Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
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A year ago to this day, I supped on a fine wine. It was Mount Difficulty Pinot Noir from Central Otago in New Zealand.
My choice of label was not an accident. Earlier that day, after a couple of weeks of tests, I had been diagnosed with stomach cancer. I suppose, with hindsight, I was in a state of shock, although back then my gastro-enterologist commented on my ‘serenity’.
I recall stopping at my local Waitrose supermarket on the way home, determined to find a good wine to drink that evening with my wife to mark a positive start to the medical process that would follow.
For a Kiwi, the country of origin was an easy choice, but it was the name that caught my attention. Mount Difficulty indeed. It had to be climbed.
That bottle has stayed on my mantlepiece ever since as a reminder. There would be times when things got rough in the ensuing months that I would need to look at it to convince myself to keep on climbing. Sometimes I thought I would never reach the peak, let alone any downslope.
But I did. A year on, without taking anything for granted and knowing that I must be carefully tested every six months for the next five years, I am feeling in remarkable health.
Of course my medical treatment and amazing doctors are the main reason for that transformation. But I like to think that wine played a role.
It was a 2008. Yesterday I bought a 2009, which I shall uncork tonight. A new vintage for the wine. And a new and very different year for me.