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September 21, 2018

Mr N, GG and I break the ice over pricey drinks

Mr N, GG and I break the ice over pricey drinks
Mr N, GG and I break the ice over pricey drinks

I turn to Mr N eager to tie up the loose ends (for the observing GG) as to the reason I’m at the club.

“My boss sent me to drop you some papers,” I say tapping my briefcase.

“Thanks. We’ll deal with that later,” Mr N says with a smile, as GG says, "Have a drink.”

The waiter appears with the beverages. He goes through the ritual of pouring some wine for me to taste. I never understand why they bother. He has popped open a bottle. If I taste it and hate it, it’s not like they’ll change it. I pick up a table napkin and hold the wine against it. A white background lets you see the colour of wine well. This one is medium coloured and has a touch of green and gold. The greenness indicates it’s quite a young wine. Like most things in nature, plants start off as green and change colour as they mature. I give it a swirl. Tears slowly form inside the glass. Majority of wine is made up of water but there’s also glycerol, which is either alcohol or sugar. The tears are few – there isn’t a large amount of glycerol so the alcohol content is not high. The lack of sugar indicates it is a dry wine. I take a sniff. Summer in a glass.

“It has travelled well,” I say. The waiter has no idea what I’m talking about. He tops up the glass and moves on to GG.

I take another sip. I’m having a Chenin Blanc. It’s a nervous yet lively wine with intense floral, lemon and melon aromas. When it leaves its native shores, Chenin Blanc does not traditionally travel well and many of its best qualities are lost – but not so for this one. It’s delicious.

“Samantha mentioned Augusta National earlier. Any thoughts about good Scotch as well?” GG asks as the Glenfiddich is placed in front of him.

“If it’s not a Dalmore ’62, let's not dwell on it,” I say.

I get a blank look from both of them. This is the problem with Kenyans. They all drink Glenfiddich and somehow believe they are on top of the Scotch game. They have millions, are members of fancy clubs, but wouldn’t know a good scotch if it hit them over the head.

“Are you saying that a 15-year-old Glen is not up to your standards?” GG asks incredulously.

“No,” I take another sip. “I’m saying that big names like GlenFiddich, Chivas Regal, and blended whiskies like Johnnie Walker are overrated.”

I have captured their attention so I continue. “People in this country drink whatever is considered cool at any given moment and right now it happens to be Glenfiddich.” I take another sip; I really love this wine! The men are looking at me expectantly so I continue.

“Maina Kageni made Famous Grouse a very popular drink back in the day despite the fact that as far as whiskies go, even the Scots are embarrassed to say it comes from those parts.”

They both burst out laughing. “Tell us more about this ’62 Dalmore,” Mr N says.

“It’s the most expensive whiskey in the world. A bottle goes for Sh19.2 million,” I say with a smile.

GG almosts chokes on his drink. “What? 19 million? Will I buy a Range Rover or a bottle of whiskey? I’m fine with my Glen, thank you!”

We all laugh. “In 10 years, your Sh20 million car would have depreciated by more than half. However, a bottle of Dalmore ’62 appreciates even better than land. 1n 2002, a bottle was Sh3.3 million.”

The mood is light and the men are relaxed. I get a look of approval from Mr N – I’m doing well.

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