A week in the life of two 1275 collectors, one day in 2065…

Chapter I  •  Anticipation

2065. A rare, bright and breezy Tuesday, just like spring time used to feel. “Good morning, Albie & Emma”, chimes the AI assistant, “on today’s schedule, Albie you have a yoga class at midday. Emma,  should I book you a flotation pod today? Your stress levels are up 6% on last week”. Was it stress, or excitement for the weekend ahead, Emma thinks to herself. “Also, we’ll receive a wine delivery today for your dinner party on Saturday”.

As Albie stirs awake, his mind returns to the very first bottles his parents received in their cellar back home. He notices how the memory gets happier each time it crosses his mind – it’d been four years now since Dad passed.

While Albie & Emma busy about their days at the office, an auto-truck approaches their house. Their Home Humanoid (affectionately named “Hubert”) detects the vehicle approaching, and heads to the front gate. Messages pass silently between vehicle and bot: “please share your identification reference”, “UID00193708WKZ”. Security checks passed, the front gate opens, and the truck enters their covered and cooled entrance.

When the sides of the vehicle open, revealing the pristine wooden cases inside, even Hubert thinks it feels the excitement of the weekend to come. It scans the pallet to confirm each NFC tag, and downloads 1275’s racking and serving instructions for each bottle. Miles away in the centre of town, Emma’s phone pings, interrupting her daydream. She glances at her screen to see bottle IDs piling up in her home cellar. She can’t help but open the video feed on her mobile app to watch Hubert, diligently tidying away the bottles. Seeing him pick up the double magnum of Margaux 2015, she activates her voiceover; “hide that one from Albie’s app view please, Hubert, it’s his birthday present”. She is itching to get home and see all the bottles in the flesh.

Chapter II  •  A preview

Saturday morning. Albie & Emma are up early to let the caterers in. Emma almost went for the cater-bots they had last time, but she’s warmed to Albie’s idea of a real human chef – “I want to taste the soul in the food, none of that engineered crap”, he’d insisted.

Later on, they go down into the cellar together, where Hubert is busying at the decanting station. Albie takes a glass from the rack. Reaching for the decanter digi-labelled Guigal Côte Rôtie La Turque 2015, Hubert interjects, “I would wait until later to taste sir. It’s not going to be ready just yet”. Albie rolls his eyes, “yes Hubert, that’s the point, I want to see how it evolves. Override”. He regrets purchasing the humanoid for the nth time, before forgetting his surroundings as the wine hits his taste buds. Opening his eyes sometime later, Emma and Hubert have cleared the room. He can still taste the Côte Rôtie. It brings him back to the pleasant summer heat of his childhood, and to the many hours on the road with mum and dad, being dragged from vineyard to vineyard. What he wouldn’t give to do it again now.

Chapter III  •  The dinner party

How wonderful it is to gather friends together like this, Emma muses. Well into their dinner party, Albie dismissed Hubert over an hour ago, and is now pouring the wines himself in whatever order he sees fit. “Tom, try this – Château Figeac 2022, the first real heat era vintage… but it’s still so fresh!” he reaches over to fill Tom’s glass and spills a little. Emma mutes the family health assistant on her phone – yes, we know we’re over the blood alcohol limit, no, we’re not driving anywhere, she reassures herself.

Albie scans the tag on the Figeac bottle, and balances his phone on a stray water glass to project the hologram before the group. The room falls slowly silent, watching Frédéric Faye and Blandine de Brier Manoncourt recount their experience of the 2022 vintage. Emma sneaks out of the room as the holos continue the entertainment – she thinks now is the right time.

Hubert awaits outside, the Margaux 2015 in hand. “Now might be a good time to give your gift, Emma”. “Thanks Hubert”, she says, resisting the temptation to go in for a hug. It was hard to remember he wasn’t part of the family sometimes.

Back in the room, Emma quietly places the wooden box in Albie’s lap. Glancing down, Albie stops mid-conversation – “No…how did you find it?” his voice shakes slightly as he slides the wooden top out, revealing the most perfect bottle he’d ever seen – and his father’s favourite wine – Château Margaux 2015. “Actually”, Emma confesses, “it’s from your dad. He kept it at 1275 with a holo-message for you today, but you can watch that later – Happy Birthday, darling”. Albie composes himself, and looks around at his friends, all of them fuzzy from an evening of old-fashioned socialising. “How much is this even worth?!”, he whispers to Emma. His wife’s side stare is all the encouragement he needs. Priceless indeed.

“Right guys listen up, you’re going to love this one”. Conversation hushes as Albie pulls a manual corkscrew from his pocket. Carefully extracting the cork twist by twist, he takes a moment to revel in each, human step.  “Thank you, dad”, he thinks to himself. Balancing the great vessel with both hands, he fills his friends glasses, and watches the festivities resume. Little did they all know, it was one of the very last double-magnums of Margaux 2015 they would ever see.

This short story was drafted by chat gpt, and re-imagined by the 1275 team.