The Cave opened in 1982. 1982, coincidentally, is considered one of the better vintages of Bordeaux. 1982, coincidentally, is the year Robert Parker showed up to tell everyone that. (Some think it was only an OK year until Mr. Parker convinced us otherwise.) If you bought a bottle of Chateau Lafite upon release - like a lot of people here did to begin their collections - you paid around $40. Today, a 1982 Chateau Lafite sells for $3,000. (Inflation alone, it would be about $100 today.) A 2015 bottle will now set you back, depending on the bottle, from $600 - $1,700. Bordeaux is no longer the stuff of beginning wine collectors.
Eras and Ends.
The Era: I called Vern near the holiday and was getting no answer. Vern, if you are just joining us, was your master of ceremonies before I, and it is directly because of him you all are now suffering me. After a few calls I emailed his daughter and prepared for sad news and waited. HA! THERE IS NO SAD NEWS. Vern was under the weather and in the hospital a few days but is now back to his old self and I finally talked to him earlier today. He sounds good enough, it was good to hear his voice, and as usual he bade me to tell everyone he says Hi.
Vern says, Hi.
The End: The singular privilege of being your resident troglodyte is my job description: I am the keeper of stories. There are many layers of story here. The building is a story, The Cave is a story, every bottle here is a story - someone's - and there are the stories that simply happen. Some I post and others I don't or won't, because. One of The Cave's better stories moved to Washington recently and came in this week to close out his lockers. Sadness. So now I am at liberty to tell this story.
That's Steve on the back left. He's been here since 2001. Three lockers. His buddy, the guy front left, I have no idea his name. There was never one without the other. Both great guys. They'd come in, Steve always in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, go into the cellar, be in there a while, you'd hear them laughing a lot, and then they'd come out carrying a case each. The first time we all met they also were carrying two empty Mike's Hard Lemonades - which I offered to dispose of and they said thank you and then laughed all the way home.
One time after a long time and much carrying on, they came out carrying a case each and two PBR tall boys. This is the stuff of Awesome. This is Those Guys from That Era.
All the friends came in to help Steve move his lockers. It only took about two hours. This was some very funny two hours, let me tell you. Old guys who've been friends for a long time are funny. At one point I went outside and this was the top of the AC out there. I was like, wow, when did that even happen? How did I miss THAT?
Here's a better look at the line up.
And then they were gone. Like every good story, the emptiness of The End.