Summer Wine by K. A. Laity

nancyHow does that grab you, darlin’? I told you it was good, didn’t I? You can taste it all in there. Strawberries, cherries, and some special herbs. I make it myself. From my mama’s recipe. Kiss of an angel, she’d say as she handed it to my poppa. Kiss of an angel in the first blush of spring. 

See, that’s the colour. Blush. I know, most men are afraid to drink something pink. Don’t think of it as pink. It’s a blush. Like that first glow when you see a man is looking at you in that way. You know what I mean, I see you do. 

Go on, get comfortable. Take off those heavy boots. Have another glass. Sure is hot out! That’s why I always keep the wine nice and cool. It’s sweet, but when it’s kept cold that sweetness doesn’t overwhelm you. With a little cheese it’s just a perfect match. Maybe I’ll get some cheese out in a little while. Here, let me pour you some more. 

This is last year’s wine. It has to sit over the winter to really bloom. I know it’s called aging. When it’s in a cask that seems right, but I let this sit in a big glass bottle. They call it a demijohn. I think that’s kind of cute. There’s a few more steps to it but that’s not very interesting.

The fruit comes from the trees out there and the berry garden. When I was a girl we had a neat orchard and the brambles were well maintained, but it was more difficult to keep up with it all once poppa died. Would you believe there are black currants in there? Too many and it gets a little too red, gaudy really. But I like the flavour they give.

With all the rain see how lush everything has got? Last year’s pickings were a little slimmer. My late husband said we needed better fertilizing but he couldn’t be bothered to do anything about it, alas. Everything’s much better this year. The right fertilizer definitely helps.

No, don’t get up. What do you need? Oh. How about some more wine? No? Just a little? Funny how sleepy it can make you, right? More than regular wine. People say homemade wine gives you a bad head in the morning, but that’s down to a sloppy process. My process is very precise. My herbal flourish is a part of that. That’s what makes my wine different.

See—no, don’t nod off just yet!—see, I need to tell you about my herbs. You have to know the right amounts of course, but you also have to worry about the taste. You can’t have something so bitter a man won’t take more than one swig without complaining. It took me a few years to perfect it. My late husband was a tough customer. He’d just spit it right out if he didn’t like it. No manners. No consideration for my hard work. Not much to recommend him at all.

Anyway, I perfected the taste. He never even guessed how fast it could work. All I had to do was get him to take a second glass. I knew it had enough it to do him in. He loved it! Even drank a third glass. I won’t say he was easy to kill. It took years to get to that recipe.

There now. Just let your head rest right there. You won’t feel a thing. Just the kiss of an angel.