As I unpack and re-pack the cases for final stowage I have had a chance to reflect on the short annual pilgrimage to the haven of bacchanalian delights that is the Burgundy region of France.
We suffer a great deal for the privilege of the finest of wines. Having to spit the damn stuff out when tasting it is bad enough, let alone having to face the indignity of paying again for roads we have already paid for with the ruinous EU tithes levied upon us.
Burgundy is an area of natural beauty and empty property - but for some reason - affordable accommodation in the local area is somewhat stifled. Logis De France - basically restaurants with rooms - are the best value - and they leave more of the old spondulicks for the good stuff.
Oh, the places are clean enough - that well scrubbed old school sanatorium feel describe them best. 1970's décor, slightly threadbare linen and bathroom fittings out of an episode of space 1999 or UFO.
The food is often a true delight - with of course local wines setting the palate off just so. It can be rustic to exquisite - but almost always too much.
Much of the joy is the journey itself - 'La Route des Grand Vins' through sun dappled russet green corduroy landscapes, that scroll past our windows as we meander through names that read like a sommelier's wet dream.
Afternoons spent in low arched cellars tasting dips from the first crush to the Vins Anciens bottled many a year afore we arrived - and leading up the stairs to blinking into the daylight - to a heavier car but a lighter pocket.
And so - the cases shall go away - not to be seen until 2013 onwards. A moment of sadness, offset by a collection of a rather nice set that have been mouldering and ripening since 2000 - or before. (The 1er Cru '98 is particularly fine right now)
I shall enjoy - and of course share with glad rapture. For what is the point of all this Bon-Viveur behaviour - if one cannot share the spoils with one's chums?
Anyway - I'm on a diet now. I shouldn't be drinking a whole bottle - and it would be a shame to let it stand so.
Form an orderly queue, chaps.