THE ADVOCATE 525
By Michael Welsh, Q.C.*
VOL. 76 PART 4 JULY 2018
Wine is the most civilized thing in the world.
One does not usually think of Ernest drinking wine. I recall a bar crawl
around Havana some years ago where we checked out his haunts, and they
involved imbibing his favourite rum-based cocktails such as mojitos and
daiquiris. But as much as I enjoy good rum and the odd mojito (daiquiris not
so much), I must agree with his assessment of wine. And one variety that
should receive top accolades, but often does not, is Chenin Blanc.
Chenin is the backbone of white wine-making in France’s Loire Valley
and in South Africa, with more minor roles in Australia, New Zealand and
the northwest US. It is also a lesser-known gem of B.C. wine production.
Chenin has been grown around the town of Angers on the Loire for centuries,
perhaps for more than a millennium. The Renaissance writer
François Rabelais (1494–1553) mentions it in his satirical work Gargantua
and Pantagruel, praising the grape’s medicinal qualities.1 (I have also often
echoed that same assessment about wine in general.) He also said that “no
noble man ever hated good wine”, so he clearly knew what he was talking
* Michael Welsh, Q.C., carries on a litigation and ADR practice in the South Okanagan and is a bencher. When he’s not
serving in those roles, he’s serving Chenin Blanc with a side of Hemingway.