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The Raptured Sommelier

A brazilian tale by sommelier André Ribeiro

Once upon a holiday, I was on vacation on the beach with my family. Everything was going well, bathing in the beach and pool, between red and sparkling wines, having fun, staying at a good friend’s house where we could already hear and see the sea … It was a hot night, and we went to bed earlier this night, tired due to the several activities of the day.

All of a sudden, I felt magnetically pulled towards the beach; I just stood up and walked shut, I couldn’t speak. When I realized, I was already on the beach. The sea bathing my feet … it was late night, I was alone on the beach, when all of a sudden, to my astonishment, I heard singing and saw an entity coming from the depths of the sea – in the form of a beautiful, luminous woman, who i recognized as being Iemanjá, the queen of the sea, just like the statue that had captured my attention the day before. Paralyzed and silenced, I heard the voice asking me in a delicate chant: “Are you André?” and I answered, “Yes ma’am”.

“Are you a sommelier?”

I nodded, for the words would not come out.

“I need your services, for i’m promoting a dinner with all the great guardians and protectors from the seven seas, and I would like to serve wine to harmonize…”

My astonishment was tremendous! It was a mixture of pride and joy to be the chosen one, I, who considered myself a drop of wine in a large stainless steel tank of a thousand liters, could not believe that the queen of the ocean came to seek my help in such an honorable task.

I replied: “It would be good, my great queen, to test the culinary elements with the wines, but you see, we do not have the dishes nor the wine…” 

She clapped and I saw emerging from the sea a myriad of mermaids bringing the banquet, something I would have never dreamed of, and by the delicacy of the dishes, I told her that a Sauvignon Blanc would go well. Again she clapped hands and the wine appeared, we tasted it and the harmony happened. But then she said: “The sky is blue, the water is clear, the foam of the waves is white … What about red wine just for a change? The colour amazes me and I would like to have it to accompany my dinner…”

I pondered for a moment and said: “Maybe a good Pinot Noir, my queen, will please your eyes and your taste” Once again she clapped hands and the wine was there. It was a Chilean wine named “Cavas submarinas” – “Underwater Caves”, we tasted it and everything harmonized perfectly. In celebration, the mermaids began chanting: “Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir, this wine is for the taste of Iemanjá … Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir, this wine is for the taste of Iemanjá … Iemanjá threw a party and the wine is Pinot Noir”

I had never seen anything so beautiful, as under the moonlight all those divine beings disappeared in the water, and I, like in a trance, woke up and returned home dazed, between reality and a daydream without understanding what had just happened. I went to the fridge looking for something to drink and to my astonishment, what did I find? A bottle of Pinot Noir all wrapped in seaweed. I took the corkscrew, a glass, and went to the balcony. And never again I tasted a wine of such aroma and flavour. 

My wife woke up and came, she looked at me and said: “Why are you here all alone my love? And what wine is this? We drank the last bottle yesterday, remember?” I smiled at her and replied: “Nevermind, if I told you, you wouldn’t believe it…”

She took the cup from my hand, took a sip and said, smiling: “Cheers! Such a good wine!” And I answered: “Yes, really divine!”