Go To Page #1  #2   #3  #4   #5  #6   #7  #8   #9  #10   #11  #12

Zin Avenger LOGO

Awakenings Chapter 1: Dreams, Page 3

Joe reflected on the De Marcos. “The old man was always a saint, but his kids were always trouble.  I can remember the sheriff hauling away one of his sons in handcuffs for dealing drugs in high school.  You know, the old man’s dad knew my Great Grandfather.  It is kind of sad to see the winery change names. ”

Ed shrugged. “Lots of small wineries are selling out to investment groups.  Paul, my old boss at Chateaux Ponderosa, wasn’t happy to see me leave, but the Fairchild Group made me a real sweet long term offer, not to mention the signing bonus that they gave me.”

Just then, across the bustle of the wine tasting area, Elise called out to Joe, “Joe, can you please come over here and help us carry out trays of food?”  Joe quickly set out several bottles of his gold medal Zin and rushed to help with the food.

When 6:00 PM rolled around there was a line stretching from the entrance of the tasting area all the way out to the midway.  Joe noticed a couple of black limousines that had been let in the gates and parked near the outside of the tasting area.   Each had diplomatic license plates.  He had dreamt about these very limousines!

As the gates opened, the paying wine tasters collected their specially engraved wine tasting glasses and headed for their favorite winery tables.  This year, the tasting had a new twist in that each winery was allowed to have up to three of their wines present.  Those who had won only one or two medals could use any of their wines that they wanted to market. Joe took this opportunity to pour a Zinfandel Barbera blend that he had not entered in the fair to pour alongside his silver medal winning Petite Syrah and, of course, his gold medal Estate Zin.

Next door, he noticed the bottle with the De Marco Cab Franc label and two other labels of something different, but he was kept busy pouring as a long line built up at his table. One of the patrons said, “As always, you have outdone yourself again, Joe; this is an outstanding zin.”  Joe looked up and saw that it was Simone, the owner of The Wine Witch, a wine and gift shop in town.

“Hi Simone, how many wineries are here this evening?”

“At least twenty-five, that includes the three newest wineries.  Speaking of which, have you tried the Etoile Rouge Zinfandel?  You know, from the old De Marco Winery?”

“Not yet, is it any good?”

“Drinkable, but it has this faint funky earthy smell that I can’t quite identify. It gets better with the 2nd or 3rd taste.  It definitely is not as complex and balanced as yours.”

“I’ll give it a try when Elise can spell me pouring wine.”

Looking back into the crowd, Joe saw two very tall and very broad guys with close cropped hair and wearing suits, definitely out of place in this group wearing shorts, sandals, and t-shirts.  Looking closer, he could see the little curly cues of microphones in their ears.  In between them stood three Chinese gentlemen in polyester slacks and Hawaiian shirts.  Just then, there was a loud pop.  Suddenly one of the big guys swept the three Chinese to the ground with one motion while the other pulled out a semiautomatic pistol and assumed a firing stance in the direction that the noise had come from.  There were screams and gasps from the wine tasting crowd.  Across the fence, in the antique motor area of the fair, a beer bellied and red faced guy in bib overalls wearing a straw hat and standing next to one of the engines sheepishly called out, “its ok, old Betsey is always persnickety getting started.  She likes to backfire a lot”.

The moment of quiet turned instantly into a buzz of everyone talking at once. The gun disappeared as quickly as it had appeared.  The three Chinese gentlemen were helped up by the two big guys.  They were obviously very embarrassed.  An invisible ring of separation formed around the five, nobody wanted to stand next to this group.  Joe noticed that the two big guys did not have wine glasses.

Continued ...     Back to Page 2