“Make your pick.”
I remember these words well. Grandpa used to say them before lunch, and I would take off, little feet sending dust flying in all directions as I scoured the old, wooden shelves. Bottle after bottle would plead to me, showing a glimpse of its shade. I always knew the color I would choose beforehand. And so did grandpa.
“Gold again, huh?”
Gold again. Gold every single time. Gold even now that my grandfather lies buried in the orchard and my own voice betrays the croak that characterized the old man. It is the only color that speaks to me as I stumble, no longer fly, through the ageless dust of the wine cellar.
Traditions require continuation, and continuing this particular one has set me on a rather unenjoyable path. A path that, for the first time in my life, makes me realize the resignation with which my grandpa used to utter his famous words. The sour face he would pull when taking his first sip of golden sweetness, standing in stark contrast to the delighted smacking of dry lips at the taste of the deep reds he, I now realize, actually enjoyed.
But tradition is tradition, so my grandpa took one for the team. Several, really. For years.
And I look up at the little feet dancing through the dust, knowing the words I will speak, failing to hide the resignation in my voice.
“Pink again, huh?”