Martin Schwarz runs a winery in Meißen on the Elbe

NEighty-nine Deutschmarks are an outrageous sum for a Kassel high school student who gets a fraction of that as pocket money. The most expensive bottle of wine in the delicatessen department of the local department store, a 1975 vintage Château Margaux, cost eighty-nine Deutschmarks, and the schoolboy, well-informed from home in Weindingen, was obsessed with trying to figure out the taste secret of this price.

So, together with a school friend, he began to save adamantly, and one day the time had come: the Bordeaux was bought, ceremoniously tasted in a park, and Martin Schwarz had to feel like Aladdin who was just rubbing his magic lamp. From then on he didn’t want to deal with anything other than wine – even if he hit one or the other supposed common sense hook before fulfilling his wish – because he hasn’t gotten rid of the spirits he called up back then to this day. And that proves that some youthful household expenses just can’t be crazy enough.

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