September 21, 2011

The Wine Cellar

Our grandfathers blended hardy grapes with the strong taste of working under the sun for decades.

Our grandmothers brought together the flavor of childhood friendship with grapes grown alongside the alley.

Somewhere in this musty basement is a bottle with first crushes married to the sweetest grapes of the season.

Somewhere is a bottle holding the enjoyment of grandchildren with the last harvest of the year.

The bottles had been the least expensive wine at the grocery store, bought for the glass, emptied over dinners because nothing goes to waste, sanitized, and stacked under the stairs until the grapes ripened.

A new shade of life behind original labels. 

In the ancestral wine cellar, dust covers the racks of treasures.

They are for another age to open, and for dinner tonight.

We are still corking.

56 comments:

Brian Miller said...

keep making new wine, grow old together and grow stronger, turn the bottles often enough to shift the sediment...some nice thoughts brought to mind...

Jill said...

Lovely!

wolfsrosebud said...

This tells of a heritage of wealth... love and hard work of the family. Nicely done.

New End Studio said...

Beautiful prose linking the generations with clarity and respect.

Pat Hatt said...

Lineage through wine or could it be by wine? Get a little dizzy and oopsy out comes a new limb to the family tree..haha

Kathy G said...

This is sweet...

Amish Stories said...

I know someone who makes wine in his town home, so wine is something that can be made anywhere which is the cool thing. Richard from the Amish community of Lebanon,Pa.

Celestial Dreamz said...

this is lovely ... and there is a different depth in it ...

jbchicoine said...

Very nice! And that reminds me! We have wine that needs to be racked and more that needs bottling! This just puts me in the mood...

darlin said...

The words you use which contain childhood memories which have spilled over into adulthood are rich and laced with memories in the making. Well done Ed!

LMF said...

Once again, I love this! I'm a sucker for anything poetic..especially if it includes wine. Preferrably white.

Wine and Words said...

This brings new meaning to act of wine tasting. Always it is flavors. Acidity, fruit, etc. GAWD, to then consider the hand on the vine, the foot on the skin, the tender look between field worker and wine maker that spoke of an unrequited love. The breath held as the first barrel tasting of a new vintage touched hard working lips that could ill afford to plant this additional varietal. I mean seriously...I will taste for these things. I will find them.

Geraldine said...

What a wonderful post! the memories preserved and remembered. Savored along with the wine. So glad I stopped in.

Other Mary said...

This is such a wonderfully evocative poem. I too think you've done a wonderful job of pairing memories with the wines. Excellent last line. I raise my glass to you - cheers!

Susie Clevenger said...

The bouquet of wine and memories...I enjoy hearing of family traditions..they seem lost in today's techno world...

Ed Pilolla said...

it was a lot of fun writing this. thanks for the love:)

brian, i tried weaving a line about how opening a bottle of sediment happens once in a while. the cure: open another:)

typically my family drinks the wine within a couple years of making it. it's actually the cheapest way to have wine, and that's why my peasant italian family makes it. i let my imagination go about what it would look like if we saved some bottles from every stash from every year. i also grew up outside chicago, so growing wine in the backyard wasn't possible like it was in the old country, or like it's possible here in los angeles. but bending those two elements into the piece provided a more visible and detailed setting, which i thought added strength to the piece. nothing wrong with a little poetic license if you are upfront about it, i say.

j. littlejohn said...

great stuff... and that picture, what a rich image

Ed Pilolla said...

annie, there are so many delicious angles to write from when it comes to making and drinking wine. i used a photo of my grandfather's old press, which we still use, but i wasn't able to so much as mention grinding or pressing, or me waking up seriously buzzed in the morning when i slept in the basement of my childhood home next to the barrels of grapes fermenting so loud they were rumbling.

Claudia said...

oh ed i love this...think that's my fav of those you've written over the last weeks...such love, intimacy, closeness and fruitfulness in this...what great imagery..and it perfectly fits into the season..stunned into silence...

oceangirl said...

This time you took me to family and traditions and warmth and cheer of children laughing and playing and sweetness of first crush. It is definite Italian warmth that somehow the world is so familiar with as if we have experienced it personally. And a new shade of life behind original labels. while in the ancestral wine cellar, dust covers the racks of treasures, is so condensed, deep and true. This is the different voice that I could not have pictured but so enjoyed now. Thank you.

Ed Pilolla said...

i like that word, crush. it works well off grapes. i swapped 'crushes' for 'kisses' and we'll see. now that i'm swapping verbs, i'll swap 'mixing' for 'holding' and we'll see about that too:)

Margaret said...

This is smooth and I ADORE that photo... My FAVORITE so I have read of yours... but then I do love my red, dry wine.

Marion said...

What a beautiful tradition. I wish I could drink. I just never liked the stuff, and, well, my Mama, Aunts, Uncles, etc. were alcoholics when I was growing up and it ruined alcohol for me. But I do think the entire process you've described is magical, full of beautiful imagery and poetry. Have a glass for me. xo

Samantha Sotto said...

I will appreciate the next glass of wine I have more because of this rich piece. Thank you :)

Betsy said...

this was brilliant!

Thanks for helping me celebrate my birthday today! xo

ds said...

crush and must, grapes, decades--I love the specificity of your words and their double meanings. A lovely tradition, wonderful to read. Thank you.

Madhulika said...

hey thats really nice.. :)
I wish i could taste it ;)

Rekha said...

A wonderful image evoked but judging from your comment not a very pleasant activity/memory for you... :)

Suvarna Gold said...

thank you so much for the comment .cheers

Mary said...

This is a wonderful poem, filled with so much family history. Wine making and drinking is so filled with tradition.

Elisabeth Hirsch said...

You write the most beautiful lines:
"A new shade of life behind original labels."

Movies on my Mind said...

How poetic. As someone who doesn't drink, however, I fear much of what you wrote is kind of wasted on me.

Tiaden said...

Such a lovely warming tale of a poem. Memories bottled and savoured while more memories are born.

Daydreamertoo said...

Very vivid, what a lovely memory and the picture just adds to its effect. Makes me think back to drinking many different home made wines years ago. Even wine made from dandelions, never though it would taste good but... it was.
Lovely, timeless, piece.

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

That was lovely - I love the images of life evoked through the descriptions. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I posted a couple of funny photos today, showing our stored stuff. We're getting there...

KarenG said...

Hi Ed, really enjoyed this post. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting so i could find you. Great blog here, I'll be back. I'm your newest follower. Bringing cupcakes :)

KarenG

My Inner Chick said...

"A new shade of life behind original labels."
ed, I savor your words. x

Kelley said...

Nice blend of family and process :)

Lynn said...

Another wonderful read and rich image!

Alexandra said...

I liked this. Thanks for sharing. When I lived in France, my ex-husband's godfather had an amazing wine cellar and was able to serve me a fine wine from 1947, the year of my birth. That was an experience I will never forget.

Heaven said...

I like this wine cellar you share with us today.

I appreciate the fine wine and retelling of stories from one generation to the next. I drink to that ~

Impulsive Addict said...

Ed! My new friend! You've been holding out on me. Wine? Wine is my fav (right after Captain Morgan--don't judge). I'll help you by tasting a few bottles from time to time. I'll send you my address. Just don't tell the post office you're mailing wine. They kinda frown on that...since it's illegal or something.

Erika said...

I absolutely adore your writings, thank god you commented on my blog or I'd never discover ur blog haha. I'm hooked reading through posts after posts. Your writings are amazing!

ps: thx so much for ur lovely comment on my post, really appreciate it! I'm following ur amazing blog now, pls do follow mine too if u haven't already, it'll mean so so much to me! thx :)

xx
Erika
http://www.erika-t.blogspot.com

Whosyergurl said...

Hello. First time visitor. I came over to visit from Brian's (Miller) blog.
I've read quite a few of your posts. Nice.
Cheryl

Laurie Kolp said...

Ed- I love the element of time in this... generations passed and those to come united by the wine.

Here's a Friday challenge, if you're interested:

http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2011/09/word-with-laurie_23.html/

forgetmenot said...

Ed, Such a lovely text with your photo--a blending of so many nice thoughts. You should be soooo pleased with all the wonderful comments you received on this post--has to make you feel good! Have a great weekend. Mickie :)

ed pilolla said...

thanks for the sugar:) i didn't drink wine for years and years, and even still i only judiciously take a short glass here and there. the red wine can give me seismic headaches. it has gotten better for me as time has proceeded, not worse, so that's good. the most exciting time was when i lived with my brother in chicago for ten months and he had the cellar in his basement (it has since been moved to another basement). while i visited, i found the greatest stash of wine we ever made, 2003 sangiovese, i think. when i announced my find to my brother, he confessed he had been drinking from the stash for a while:)

neatfit said...

Definitely an interesting post :), I don't know much about wine, since I don't drink alchohol, so I can't comment on that particular subject, but this brought some inspiration :).

Amish Stories said...

Thanks very much for your visit and for your comment on my blog. And please stop by again and explore. Richard from Amish Stories.

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

This is a beautiful description of our heritages

Haritha said...

thats so beautiful.....
nostlgic memories are always lovely

Joanne said...

My Father-in-law use to make his own wine. I wish he still did. I am not a wine drinker but I love the smell of wine...strange right? I love this post. Even the colors are cool!
Blessings, Joanne

She Writes said...

Hmmmm, Cheers!

Deniz Bevan said...

Lovely, Ed! Evokes so many family celebrations...

Stephanie D said...

"Somewhere in this musty basement is a bottle with first crushes married to the sweetest grapes of the season"

Beautifully written. What a gift!

Sheelonee Mukherjee said...

Beautiful lines.Greetings! :)