Grace popped into a liquor store i was in on third avenue, between 47th and 48th street, on the west side of third avenue. I was buying wine. Not a bottle or two, cases of wine. Grace gave me her signature smile and asked if i was thirsty. I told her she knew better and that the wine was for guests coming to the house. Grace looked at the choices in the boxes and started to hold court on the wisdom of my choices. Apparently Grace was of the opinion my california wine choices were decent, but lacked panache.
Grace told me that the fruit of the vine was one of her greatest grants to the free will of COG’s. The development of wine over the millennia has been extensive as COG’s exercised more and more free will to improve on wine. Grace told me that wine, in moderation is one of the healthiest drinks a COG indulges in. Grace spoke about various chemical compounds in wine that are very healthy for the heart, and the fruit of the vine itself is in keeping with Grace’s desire to see all COG’s indulge in a fruit and vegetable dieta.
Grace asked me if i had ever made wine myself. I told her no. Grace gave me her signature smile, and shook her head. I asked her why the nod? She then took me on a trip in the time machine. (Note: The time machine is the name i give to the trips Grace takes me on into the past, the present, or future. Keep in mind i have no idea if we actually leave the spot we are in when we go on a trip and physically travel someplace, or if it is purely mental and Grace simply takes me into a region of the brain where the non-conscious stores the event. I assume its the non-conscious. The problem with that assumption, is how can i have stored an event in my non-conscious, which is in the future, or an event i am sure i never experienced? Someday i hope to have a camera trained on me when Grace appears and takes me someplace, so i can figure out the answer.)
We arrived at 56 crystal street, in buffalo, new york. The calendar on the wall in the basement said 1957. I was nine years old. There i stood with my grandfather sebastian celani, turning the handle over a big wooden barrel. Grace said, there you are frederick making wine with your grandfather. I said to Grace, that it was over a half century ago, (Keep in mind this Chronicle took place in early march of 2009) i have no recollection of it. Grace stated that was why she took me back here to show me that she did have knowledge of my life from the moment i was born. Grace stated that it was her total knowledge of my entire life that led her to the conclusion that i was in deed a redeemable soul. In the blink of an eye we were back in the third avenue liquor store, and it was again 2009.
Grace asked me if i could name the four major wine producing countries. I told her no. She said they were france, italy, spain and the united states. I told her i had no idea the united states was a major player in wine.
Grace stated that the greek historian thucydides in the fifth century BC wrote that the proof people of the mediterranean, had finally emerge from barbarism was when they learned to cultivate the olive and the vine. Wine, Grace stated is one of the deepest rooted religious symbols in history. Grace reminded me that the catholic mass states that the fruit of the vine, is symbolic of the blood of christ.
Grace asked me, have you ever been to france? I replied yes, many times. Did you ever go to the wine regions, she asked? I told her i may have passed through them, but had never consciously sought them out. Pop, back into the time machine we went, and in the blink of an eye we were in france. Grace said we were in central france in a region called burgandy, Grace showed me vineyards of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. Over the course of what seemed hours, and was in reality just a few seconds we visited, chablis, bordeaux, rhone, loire, beaujolais, provence, languedoc, champagne, alsace, jura, savoie and corsica. Grace showed me all of the various red and white grapes of those regions.
We then popped into italy. We visited friuli, veneto, piedmont, liguria, emilia-romagna, tuscany, umbria, lemarche, campania, puglia, calabria, sicily and sardina. Grace stated that france produced the largest fluid volume of wine on earth, with italy running a close second to france.
Grace stated that it was italy which held the record for exporting more wine than any other country on earth. Grace failed to elucidate if that meant the french were wino’s or that italian wine enjoyed a larger international audience. (The humor is mine, not Grace’s)
We then popped into vineyards in new york, california, washington state and oregon. Grace told me that 46 states produce wine, some good some bad. California produced 90% of the wine made in the united states. Grace actually chuckled when she spoke about the concord grape. Grace stated that had it not been for the importation of european vines in the 18th century we would all be drinking grape juice, as that was all the concord grape was fit for, (Graces humor not mine).
The suddenly we were back in the liquor store on third avenue. I had no idea how much time had elapsed since we had popped out, but my guess is no more than a minute or two. I asked Grace why didn’t you take me to Spain. Grace shook her head and gave me the signature smile. Grace said she had never forgiven the spanish for the inquisition, and for that reason was boycotting spanish wine, (You figure it out, if she is kidding or not. God does have a sense of humor).
Grace talked about other fine wines produced in australia, new zealand, south africa, argentina and chile. Grace stated that while the production of wine from the smaller wine producing countries was less in fluid volume, in many cases the wines from these smaller producing countries, were better than those produced by some french, spanish, italian and united states companies.
Grace smiled her signature smile and told me to enjoy my selections and bid me farewell. There i stood in the liquor store having traveled the globe in mere moments, with God, and having learned more about wine, than i really wanted to know. That is part of the fun of working for Grace. Everyday is a holiday, and every meal is a feast.
So say Grace.
Grace be with you.