Saturday, July 12, 2014

Grape Expectations

“I love grapes,” I said sitting at the breakfast table. 
“Hmm,” Mr. Wonderful said sipping his morning espresso.
“Tomorrow we’re having fresh grapes for breakfast.” 
“Why tomorrow?” 
“They need one more day on the vine.”
“What’ll we eat for breakfast today?”
“… I have no idea.”

Ah, July. That glorious time of the year Charles Dickens wrote about in his novel, A Tale of Two Cities: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of… grapes. 

I’m not going to delve into the whole David Copperfield saga of how my grapes came to be. But I will say that after planting the grape canes last year, cutting them back last fall and watching them grow like gangbusters this spring, the end was now near and I had high hopes of how delicious these grapes would be. Yes, I had Great Expectations. 

It is well known that I love grapes. In fact I wrote a whole book about my evolving affection for vino, Evolution of a Wine Drinker. What is less well known is that I am fond of many grape products, from red wine, to white wine, sparkling wine, champagne, brandy— But I digress. 

Let it be known that I am not a wine snob. Oh, no! my Vitis affection goes beyond the fruit’s liquid and tasty libations and extends to its edible form of table grapes. After planting a couple vines of table grapes in the old back 40, the fruits had grown so much they looked like pearls, rubies or the plastic fruit bunches hanging from a cheesy Italian restaurant in New Jersey. The vines have taken over the backyard in lush, leafy ropes making an oasis of my formerly Bleak House! 

The only problem with the fruits of my labor was that the grapes weren’t ready yet. Nope, they needed one more day under the sun, on the vine, in the garden patch duking it out with the tomatoes. Not being able to eat them today was going to be difficult for Mr. Wonderful and me. Actually it would be Hard Times: For These Times.

Oh! But tomorrow! How grand it will be to eat grapes from my own vines for breakfast! Receiving the gifts from the vine will be like Christmas day! Like A Christmas Carol!

Bless my Dickens! What Great Expectations!