Now zat iz what you call a phet bast-ard!
Thierry, a renowned winemaker who had crafted wines from California to France, from Chile to South Africa was sitting in a cold damp wine cellar one winter day when the door burst open. It was Guy Anderson, his dear friend from London who had just arrived to sample the recent vintage. “It’s cold enough to freeze the balls of a brass monkey!” Guy bellowed with a big smile on his face. “Now Thierry, let’s find out what gems we have this year.”
Guy was a rebel in the wine industry believing that quality was paramount in a wine but that the average consumer hated the traditional intimidation heaped on them by most of the wine industry. The two had collaborated before and this was yet another chance to drink wine, catch up on family and enjoy a few days together. After tasting hundreds of barrel samples both were pleased with the quality, but not blown away.
"It’s cold enough to freeze the balls of a brass monkey"
The next day after sleeping in past noon due to the late night before, Thierry thought he would have Guy try an experimental wine he had in a few barrels in the back of the cellar. “Dis is an experiment wine; we left it on de lees. We try it no?” “Sure Thierry, you know how hard it is to get me to try a new wine.” Both friends had no idea that leaving the wine in barrel on the lees (yeast cells) would result is such a dramatic difference from the wine they tried the day before. It had a wonderful color and rich, round palate. Both men stood and stared at each other for what seemed like five minutes until Thierry exclaimed “now zat iz what you call eh phet bast-ard” Guy laughed with a belly laugh you could clearly hear in the neighboring town. He had used the expression Fat bastard often to describe things that were great but hearing it in a French accent made it so much funnier.
After several more glasses of this great nectar they agreed that they could not withhold it from the public. When it came to a name only one was considered. It was named after the expression that it originally evoked, Fat bastard.
Even with the unique name and the great wine, the two proceeded slowly in production. The first vintage was 5,000 cases with 2,000 cases going to Peter Click, an American bloke Guy had befriended during his world wine travels. The public on both sides of the pond LOVED the wine. Most people bought a bottle because of the name and returned to buy cases because of the quality.
The public on both sides of the pond LOVED the wine
Now time often changes reality and both Thierry and Guy today profess they never doubted the consumer groundswell that would grow into the phenomenon that is now Fat bastard. In reality they were both just thrilled that on that cold Tuesday that they were lucky enough to enjoy good friends, good wine and great memories.
We encourage you to make some great memories of your own while enjoying Thierry and Guy’s wonderful experiment.