I wrote this post back in 2012, and just recently in the city of Hong Kong, some of these warnings have proved prescient. There, amidst the fallout from the COVID-19 coronavirus, an armed gang has stolen hundreds of toilet paper rolls. The AP reports that:
Supermarkets have found themselves unable to restock quickly enough, leading to sometimes lengthy queues and shelves wiped clean within moments of opening.
There has also been a run on staples such as rice and pasta, as well as hand sanitiser and other cleaning items.
Police said a truck driver was held up early Monday by three men outside a supermarket in Mong Kok, a working-class district with a history of “triad” organised crime gangs.
“A delivery man was threatened by three knife-wielding men who took toilet paper worth more than HK$1,000 ($130),” a police spokesman told AFP.
Read my 2012 post below for more insight on preparing for the unknown, especially by keeping plenty of wine on hand.
Hardly bedfellows, right? Well, in fact, yes. This needy threesome comes up high on my personal security and preparation platform. I have prepared an inventory of everything we would not wish to be without were the electric grid to go down for a month or more. Obviously, water and food head the list. We are covered with multiple wells and freezers running on solar, and a handy reservoir. Once we get into specifics, wine, especially French wine from Burgundy and the Rhone Valley, ammo and TP come up fast as list toppers. Regarding ammo and TP, we are always in a max-out position and have been for many years.
Which brings me to wine. If you’re interested in wine, you have your favorites. My interest is Burgundy and the Rhone Valley. I have abundant reasons not to be a fan of Bordeaux, California and Australian wines, but I understand why each of these huge wine producing regions share deep reservoirs of enthusiasm. For now, though, I want to focus on the Rhone Valley in France.
The more I read Robert Parker’s commentary on the wines of the Rhone Valley, the more interested I became. I view French wine as a stable haven for capital and a potential hedge against massive dollar devaluation and inflation, as well as a most pleasant addition to an evening. Robert M. Parker, considered by many experts to be the world’s most experienced and trustworthy taster, is also a prolific writer. I have spent many pleasant and informative hours with Parker’s Wines of the Rhone Valley. Here are a few of Parker Rhone Valley tidbits that I think will peak your interest: “The most exhilarating I have had have been not with a glass of Margaux or Petrus in front of me, but with a mature, top Cote Rotie or Hermitage…. The northern Rhone produces three of the greatest wines in the world—the white wines of Condrieu and red wines of Cote Rotie and Hermitage…. Rhone Valley wines continue to represent the greatest quality/price ratio of any top red wine region of the world.”
Debbie and I visited the Rhone Valley last spring, and we hope to return for more research this fall. In the meantime, we have found three outstanding East Coast wine shops that can help you on your way with the wines of the Rhone Valley, as well as those of Burgundy. We have spent hours with the experts at all three. In Naples, Florida, we visit Jacques Cariot whenever we make the almost six hour drive from our home base in Key West. You’ll enjoy Bleu Provence restaurant, owned and run by Jacques and his wife, and their brand new retail wine shop. In Newport, we stop regularly at Newport Wine Cellar. We’ve known Maria since she first opened her shop on Bellevue Ave. Finally and not to be missed is Browne Trading in Portland, Maine. I’m not sure which you’ll love more: Browne’s wine shop or fish market. We get to Portland often on the Harleys and always stop to see what’s new at Browne Trading. I strongly recommend this wonderful threesome to you.
A votre sante,
P.S. By far my favorite wine merchant for importing the wines of Burgundy, Beaujolais, Maconnais, and the Rhone Valley is Berkeley California’s Kermit Lynch. If you stick only with wines imported by Kermit, you will be guaranteed success. All three of my favored retail shops are on the Lynch team.
Originally posted August 13, 2012.