Our Annual Post: The Ballad of Old Saint Wine -or- ‘Twas The Night Before

‘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: Wine & The Holidays

Tags: , ,

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