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An Ode to Spilled Vintage . . .

Jon Bacchus

The following essay conveys my appreciation and love for a dear friend in West Virginia who makes the finest wines I have ever had. Each year this dear friend brings me several bottles of his creations. Somehow, during the course of his last delivery one of the bottles popped its cork and all but a single glass was lost. The following letter to my dear friend expresses my sorrow at the loss of "such finery" and laments that it spilled on the carpet of his car! As you will see I have attempted to take the story back in time when men and women could speak more expressively about such every day occurances of life. William Penn comes to mind as I have been strongly influenced by his description of Pennsylvania. Perhaps Edgar Allan Poe has also left an affect on my attempts at descriptive verbiage.

Needless to say, if you are a connoisseur of fine drink, I think you will enjoy these lyrics. Cheers!

To my good friend and Master Vintner from God's Country, otherwise known as West Virginia, where he doth make such fine spirits from the vine, cane and branch:

An Ode to Spilled Vintage . . .

As I imbibed that most precious ruby drop it came to my attention that I must report on what became of the bottle that did so shamefully spill its precious contents over that arduous journey from so many miles away.

To be sure it was the rarest of vintages and I shall lament all of my days from hence fourth over such waste! As I think on this tragedy I am vexed in my soul and filled with a great and dark sorrow to think that those fine vapors were lost over the numerous hills and valleys along that road that does flow up from the hollar in West Virginia (God be praised for that heavenly land!) where those blessed vines do grow under such duress, but do produce the most splendid vintages I ever had the pleasure to partake of. That place is far superior to any that I know so far as the winepress is concerned.

Oí that all of the Grecian gods and goddesses had stayed that fated bottle before it did lean so! O that there had been even a gremlin of the cathedral to have come down from his lofty height and held that slight wood which contained this liquid so fine. O' that it had not escaped from its portly vestments to be soaked up by carpet and wood!It pains me terribly to think of such loss. I am even envious of the ant and the wooly caterpillar who had chanced to meet a golden destiny if it did happen upon a drop of this angelís tears drought.

But the Vintner be praised! There was, by the saving grace of his care and craftsmanship, a single goblet spared of that potent vermilion!! For so carefully was the vintage packaged that there should remain this little bit of evening with Venus. When I sighted it sloshing mischievously in its carefully secured wrappings I paused and thought carefully of how I might recover her without spoiling such a splendid body. For several moments I paused, there had to be a way to recover the allure of this medicinal infusion.

Then it came to me! If I might pour her into a great bowl and then contain this Love in my glass -- Then! Then! I would have the remaining vinous of this precious jewel for myself and the loss would not seem so bitter. Though I do shudder to think that I might have had more; yet have I fought hard to overcome these lusts and have found all the more pleasure in sipping from this one glass of pure bliss. O' that it would last unto eternity, but not even all the godís of Rome could equal the enjoyment I have felt with this one glass of such finery.

And so my dear friend I thought it appropriate to share these thoughts with you that you might imbibe with me this last taste from that ill-fated bottle. Though perchance you have been able to savor her sweet intoxicating aroma more than I!! For the bulk of her treasure perhaps still lingers in the silk and wood of your blessed carriage! Perhaps there is still an essence of her Delight. But I must warn you of such dangers, as there is a mystery in her escaping. This is the way that it is when such a sensuous product has been procured. One cannot ever be fully satisfied, because one cannot ever gain enough of this ravishing!

Thankfully my dear friend, the other two bottles that you so generously delivered are safely stowed beneath sink and counter. There they will await my anxious nose and palate. I will constrain myself to wait until some special occasion to waft yet more of those delightful vapors grown and distilled on that precious ridge where you abide with fine wife and splendid gardens. So let us part now with heart warmed memories of that last vintage. I am thankful for the fellowship and comradery that we did share during the all to brief visit of yesteryear. Nevertheless, it shall be as though we are still conversing and laughing over many fine stories, for few have experienced the aromas and tastes such as we know dear friend!

Give my warmest greetings to your sweet heart! And do write when you are not overburdened by the rising specific gravity of your next heavenly creation or other wondrous doings in that most holy cellar of yours. I shall count the days until we may have yet another fine visit by the hearth in your fair home.

Yours Most Indebtedly,