popular amongst the Cave dwellers. Scotch seems next. Beer, of course, and then the rest trickles along. So that there are many conversations here about the many pleasures of food, coffee, and alcohol with all sorts of contributions about what is worth trying.
Mr. M did not want me to order anything for him, he only came in to say hi, and he brought something for me to try. The one that wasn't in liquid form was a new experience: Basturma by Eureka Sausage. On their website they say, "You owe it to yourself to taste this at least once in your life."
I did and they're right! I've never tasted anything like it.
"dried, cured, and coated... the
entire process from start to finish lasts 45-50 days....The fenugreek in the coating gives basturma its distinct aroma and
taste." Distinct indeed, and it pairs crazy-perfectly with that other thing he brought.
I wonder sometimes what happens to people after they leave here. It's for any number of reasons: a once vigorous habit wanes, priorities change. Mostly people move away or finally build that home cellar. I'm always sorry to see them go, especially the guys who've been here so long, that are a real part of this story. When someone like Jacques leaves earth, and you realize he's been here since 1992, that's not just a customer, that's our story.
Yes, it was very nice to see Mr. M yesterday.