When Wine is NOT a Present

Daffodils, a symbol of new beginnings, and a reminder of the first spring lockdown. Key workers carried on while some of us got to clap helpfully, and maybe volunteer, or just panic buy wine to fuel our anxiety. Supermarket deliveries were fully booked, so that meant subscribing to wine companies. If that was you, read this and learn.

Chickens in Daffodils

It was an excuse to abandon ‘Tesco Finest Cotes du Rhone. Was £6.50 now only £4.99’ in favour of whatever the wine company could send. The main thing was to tick the box for anything that was available.

We weren’t fussy. ‘Only Christmas boxes available?  Ooh Yes Please.’ ‘Have I lost my job?’ Don’t worry about that now.  Look at these luscious crates of Tuscan rich red, made by genuine people on rustic donkeys. This was the real stuff, all 15% strength of it. It was a time for doing our duty, lying low, and getting properly stuck in. So lots of us did.

Then we all got shaky, and fatter, and some of us hurt ourselves falling over so that had to stop.  We cancelled the wine subscriptions, went back to work and the usual routine of ‘Giving up Drinking for Ever,’ especially on Tuesdays. Except when we were forced to buy 6 bottles to save 25%.

But Last Month, Some Nice Wine Turned up

When a box of fine wine arrives, made in rustic vineyards, things feel special. Somebody loves you enough to select the best, and send it for no reason. It would be rude not to steam into it that very night. A personal responsibility in fact. 

Oh my god, this was different in body, nose, after taste, before taste and 15% strength. It slipped down like velvety blackcurrant coated in the finest chocolate with a deep ruby glow.  It was a jolly time of laughing and taking funny pictures of the cat.

Cat on her back looking sweet

It got even jollier because, opening just one more, still left four.

The next bottle went down a treat and it became important to take more pictures of the cat.

Cat  doing office work

Because it is so funny when a cat sits on a computer.

Cold Light of Day

In the shaky light of the early morning, there are two emails.  One was from the only people who ever send us wine, agreeing that it is very nice when wine turns up and confirming that they did not send it.

The other was from the wine company that was sacked off in July 2020. 

From: Rustic Donkey Wines [mailto:help@rusticdonkeywines.com]
Sent: Days ago but only just noticed it.
To: me
Subject: Your case is on its way today

Hi Jo,

Great news – your case is on its way! Follow its journey (your reference number is: Bla Bla. The estimated time of arrival is more Bla Bla. Today not convenient? Bla Bla Yodel and so on.

Time for Rapid Responses

From: me
Sent: Immediately in a hangover induced temper
To: Rustic Donkey Wines [mailto:help@rusticdonkeywines.com]
Subject: Your case is on its way today

Why have you sent this?  I did not order it.  Are you charging me?

From: Rustic Donkey Wines [mailto:help@rusticdonkeywines.com]
Sent: Straight back in a nice friendly way
To: me
Subject: Your case is on its way today

Hello Jo,
Bla Bla Bla Dum Di Dum
This order has been placed is because you’re signed up for our Never Miss Out subscription for the F. Stephen Millier Angels Reserve Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon 2020.

Translate this as ‘You asked for this two years ago and you forgot to cancel it.’

Bla Bla Bla Dum Di Dum. If this case of wine is clogging up your cellar, I would be happy to arrange a collection and refund for you.

Translation.   ‘Yes you have to pay for it, if you drink it.’

From: me
Sent: Immediately in even more temper for which I have no excuse
To: Rustic Donkey Wines [mailto:help@rustickdonkeywines.com]
Subject: Your case is on its way today

I know for a fact that I asked to cancel everything with you a year ago. Bla Bla complain winge wriggle dum di dum

It is too late for a refund because somebody else here thought it was a present and opened one of the bottles.

Somebody here thought it was a present?  Opened one of the bottles?  Where are all these lies coming from?  Clearly they must not be allowed to know that the wine went into my own greedy mouth.

The victim email expanded into more lies about ‘never buying wine anymore as I prefer to give money to charity,’ and finished with  ‘I am forced to keep it now.’

I slammed the laptop closed and spent another evening enjoying the fine wine.

Chickens digging in daffodils

And finding funny chicken photos on my phone.

Chickens in compost

The one were they helped move the compost heap was the best. Worms are very high in protein and they got loads that day.

But the Emails did not Stop

The next day there were two bottles left. Another chirpy email turned up.

From: Rustic Donkeys [mailto:youcanshoutifyoulike@rusticdonkeys.com]
Sent: On a rainy day in March, when nobody here was feeling even slightly chirpy.
To: me Subject: Your case is on its way today

Hi Jo,
Thanks for your reply and I hope you’re having a great week. Bla Bal

Of course, we can still refund it for you, I will arrange to get this all sorted out. Not to worry about a bottle being missing, I’ll book in a collection for the other 5 and make sure you get refunded the full 6 bottles. I’ve booked the collection in for tomorrow.Bla Bla. Yodel etc. Once again huge apologies. Bla Bla Dum di dum

This was not going the right way.  Somebody was coming to get five bottles and now there were only two left.  I had just enough time to reply.

 From: me
Sent: In a guilty way. But I am going to keep lying so I don’t lose face. And anyway when the world is in such a mess, life is too short to waste it on angry emails.
To: Rustic Donkey Sales experts [mailto:OKIgiveup@donkeys.com]
Subject: Your case is on its way today

Thank you and that is very kind.  The trouble is the wine was delicious so we drank another bottle and gave two away.  So now there are only two left.  So never mind, I have got over it now.

Gave two away?  Who are the mythical people that keep drinking the wine?  Doesn’t matter.  The main thing is that the nice person must NOT think I drank it all so quickly, in case they form an opinion.

And then there was a knock on the door. The Yodel man was here to save us from the wine. Suddenly it was very easy to apologise for wasting his time and entertain him with the whole story. ‘Yup,’ he said ‘I would have done exactly the same.’

Happy Pandemeic Anniversary. We thought we had enough to worry about in this world two years ago, and now look at it. But some of us still fuss about things like buying wine by mistake and drinking it on purpose, and that makes no sense. Anyway watch out in case something you ordered in 2020 turns up tomorrow. You probably don’t need it.

5 thoughts on “When Wine is NOT a Present”

  1. Very funny. I enjoyed having a deep chuckle at your hilarious whine about wine while hearing in my mind’s ear Dean Martin’s singing, ‘Little old wine drinker, me.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *