by Fred McMillin
Beautiful Lady, Beautiful Wine
The Beautiful Lady
London, 1876—Artist William Graham Robertson saw a young lady walking toward Hyde Park. "At first glance it seemed a very young and slender girl, dowdily dressed in black, and wearing a small, close-fitting black bonnet. She might have been a milliner's assistant waiting upon a customer. Then, as I drew near the pavement the girl looked up--and I all but sat flat on the road. For the first and only time in my life I beheld perfect beauty.
The face was that of the lost Venus of Praxiteles. It was pale with the glow of absolute health behind the pallor, the eyes grey beneath dark lashes, and the hair brown with hints of gold. The figure in its poise and motion conveyed the impression of something wild, eternally young, nymphlike."
About that "eternally young figure," Somerset Maugham met her in 1916 (she was 63 at the time) and still recalled her fine figure 39 years later in his Writer's Notebook. Needless to say, such beauty did not go unnoticed. Those falling in love with her included the future King of England, Albert Edward; Albert's handsome nephew, Prince Louis of Battenberg; Baltimore millionaire Freddie Gebhardt, whose first gift to her was a simple bouquet of flowers...concealing a diamond necklace and matching bracelet. (Principal source: Joan Dutton's They Left Their Mark, Illuminations Press, St. Helena)
The Beautiful Wine
Our March 6, 1997 WineDay began "Guenoc makes a great Cabernet from Andy Beckstoffer's St. Helena
Vineyard IV." The Jan. 12, 1998 WineDay read,
"The Guenoc Beckstoffer won best of tasting even
though there were more expensive wines in the
20-bottle competition." Here's today's purple
We are not the only fans of the Beckstoffer. Not so long ago InterVin Internatinal selected it as BEST IN USA!
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