The Rosé Lover – A Short Story

A colleague recently shared his awful experience on having tried wine for the first time. Now, he is not a regular drinker and definitely not a wine-drinker. Obviously, he doesn’t know about wines. And when you don’t know about wines, you don’t know what to expect, so you’re bound to be disappointed. Being a lover of wine that I am, I took this conversation as an opportunity to write down about some of my own wine experiences that might help readers in making an informed decision, next time they opt for wines. I love Sula wines and that’s an understatement. But how did I come to like Sula so much. Here’s how! When did I have my first drink? I hardly remember. When did I have my first wine? I do remember that. Quite distinctly. I was living in Bangalore back then. A furious spat with my room-mate had me storming out of the room and I landed at one of the local pubs in the area. Sherlock’s. At the bar, with just a book and pen for accessories, I wasn’t really much thinking drinks. The bar tender, a skinny man of about 30; the kind who work part-time and scrape just enough for their MBA, flashed a lightening smile and said, “You don’t look from around here.” Well, I am sure that may have been his favorite pick-up line but the fact was, having accepted a job in Bangalore, I had just moved in from Mumbai. So, I truly wasn’t from around there. That cracked me a bit and I nodded a yes. “What would the lady like?” He asked. “I am in no mood to drink and would love to be left alone,” I said, which sounded every bit silly because here I was looking dishevelled, dressed terribly for a fancy pub, and I was at a bar, not in a soda parlour. “Sure,” he said. After a moment or two of serving some of the sane customers, he came back to me and asked, “What do you usually drink? You know, when you aren’t snappy!” Now, this was the first time I was in a pub alone, so, I couldn’t decide if bartenders do be friendly or he was trying his luck with me. “Whiskey.” He went to the counter and returned with a glass holding a pony of shimmering liquid, light pink, glamorous. I thought it was a cocktail of some kind but I was in no mood to try that either. I was alone, for God’s sake! Accepting a drink from some stranger was the last thing I wanted. “Something different in a different city,” he put the glass on the counter and flashed that smile again. No harm in trying a sip or two; it couldn’t get me that high, I thought to myself. Plus, I felt obliged to be good with the fellow for his hospitality. “What drink is this?” “It is Zinfandel Rose from the house of Sula. It is one of those wines you never grow over.” He lingered for a while and when he left, I typed Sula Zinfandel Rose on Google search and hit enter. Sula’s Zinfandel Rose is a fruit-flavoured drink with richness of strawberry, watermelon, and scented flowers. When I was satisfied with the drink’s background, I lifted the dainty glass and took a sip. What I felt then was something I had never felt before. I liked and disliked it in the same moment and couldn’t decide whether I wanted another sip. Couple more of calculated sips and I felt transported to another world; a world where nothing could ever go wrong. An elated sense of bliss was crawling up my core and gradually the surly temper wore off me. It was like being in elysium, my elysium, with no care for the world. He returned to see that I had emptied my glass. He refilled with his practiced hands. While leaving, he winked at me, “It always works.” It was only later I was to know that it was his personal favorite and a drink for all times.


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