Mr Vino

Mr Vino spotted me walking towards him as he was packing up after his wine tasting session. He said I was late. I looked at him disappointedly with my fabulous Lily Ghalechi lashes that had a flirtatious personality of their own. He couldn’t say no. Unless he was gay of course. Thankfully he wasn’t and I got my way.
Vino handed me a glass of Shiraz, which is a city in Iran so I naturally assumed it was Iranian. Somewhat nervous, Mr Vino with his very British mild manners corrected my misconception in the politest way possible.
There was a wine made near Shiraz, but the Grape we know as Shiraz is Syrah, which is originally from southern France. The Shiraz wine of Iran was quite well known in the 17th century, and the English thought it tasted like French Syrah, so given the similar name they assumed it was the same Grape. Hence the incorrect naming convention that has stuck. He had served me humble pie with a side of crow. I didn’t mind being wrong at all, as I felt fabulous as ever.
Mr Vino handed me another glass and I asked him if this is all he did. He was involved in environmental stewardship, sporting, wine and buildings stuff. Very diverse and yet I had no idea what any of what that entailed. He said he liked to keep himself stimulated with a varied portfolio. I chuckled at stimulated. I am such a bloody child. I hope he didn’t realise why I was chuckling. He was far too engrossed in his wine blabbering to even notice.
He gave me a pre-phylloxera wine. I looked at him dubiously and I told him it sounds like a disease. I was tipsy which caused me to blurt out that I had his contact details (he gave me his business card) and he should be careful about what he gives me. He laughed a lot. Of course he did. I have a unique sense of humour. When presented with it, one can either laugh or be offended.
It turns out I wasn’t far off. Phylloxera is an insect very closely related to aphids which kill off the root systems of vines. It practically wiped out grape vines around the world, which for wine are all Eurasian in origin. It came across from North America, where their vines (not good for wine) had become resistant. As such, most vines around the world are the old European vines grafted onto North American rootstocks to utilise the latter’s resistance to the pest. Very few places have avoided phylloxera (Cyprus is one of them), but where they have they’ve been able to grow grapes for wine on vines which have their natural rootstock, rather than one they’ve been grafted onto. He said that ungrafted vines produce more complex and authentic wines. I couldn’t taste the complexity or authenticity. It tasted much like wine, albeit an expensive wine. My taste buds can distinguish up to £30 pounds anymore is often wasted on me. I know my limitations.
He could see I was interested in his extensive wine knowledge: Mr Germany, who was tagging along, was indifferent. Germany was nodding along like that the dog in Churchill Insurance: politely and passively. I thought it was rudest thing ever, he was aggressively polite.
Mr Vino answered a call and apologised. I hated the apology. Unnecessary apologies desensitises people to real apologies & there comes a point where ‘sorry’ means nothing anymore. When I first came to England I noticed this British tendency to be forever apologetic. I chose to ignore it. I am unapologetically Iranian in that respect.
Once Mr Vino got off the phone, he apologised again and he said he had to leave to go to his club. He looked at me like a tutor does to his favourite student. He said he would send me some materials. I thought nothing of it at the time, but I really should have. The amount of flirting he got from me was enough to even make a geriatric feel like he can ditch the Viagra and go straight for it. It’s really not my fault though as my natural mode is flirt: girls, guys and everything in between get it. I don’t discriminate much, which has resulted in me accidentally getting Mrs India’s number. Anyway, he sent me some materials and some more stuff and then he finally asked me out for a date.

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