Thank you Chateau de Sales (my 40th birthday) / by Peter Marshall

Dear Norah,

Back on August 3rd, 2013, your mom and I were travelling together around Europe. Your mom surprised me and took me to a winery for my birthday in Bordeaux. Along the wine tour, she gave me 35 gifts, each with a special meaning about something she liked or appreciated about me. 1 gift for every birthday of mine that she had missed. 


The tour guide at one winery, Chateau de Sales, noticed all the gifts that day, as did everyone else on the tour LOL. Wrapping up our visit, she asked me which wine of theirs I liked the most. I told her my favourite and she proceeded to explain that it was in the Chateau de Sales tradition to give a visitor a bottle as a birthday gift if you were visiting on your exact birthdate. She was also kind enough to write a message on the bottle too.


She told us that to enjoy the wine at the fullest, it would be best to wait 5 years. So your mom and I decided that we would enjoy this together on my 40th birthday. It seemed so far into the future and a long time to wait, but we followed along with the recommendation and the bottle travelled back to Toronto with us and then from my original apartment on Broadview Ave to our place together on Wolfrey in Greektown and finally to our new home in Newmarket. We got married, bought our first house, and had you Norah during all this time. We were so excited to try it! We used my grandmother's crystal decanter, our first time using it, and a very appropriate time!


As planned, your mom cooked an extra special meal on my birthday, which fell nicely on a Friday. She bought top quality steaks and cooked risotto and a beet salad for the perfect birthday meal.


The wine was incredible. Very complex, rich and bold with strong dark cherry notes, my favourite. It was a wonderful evening. I was actually worried we had ruined the bottle as it had travelled from various climates in different housing during the five year period, We were prepared to laugh in case it wasn't great. Luckily, it was not ruined at all, in fact, it was hands down the most special and enjoyable wine we had ever had. And the best part, I'm glad you were there to join us in the celebration! 


A very special thank you to Chateau de Sales winery in Pomerol, Bordeaux. We hope to return one day!!!