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FEATURE: The Wino With the Sophisticated Palate



Fit for a Wino. If you just happen to be Alvin Madison.

Fit for a Wino. If you just happen to be Alvin Madison.



BROOKLYN, NY (Special to TSD After Dark) Alvin Madison got off to rough start in life.  He bounced from job to job and home to home before a cardboard box near a steam heating grate became his permanent address seven years ago. But a chance encounter miraculously transformed him from street wino to connoisseur to the stars.

Alvin had two things going for him. A photographic memory; a corner of his brain where he stored mountains of statistical information and a sophisticated palate; a talent he discovered quite by accident after he inadvertently stumbled onto the set of a live wine taste-testing program for the Discovery Channel. 

Alvin was suddenly transfixed by the bold, buttery bouquet of a California Cabernet and the more subtle, fruitier Merlots. His ability to identify vintages accurately stunned even veteran wine aficionados.

But Alvin still wandered the streets.  He chose to. His friends were street people, and that’s where he was most comfortable. But now an unexpected problem occurred. He was no longer satisfied with the New York or Oklahoma wines that his brethren enjoyed. His was a sophisticated palate. Only the finest California or French wines would do. He would occasionally sample Australian or Italian wines and only rarely partake in certain Chilean vintages, but for him the days of MD 20/20 or Boone’s Farm were over.  

Realizing that scoring such royalty of the vineyards took money, he was forced to work. He landed a job sweeping and mopping at an OTB in Canarsie. He still lived in his cardboard box, but the cash allowed him to eat and drink to his heart’s content. While his street friends were more akin to dumpster dining, Alvin luxuriated in the effervescent glow of truffles and lamb chops by candlelight accompanied by a 2005  Appellation Premières Côtes de Bordeaux Controlée.  

This was living.

“I wonder what the poor people are doing today?” he would often say. 

‘We’re right over here asshole!’ generally came the response from his street pals. 

Alvin Madison soon became sought after by the greatest chefs in America for his uncanny nose. But as his ego began to grow so did his list of enemies. He was found dead, face down in a pool of blood clutching a bottle of 2002 L’Etoile Mousseux

It was unopened. 

Apparently the killer preferred Boone’s Farm.



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