Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the American Viticultural Region not a creature was stirring. Not even a well trained cellar rat. The bottles were all hung in the cellars with care with hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there to taste some of the wares.
The adult children were all nestled in their beds, having consumed their fair share of Champoux vineyards Cabernet and dreaming of bottles of sugary ice wines that dance in their heads. And momma in her “wine slut” sleep shirt and I in my “old wino” baseball cap had snuggled down for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the vineyard there arose such a clatter. I arose from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the tasting room I flew like a flash. Drank up all the sample bottles and...well...let’s not talk about throwing anything up.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow gave the luster of midday to the entire barrel room. When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a tiny forklift being pulled by eight tiny little raindeer.
With a little old warehouseman so lively and quick, I knew that this guy must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came. And he laughed and he shouted and called them by name.
Now Dunham, now Dumas Station, now Portteus and Vinehart. On Claar Cellars, on Columbia Crest, on Daven Lore on Barnard Griffin! To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!
As dry as leaves was the wine that we tasted that night. Like a hurricane wine weekend draws the crowds high. Up to the rooftop the coursers they flew, with a sleigh full of bottles, and St. Nicholas too!
Then I heard in a twinkling up on the barrel room roof, the prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head and was turning around, down the tasting room chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound!
He was dressed all in rubber from his head to his foot. In order to wash barrels all filled with sediment and wine gook. A big bag of corks he had thrown over his back, and looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes were all red, his dimples how merry! His cheeks were all rosy, his nose like a cherry. His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow as he swished and he swirled and sniffed his wine’s glow. The end of a cracker he held tight in his teeth as he crunched and munched to end the tannin grief. He had a long nose, and a round little belly, and it shook as he laughed like a bunch of fig jelly.
He was chubby and plump, like a jolly wine elf. And, I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself. A wink of his eye and a quick turn of his head let me know that I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word but went straight to his tastings, and bought lots of Meritage in wooden 6 pack casings. And laying a finger aside of his nose, and giving a 90 plus rating, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his forklift, and to his team he gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the down of a thistle. And I heard him exclaim ere he drove out of sight, Get a Designated Driver and have a good night!
Merry Christmas from the Onerichwineguy!