From the Pile O’ Hockey Junk #1: Hillebrand Estates Sens Wine Bottle

I have, over the years, built up a large collection of hockey memorabilia, some of it pretty cool, and some of it just baffling. This is the first in an irregular series of posts featuring some of the high- and lowlights of my collection.

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Once upon a time, this bottle contained wine. Cuvee 1812 Canadian Chablis, per the label on the back.

When I was a sophomore in college, I went with some friends up to Ottawa to see the Senators play the Whalers. While on that excursion, I bought this bottle of wine at the LCBO store in the Rideau Centre. They also had red wine with the Sens label, as I recall, but given that at the time my wine consumption was pretty much limited to wine coolers (it was the early 90s, after all) and Mad Dog, that was too threatening to me, so I bought the white. I was only nineteen at the time, legal to buy in Ontario, but not bring it back to New York, so my of-age roommate had to claim the wine for me at the border.

I said when I bought it that I would keep it and crack it open to drink in celebration when the Sens won the Stanley Cup. Given that they were on their way to a big ten win season at the time, it was a bold declaration. Maybe I just figured by that time I would be old enough to like wine…

In any event, the bottle of wine made a number of moves back and forth between New York and Ohio, Ohio and Ontario, etc., over the next few years. But then in a fit of pique after yet another Senators playoff flameout, I opened it up and poured all the wine down the sink. So I still have the bottle, but not the wine. And it’s way less cool that way. And what will I have to drink if the Sens ever do win it all? Whatever it is, it will surely not taste as sweet as a 20-year-old bottle of cheap Canadian plonk.

(Note to my parents if they’re reading this: I swear, as soon as the Jackets win the Stanley Cup, I’ll drink all those cans of Sierra Mist with pictures of Kevin Dineen on them that are in your basement)

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