“It’s a family secret, and an obligation,” David’s father had said. No more details were forthcoming.
With those words weighing upon his mind, he took the old key his father had given him and approached the disused basement door of his ancestral home. It had fallen upon David, the eldest son of the eldest son to carry out the bi-decadal descent into the cellar.
There was no electricity in the tomb-like space beneath, so he lit the kerosene lamp at the top of the stairs. He slowly made his way downwards, with no inkling of what to expect.
As he reached the bottom he could see a table ahead of him at the far end of the cobweb strewn enclosure.
He slowly approached the desk to find a leather-bound journal and two wine racks of fifty bottles each.
In the book it said, Take the fifty bottles on the left, upstairs. Move the ones on the right to the left rack. Sell the forty year old vintage at auction, and then fill the right hand rack with bottles from the approved French wineries on the next page. Herein will be the secret of our wealth. Thomas Crabtree, 26 March 1840