Yesterday I came home to a Delivery Notice Card informing me that an official letter from the United Kingdom awaited my signature at the nearest postal office.
It was either some royal commemorative china from my friend Geordie Clarke or a letter from a member of the Royal Family.
“It isn’t from me,” says Geordie who moved to the UK in 2007. “So it must be from the Duchess of Cornwall!”
And he would know this because I’ve told him, and anyone else who will listen, that I enjoy mailing things to the Duchess of Cornwall.
Last year I mailed her a birthday card and she responded with a handwritten note of thanks.
I appreciated that gesture so this July I sent her a second birthday card as well as a small present.
I don’t know the Duchess but I know that she’s into wine.
“My family have been involved in some way or another with wine for a very very long time,” she said during a 2013 visit to an English winery. “They’ve written about it, they’ve sold it, they’ve drunk it. So it’s like landing the perfect job here.”
Geordie is also into wine so I asked him for gift advice and he suggested any book by British Columbian wine writer John Schreiner.
“He’s a local guy who is into BC wines and dedicates himself to talking about them rather than foreign stuff,” says Geordie who (jokingly?) describes himself as an unrepentant alcoholic. Whatever, he knows his shit!
I settled on “John Schreiner’s BC Coastal Wine Tour Guide: The Wineries of the Fraser Valley, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, and the Gulf Islands.” Who knows, maybe this will convince the Duchess to return for another visit!
Or maybe not.
“Vancouver Island’s wineries are a minefield,” explains Geordie. “Many are in their infancy, run by people taking a chance. Many use oddball grape varieties that like cooler climates. They’ll improve over time but for now you need to be selective. Some make good white wine, some make okay red wine. All of them seem to have a least one or two shit wines that you should avoid.”
Oh well, I did receive an awesome card!