I am the bearer of grave tidings. The ancient worlds that spawned the myths and legends that underpin much of our modern western culture may have died on the vines of their empires thousands of years ago.
But the most extreme rites associated with the beliefs of their peoples are alive in east London thanks to a particular nectar.
An electronic invitation arrived to an event titled “Bacchus On A Knife Edge”.
The description was innocuous enough. A natural meeting of dishes cooked by notable supper club chefs and the flavours of various expressions of Chablis.
All was designed to impress an assembly of bloggers and hacks with the wine's inexhaustible versatility.
It was to be innocence and mineral purity with gentle guidance from sommelier and sometime grape master to media moguls Douglas Blyde. Refined and sophisticated.
Things started off pleasantly enough. The room was filled with a babbling sea of clean-cut content creators, lubricated by Pas Si Petit Petit Chablis 2014 and (eventually) fed small morsels of fresh-tasting ephemera by Nordish .
Mid-serve and round about glass three the facade began to slip.
This was no evening of fine culture. We'd been summoned to the studio space of Andaz hotel near Liverpool Street to worship.
The unmasked temple was lit by an unearthly yellow light, spread like unchecked flames across the ceiling, illuminating a ghastly collection of monotone faces staring from a mausoleum of a wall.
These unfortunates, half-smiling across an oversize table in the centre of the room, had the look of celebrated cult devotees.
The chilly fingers of realisation spread across the perspiration soaked shirt on my back.
I was in the lair not of Blyde, but Blycchus, an impeccably ordered costume hiding well the raw and rampant appetites of that most human of gods. Man made deity.
I looked again at the attendees. They too were transformed; his Blogghae, baying for the juice of their master, ready to engage in whatever eldritch activities were asked of them.
Scarves and pashminas were fresh bloodstained fox skins tight over workwear, SLRs and selfie sticks were twisted and turned to fertile thyrsi encircled with vines and tipped with pine cones.
Master of the ceremony Blycchus began to intone a sermon of sorts commending the various wines and courses to his grotesque congregation.
Charmed by his chant we all bent to consume the second – a plate of fresh and vibrant vegetables topped with tempura-kissed samphire and a chunk of whiting delivered by Pickled Plates Bacchant Hana .
Taken with deep draughts of Alain Geoffroy's 2014 Chablis its clean and pleasant flavours only served to dance us deeper into the madness. Lotus eaters in thrall. Eyes wide, nostrils flared.
Back on his feet, Blycchus (now wreathed in vine leaves and framed by a ghostly suggestion of antlers in the air) chanted once more, commanding Rosie – a Maenad hailing from A Little Lusciousness – to bring forth the flesh of beasts that we might devour it.
We barely waited for her to finish her incantation before falling on the pork chops in miso with spring onion rice and Jap slaw, quaffing gulps of Chabils La Boissonneuse 2014 eagerly in our mania.
That peculiar melange of tastes and the excellent wine finally melted the last of my defences.
Resistance had been futile. I was at one with the heady, pounding mob in its boundless pursuit of unalloyed pleasure.
The rest of the night was lost in a haze of revels. Were sacrifices made? Dances danced? Duels fought? Blood spilt? Bodies torn apart? Cheese eaten?
Who can tell. The only certainty is the journey back there begins with a glass of Chablis, clearly the nectar of the gods.
Pass the Alka-Seltzer.
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