Many moons ago, I was staying at the Lanesborough in London and met the wonderful and professional Salvatore, the resident bartender and consummate professional. He was both a top bartender and expert on Cognac. Over time I guess he recognized me enough that he gifted me a book on Cognac. To my surprise, he was the author and I guess it never occurred to me as I stared in awe at the antique bottles. But then again why should it.
Then one day I mentioned to him the fact that from time to time bottles come for sale in Paris at Drouot, the local auction house. He expressed interest but when the first bottles came into auction, I emailed him but since there was no reply, I purchased them myself.
Over time I purchased a few 20th and 19th Century bottles and even tasted them from time to time thinking of him. One day when I returned to the Lanesborough he had departed and I felt sad.
Thanks to him I enjoy cognac from time to time.
Today you can see his career and information about him: http://www.salvatore-calabrese.co.uk