As an Iranian, I find in wine Paradise, damnation, and the shining sparks of Mazda. With it, I forget the ravages of the ages and the rape of Aryanam Vaejah. I drink so that before my dust becomes the clay of another’s chalice, I may savour whatever little is left of this life. With wine, love becomes clear, as does the mirror of my heart; and yes, I also drink because as an Iranian, I am a natural born bon viveur always looking for a good time. Deny me not what is mine! My people, born of fire and smeared with blood, are verily the children of the vine. If it is your pleasure, it is my very essence; but I have again spoken too much when I promised to stop. Come – do you expect me to finish this bottle all by myself? In the words of the great moustachioed Sophy, ‘A drunken Man, and a Man that does not drink do not pass their Time very agreeably together’.

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