And then the most amazing thing happened. As it stood there it talked to me. And asked me the question, “What do you want from me?” Whereupon we bantered back and forth for what must have been just a few minutes.
I thought I heard the bottle sigh (what else could it have been?). And then there was silence. So I put the wine back in its slot, and proceeded to leave the closet.
Again, I asked him, “What do you want?” And he returned the volley with, “I want to die happily, not here, not next to your precious Bordeaux and Champagne. I want to finish my life in a bright place, with music and voices and light and maybe a fire in the corner and the smell of a roast cooking and a tomato sauce and homemade pasta and liveliness. I have been setting here on my side, in solitary confinement, in silence, so bloody cold, and I want my life to have some meaning. I don’t want to die here. I want to go out making someone happy!”
And that is how I chose the wine one recent evening.
Let’s just say it was his time. He had a long life. Not all of it was fun and games. But he held up. His cork didn’t fail him. Or us. He went out amidst warmth and light and music and the smell of roast meat and gravy drippings and simmering tomato sauce and happiness, as is meant to be in this season. Pure joy - a most happy ending.
written and photographed (in Abruzzo) by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
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