Monday, October 14, 2002

We were all out in the winery (you might call it a garage). I had finished pressing the Zin, 60 gallons into barrel and another 13 gallons into glass carboys. Niko was all changed and ready for bed. But we had to watch the bottom of the ninth. An out. Another out. Extra innings appeared likely. I wandered through the open garage door and out to the driveway to continue my cleanup while Rebecca and Niko stayed seated in front of the little TV we have out there. Over my shoulder, as I aimed a high-powered spray of water at the press staves, I saw David Bell's liner fall in. Likewise with Shawon Dunston (unbelievable). Two on. Two out. It dawned on me: If the next guy up gets a hit, the Giants are very likely in the World Series. I put down the hose. "Who's up?" I asked Rebecca. I didn't know. While pressing, I hadn't kept track of the lineup changes. Lofton, she said. "Hmm. He can be dangerous." We stood in front of the TV, me all wet and wine-stained, Rebecca holding Niko in her arms. Base hit. Base hit. There's going to be a play. Bell's not fast. The outfielder's not very deep. The throw is off line. It's over. We jumped and hugged. Niko smiled a big smile. We laughed. "The Giants are in the Series," I shouted. "Oh, my God," Rebecca said. Niko smiled and said, "Why does that little TV have an antenna on it?" "Because the Giants are going to the series," I said. "The Giants are going to the Series, and I think they're going to win it."

Post script: A perfect night. And then, as I sat and watched the post-game revelry, a dripping noise from the newly filled barrel behind me (a beautiful one-year-old French barrel). Drip. Drip. I looked up and down. Hmm. I looked behind. No! But yes: A leak. It's high on along the inside edge of the end, so I'll be able to keep 95 percent of the wine in the barrel for the day or two it will take me to find a replacement. Such a sweet barrel. A pity. But still: The Giants are in the Series.

No comments: