In the courtyard outside Moët & Chandon’s imposing premises in Épernay stands a statue of Dom Pérignon, the Benedictine monk often credited with having created champagne in the 1670s. The statue is popular with the tourists who throng Moët’s tasting room and retail store, and they stand on Dom Pérignon’s plinth to have their photographs snapped with him, as if he were a Disney character.

Autumn is most certainly arriving, and with it the burst of the summer movie bubble. We rouse to the realization we’re emotionally and intellectually starving for a meaningful story. This is what the Toronto International Film Festival does best.

Over the past 15 years, as we roamed through the countryside, visited distilleries, and spoke to founding families, we discovered that history can in fact be bottled. As we celebrate our crystal anniversary, we toast to the stories of each producer—with a fine vintage, of course.

Being offered a premium wine for $12 a bottle might sound a bit like being offered some prime swampland at a knock-down price. Premium has the ring of quality about it, and many people might well think of premium wines as including first-growth Bordeaux and Super Tuscans.