Twas the week before Christmas


‘Twas the week before Christmas, at Olive Hill Estate,
Not a vine was stirring; not even one small grape.
The sorting line was silent, the crush pad was bare,
The new wines all racked with attention and care;

The ‘13s were nestled all snug in their barrels;
While the tasting room was lively with the loud sound of carols.
I powered down AMS and turned off the light,
With visions of getting to bed early tonight,

When out in the Olive Grove there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the window, I flew past the bar,
The condensation so thick, I couldn’t see far.

Highway 12 traffic and the moon shining bright,
Gave the luster of mid-day and offered me light;
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a bright red tractor, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a thirsty old driver, dressed all in red,
I feared that the Pinot had gone straight to my head.
Calling each reindeer by name, his North Pole accent was thick;
I knew in that moment it must be St. Wino Nick,

“Now, Chard! Now, Cab! Now, Merlot and Pinot!
On, Barbera! On Malbec! On Port and Verdot!
To the tasting room! Just past the fountain!
We’ll fill up the tractor then head over Sonoma Mountain!”

Up to the tasting room came the tractor and parked,
And some elves holding empty wine boxes embarked.
Santa himself came last through the door,
And threw at treat to Ms. Boss on the floor.

As I reached for a corkscrew while turning around,
Up to the bar St. Wino Nick came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, he was a man of high class,
and held forth a Riedel, he’d brought his own glass.
“I’d like a small taste”, And he blew me a kiss,
“I heard this stop was not to be missed”.
His eyes – how they twinkled! His dimples so merry.
He asked for a wine with an aroma of cherry.

He sniffed and he swirled before taking a taste,
Then swished it around, without a haste;
He scribbled some notes, and I smiled with relief,
As he took a small taste, sucking air through his teeth;

He grinned ear to ear and pronounced it “fantastic”,
And he wrote some more notes. I was ecstatic!
Again I was pouring, he wanted all kinds,
SyrCab, Olive Hill, he loved B.R. Cohn Wines;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Tasting the wines; then turned with a jerk,

He asked “Doobie Red?”, and I muttered “sold out”,
His frown meant just coal in my stocking no doubt;
Still he seemed quite amused as he scribbled some more,
Then filled out an order form and asked for one last pour.

He bought ten mixed cases, I was jumping with glee.
Smiling he said, “Mrs. Claus loves it you see”;
The elves took the boxes and loaded his treasure,
He added a case of Estate Olive Oil for good measure;

Before Santa left, I had just one request
Join the wine club, B.R. Cohn’s is the best.”
“Sign me up!” he said with great cheer,
“I can’t wait to get my two shipments this year!”

He made his way back to the well loaded sleigh,
Leaving me a nice tip for the end of the day.
I heard him exclaim, as he flew into the night,
“Merry Christmas fellow wino’s! Drink red wine, not white!”