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One corner of his mouth crooked up, then the quirk vanished in a thoughtful pursing of his lips. "He’s bisexual, you know." He took a delicate sip of his wine. "Was bisexual," she corrected absently, looking fondly across the room. "Now he’s monogamous." Vordarian choked, sputtering.

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Wine buffs write and talk as though the food and wine will be in your mouth at the same time, that one is there to be poured over the other. This is bullshit. Gustatory enjoyment comes from food and wine and cigars of your liking. So far no one has said that a Monte Cristo is the only cigar to smoke after Armagnac, Romeo and Juliet after Calvados … but the time may yet come.

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Fairly early in my career, I had a passion for wine just as a consumer, and I started to learn about the whole process, starting with a piece of raw ground, and ending up with a work of art in a bottle.

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When Prohibition was introduced, I hoped that it would be widely supported by public opinion and the day would soon come when the evil effects of alcohol would be recognised. I have slowly and reluctantly come to believe that this has not been the result. Instead, drinking has generally increased; the speakeasy has replaced the saloon; a vast army of lawbreakers has appeared; many of our best citizens have openly ignored Prohibition; respect for the law has been greatly lessened; and crime has increased to a level never seen before.