- I was waiting for a miracle, explained the man standing at the counter, holding the stem of his oversized oenological glass in both hands, and here you are.

Beaming a large smile, he introduced himself as Eugene, a “lover of wine”, which I found rather endearing.

– Surely our visit doesn’t qualify as a miracle! I protested meekly. You see, we had an appointment. Nothing supernatural about it…

– Ah, but you must look at it from my perspective, he explained.

He was standing at the end of a long row of shelves, with bottles neatly stacked from floor to ceiling whose labels read like an opus of Robert Parker.

– We opened this magnum of Burgundy at 2 p.m., it is now well past 4 o’clock and the bottle isn’t even half finished! I was starting to wonder how we could drink it all up before the shop closed, and that is when your sister and you walked through the shop door, in answer to my prayers…

Towering above the crumbling ruins of three medium-sized, half-eaten moon cakes, the magnum stared at us from the counter with great authority. Montrachet Grand Cru 1993, Marc Colin & Fils, read the label, barely legible under several layers of cellophane wrap.

Grand Cru is a euphemism when it comes to Montrachet, whose 7.99 hectares produce each year 47,000 bottles of what some consider to be the greatest white wine in the world. True greatness likes to veil itself in euphemism.

– We don’t want the wine to warm up too quickly, explained the lovely Rachel who, obeying an invisible command, handed Alexandra and me two crystal glasses.

Holding our empty calices, looking rather contrite, we must have resembled two novices attending an initiation ceremony.

– I want you to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon festival with us, declared Eugene, while Rachel poured the golden stuff.

Incapable of holding back my appendix, I plunged my nose into the glass, closed my eyes and inhaled.

After what seemed a long silence – difficult to tell, since I wasn’t really there any more, hovering above the Côte d’Or, bathed in Autumn light, feeling the pinch of the cool October air – Alexandra started her broken litany – isolated words rather than whole sentences – a loose string of observations, each utterance ringing perfectly, poignantly true, greeted by the “mmmms” and “aaaaaas” of our small, ecstatic group.

A miracle indeed… Especially if you consider the Château Yquem 1998 that promptly followed. We have Eugene and the staff of the Global Wine Cellar to thank for it, without forgetting the generous spirit of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.