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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Maritime Logistics Professional

Best bottle

Posted to Maritime Musings (by on January 21, 2014

Wine, like so much else, is more memorable when consumed with friends in pleasant circumstances

It’s been sixty years since the event described below occurred.  The statute of limitations has long passed.  The following is taken the book Wine Talk written in 1978 by Frank J. Prial, wine columnist of the New York Times: “Caught up in a game of ‘best bottle’, how could I admit that one of the most memorable of all for me was a jug of Almadén Mountain Chablis shared one warm Sunday afternoon, in 1954, with four other sailors on the Coast Guard cutter McLane.  We had come in from a wearing, pounding patrol and were tied up at our regular berth at Aberdeen, Washington on the coast southwest of Seattle.  Most of the crew was on liberty but the cook had prepared a lovely batch of fried rabbit for those of us still on board.  It was our first decent meal in days.  Not having the ship bucking under us was a treat in itself, but the combination of the warm spring breeze, the view of the river and the forests beyond, the rabbit, and that cold wine made for an afternoon few gourmet chefs could surpass.  The fact that the jug was illegal probably made the meal even more interesting.  But we were in port and there was no one around.”   The USCGC McLane was a 125-foot long patrol craft (known informally as a buck-and-a-quarter) built in 1927.  It served as a Rum Chaser during Prohibition.  During and after World War II, it was homeported in Ketchikan, then Sitka, then Aberdeen, and finally Brownsville.  McLane was decommissioned in 1969 and is now a floating exhibit at the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum in Muskegon, Michigan.