While I've been sticking to my "no beer" promise, I must admit that the bottle of vanilla extract was looking good.
Tuesday night at work, I'm in the homestretch to quiting time and this older gentleman stops in the bakery. He comes in most every evening, shopping for the reduced bargains, and making smalltalk. He's retired and does all the shopping, as his wife is very ill. He comes to the counter and wants a loaf of rye bread sliced. When I return with his bread he asks me, "Do you drink wine?"
"What kind of wine do you like?"
"Riesling. Something sweet. Why do you ask?"
"Cause I'm going to bring you a bottle of wine," he says with a smile, and off he goes.
"Good," I thought, and I put it out of my head as I had a lot of things to finish before 8:30 rolled around. Just as I'm putting up the "Closed" sign and taking down the bell, he comes back to the counter, dripping wet from the thunderstorm outside, and hands me a carefully wrapped bottle. I managed to stammer my thanks, and he went on to explain that he had made it himself.
Then he told me of the story of the Grape & Granary. His brother owns the place and you can go make your own wine. You mix it up with the help of one of their wine-makers, they store it, monitor, and filter it, and call you when it's ready. You come and bottle and label it and have your own brand at a fraction of the cost of buying it in the store. Not to mention you can sit eating bread and cheese and enjoy samples of everything for $.25 each.
And they sell beer brewing supplies too!
I hurried home and headed over to Franklin's to borrow a corkscrew, as mine was missing. We tasted it in my fine crystal goblets. I told him about it and suggested that it would make a great Tiki field trip and he agreed.
It was fortunate that the gentleman showed up when he did, as my resolve was thinning from walking back and forth past the beer aisle all evening, and it's siren song is strong. The store has started carrying an Italian beer that I'm eager to try.
Perhaps Blanche DuBois wasn't completely wrong. As the gentleman shuffled off back into the stormy night he called to me over his shoulder, "I'll see you Saturday and bring you another bottle." Ah, the kindness of strangers.