The only reason to go to our local supermarket on a Saturday is for the free wine tasting. That almost makes up for the 6 near accidents you’ll have in the parking lot, along with dealing with the hordes of bubbas fighting for a jalapeno sausage sample or moms in bathing suits loading carts with cases of beer and hot dogs for family backyard shindig. And that’s assuming you even find a parking spot.
Last weekend, we fearlessly ventured into the store to pick up a few items and try to get out unscathed in less than 4 hours. As we came through the produce section, the announcement came over the loud speaker:
“Ladies and gentlemen, please join the lovely Charisse as she samples some of our fine wines in the front of the store.”
We looked toward the front of the store where a bald, mustached gentleman in probably his late 60’s stood behind a table of wine.
“Huh, he doesn’t look like a Charisse,” I said.
“He’s not bad looking, but lovely is a bit of a stretch,” St. Pauli Girl countered.
Confused, we moved on to the rest of our shopping. As we came out of the snack aisle, we stumbled into a table where a young, blond woman stood behind four open bottles of wine.
“So there really is a Charisse?”
“Yep, that’s me. We’ve got four samples to try including two chardonnays, but this chardonnay is my favorite.” She pointed to one of the opened bottles.
Favorite? She barely looked old enough to drive, much less drink wine, and was much much too young to have favorites.
“Your favorite? Why is that?” St. Pauli Girl asked.
“It’s the sweetest.” She gave a sweet smile.
“We’ll try all of them except that one,” I said, unoffended. It wasn’t her fault someone hired her to peddle a product she knew nothing about.
We headed over to where the bald, mustachioed Charisse manned a table of wine. Alas, he only had one kind of wine to sample. And he liked to talk while he poured.
“Now this is a malbec, medium bodied, kind of in-between a cabernet and a chardonnay.”
“Um, yes. Okay.”
“And it’s from the Bodega winery.”
“Yes,” he replied pointing at the label. To his credit, the label did say “bodega.”
“That’s a big winery,” I replied. “I’m pretty sure they cornered the market of all wine in Spain and most of South America.” (Bodega means “winery” or “vineyard” in Spanish.)
St. Pauli Girl punched me in the arm.
“Do you make wine?” he asked, looking at me strangely.
What an odd question. I almost said that I had made it before, but I was afraid of extending the conversation. Then he pointed at my hat which advertised the Grapevine Cigar Company.
“Well, your hat says grape, and I just thought maybe you were a winemaker.”
“Nope, don’t roll cigars either.”
St. Pauli Girl grabbed my arm and pulled me away.
So in closing, I’d just like to let the store know that if you are providing wine samples:
A. Hire someone who can at least talk about wine in general. Or
B. Hire someone who won’t say a word. Or
C. Have young blond women provide the samples.
By what am I complaining about? It gives me one more small reason to put up with the traffic and customers of that store on a Saturday.