“What’s My Next Question?” – Benjamin Kaplan

by Sep 10, 2021News0 comments

What’s My Next Question?

On a random day like today 11 years ago, a legendary Harvard Law professor and lawyer, Benjamin Kaplan, died at 99 years of age. A rich, marked life that left an impact long after his last breathe.

Apart from influencing the likes of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kaplan is also famed for his work within copyright law. In 1960, he co-wrote the first casebook on copyright with Ralph Brown; and later, in 1967, he published An Unhurried View of Copyright. In this work, he begins with pre-printing press times and the Crown’s censorship, arriving at conclusions on modern-day laws that must consider ever-changing technology.

As this legendary craftsman and gentleman passed, another master was just coming to life. A life that would never have to worry about copyright, born in the “Bordeaux of South America.”

The 2010 Viñedo Chadwick by Viña Errazuriz. An identity and profile that simply cannot be copied. And that’s the beauty of wine! Sure, there can be similar soils and weather patterns, but not one place is identical to another, thus well-made wines will never have to worry about unauthorized multiplications, bans, or proper accreditation.

Oh sure, someone could pour inferior wine into a Chadwick bottle, but one sip would give it away. Each wine has a unique character that cannot be copied. It’s a content creator’s dream: Copyright Free!

During Kaplan’s funeral, there were “cloudy, sodden skies” that led to heavy rains. Similar conditions were taking place down in Chile’s Maipo Valley. Alto Maipo, to be exact, home to Chile’s most prestigious wines, such as Don Melchor, Almaviva and the unforgettable Viñedo Chadwick.

August is the dead of winter for Chile when the Mediterranean climate’s rains come. A time of rest and repose. Cloudier days to lead the way for a successful renewal of spirit.

From death comes life. A life of rich red fruit, earth and chocolate-covered minerality. A life with a finish that lingers on like the works of a prominent law professor.

Just like Kaplan, Chadwick has changed lives. Right up there with Seña, Chadwick is a solid example of Chilean wine’s potential. Proving its place among fine wine, Chile benefits as a whole. Justice is served!

You see, for most of modern winemaking history, Chile has been considered more as a producer of quality cheap wine, as opposed to a source of something fine. Thankfully, no country owns the rights to premium production.

In favor of the Socratic teaching method, Kaplan was famous for randomly selecting a student and asking, “What’s my next question?”

So we ask you, what’s your next wine investment?

Another boring Bordeaux? Or a derivative of concept (Cabernet Sauvignon dominant with a touch of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot) combined with a misunderstood/mistaken “New World”? No intellectual property, just good ingredients.

Remember this when thinking of wine: It’s not about the recitation of facts, of sundry abstractions held up for comparison…it’s about accounting for your taste, your own beliefs.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to wine. Just like Kaplan, you are a participant in the dialogue, and you must be open to learning something new. So try something new.

Again we ask, what’s your next wine investment?

Perhaps Viñedo Chadwick? Let us know why or why not in the comments below!

Explore More from Our Blog

Ever heard of a wine cocktail?

DEAR READER, I hope some of you learned from the reader letter last week [hyperlink to Week Ten post] and checked your attics! You never know how much wine sits above you, waiting to be uncorked and decanted—on someone else’s dime! Dear Sommelier Ferdinand, I have a...

What on earth is a ‘Wine Decanter’?

DEAR READER, It’s come to my attention that many of you are ill-informed, misinformed, and frankly, uninformed about how wine is to be consumed. Were I only a wine enthusiast, it would be wholly dispiriting. But—wine is my profession, and I’m obligated to recognize...

Wine that Makes You Look Up

Wines that Make You Look Up Can you imagine having a device that magnifies your view and never thinking to look up, never pointing it toward the sky? Until August 25, 1609, nobody had. Enter Galileo Galilee, the man who changed the way we see and interpret all that is...

Should you be swirling your wine before consumption?

DEAR READER, Through all the melodrama of the past few weeks, I’ve neglected to educate the newcomers about the art of winetasting. So, I dug deep into my inbox for this query: Sommelier Ferdinand, I went to a ball last night and wasn’t aware of the proper pre-drink...

Sommelier Ferdinand answers “What’s the point of drinking wine from a hundred years ago?”.

DEAR READER, I’ve heard what you’ve all had to say, and I’ve decided to reach out to Jerry, once again, to bury the hatchet. Who’s to say if he would be open to making amends… but I made the effort, on behalf of all you insightful readers! I’ll keep you all updated on...

BOXED WINE AND AN ANGRY RECIPIENT – A FOLLOW UP

DEAR READER, Something unprecedented has happened. My assistant has received an additional letter from Jerry. Remember him—from last week [READ HERE] Well, our beloved wine purist wrote back after reading yesterweek’s column: Sommelier Ferdinand, I don’t care about...

Transcending Time through Wine

On August 11, 1888, The Scientific American published its 658th issue, replete with exciting findings. From “A Study on Whirlwinds,” to “The Distillation of Peppermint" and thoughts on the human conscious, this popular science magazine had already been around since...

Boxed Wine and an angry recipient.

What an experience, to receive all your criticisms. That would shake any normal individual. But I’ve spent years having my judgments under a microscope, so I’ve learned to shut my doors to it. You are all welcome to try—but I won’t be changing any time soon! Speaking...

Sommelier Ferdinand answers “What it takes to become a Sommelier”.

DEAR READER, As the grapes grow richer, so do the bottler and buyer! Wine is an investment, my dear readers. Never forget the long game! Now, for some advice you folks have solicited: Sommelier Ferdinand, I want to be a sommelier, like yourself. I have the respect for...

Harry Potter and the Magical Creation of Seña 2007

On July 21, 2007, J.K. Rowling released her seventh and final book of a most memorable series. In just 24 hours, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sold more than 11 million copies! On that same day, in a land more fascinating than Hogwarts, Seña 2007 was getting...

This week Sommelier Ferdinand answers the difficult question “Which do you prefer: Red or White?

DEAR READER, Some wrote in after last week, wishing me happiness…? Sending me love…? What do you all think, I’m still in love with Matilde? Save your pity for someone who needs it, I beg you! Anyway: Sommelier Ferdinand, Which do you prefer: Red, or white? -Clarise...

What do former First Lady of the United States, Mrs Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and our Émeri Cuvée wine have in common?

On July 28, an icon was born. A lady with poise, mystery and bravery. A lady so well known, yet little understood. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie O. As the First Lady and alive, or just a memory in 2021, Jackie stood out. Great Châteaus are a lot like that too,...