‘Twas The Night Before: The Ballad of Old Saint Wine, The Holiday Wine Elf

‘Twas The Night Before: The Ballad Of Old Saint Wine, The Holiday Wine Elf

 

‘Twas the night before tomorrow

and all through the kitchen

not a bottle was decanted

not even the Lytton

 

And the wine rack was set

on the counter with care

in hopes that new bottles

soon would be there

 

Kids the world over

all snug in their beds

as visions of verticals

danced in my head

 

And mama with a zin,

(a magnum, not a fifth)

was trying to bribe me

to wrap up some gifts

 

When out on the lawn

there arose such a clatter

I sprang from the floor

to see what was the matter

 

Away to the window

to see what I’d find

I pulled on the cord

and opened the blinds

 

The moon on the breast

of the new-fallen snow

branches making shadows

like the prongs of an Ah So

 

When what, to my wondering

eyes should appear

But an American Oak barrel

pulled by 6 strong wine-deer

 

And a little old driver

on the barrel, supine

and I knew in a moment

it must be Saint Wine!

 

More rapid than pump-overs

the wine-deer they came

and he whistled and shouted

and called them by name

 

“Now Merlot, now Syrah,

now you too Chardonnay

On Zin, on Grenache,

and on Cabernet!

 

To the top of the porch,

to the top of the wall

now dash away, dash away

dash away all!”

 

So up to the house-top

the wine-deer, they flew

with that neutral oak barrel

and Old Saint Wine too!

 

And then in a twinkling

I heard on the roof

the prancing and pawing

of each little hoof

 

As I drew in my head

and was turning around

down the chimney St. Wine

came with a bound

 

He was dressed all in grapeskins

from his head to his foot

and his tannins were tarnished

with ashes and soot

 

And a casebox of wine

he flung on his shoulder

A fine mix of vintages

from younger to older

 

His dimples, how merry

his eyes, such a blue

his teeth, once so white

now a purplish hue!

 

His moist little mouth

was open to speak

As his beard, white as snow

lined with thin purple streaks

 

The stump of a cigar

on his lip, balanced handily

with the smoke reaching upwards

like leaves in the canopy

 

He had a broad face

a little round belly

that shook when he laughed

like Cabernet jelly

 

He was chubby and plump

a right tipsy old elf

and I laughed when I saw him

in spite of myself

 

A wink of his eye

and a twist of his head

soon gave me to know

I had nothing to dread

 

He hummed to himself

then, as if just to tempt me

he filled up the wine rack

‘til no slot was empty

 

And laying his finger

aside of his nose

and giving a nod

up the chimney he rose

 

He sprang to his barrel

to the team gave a sign

and away they all flew

like the dew on a vine

 

But I heard him exclaim

in the winter moonshine

A good wine to all,

and to all a good wine.

 (written with both respect for, and apologies to, Clement Clarke Moore, the author of the original “The Night Before Christmas”)



Categories: Viticultural Salmagundi, Wine & Poetry, Wine Tales

Tags: ,

2 replies

  1. Love it! Ha! The cigar is a nice touch!

  2. Twas the night before whenever
    and all round the room
    nothing was moving
    not even a sommelier
    and then came a knock at the door.
    Drat and double drat.
    Who will disturb my idyll?
    ‘Tis I, the ghost of Chrsitmas past …..
    ‘A feast without Geyserville’ quoth the spectre.
    Ha, he cried, suffer ye well ……..
    Then came a second summons
    Who at thou, says I?
    I am the ghost of Christmas future ………….
    And pray, what do you see ………….?
    Lytton Springs and no-one to sup with me
    MAZZONI, I cried. Nay, Paso Robles!¬
    Buchignani waas the response.
    And so it came to pass ………….
    Klein problem!

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