by Melinda Gallo

A glass of red before lunch

I finally went back to the enoteca (wine bar) this morning before going to the market. I met the woman who works there, Concetta, when I went to pick up a bottle of wine for my brother and his family. We talked briefly and she told me that she's a writer and writes screenplays.

I don't even know how the conversation started, but somehow within only a few minutes we began talking about short stories and screenplays. I told her that I had a few books on screenwriting at home and that I'd photocopy some information for her (which is what I finally got around to doing yesterday).

When I arrived at about 11AM, she was all alone. I sat down at the banco (counter) and we talked about everything and anything: from her brother who lives in Florida and adores Hispanic women to buying an acre of land in Kansas for $1000.

Many tourists walk along Borgo Santa Croce, so it was interesting to see them all walk by and look into the enoteca. It's really beautiful with vaulted ceilings and eight-foot high wooden shelves filled with bottles of mostly Tuscan wine (Brunello, Chianti,...).

She told me that her job is seasonal and that they are normally open only from March to November, so she has three months off and she's planning to travel somewhere. I was thinking that that was a pretty good job especially since I had walked by earlier this morning about 10AM and it wasn't yet open.

Another friend of hers walked in and sat down at a table with her lunch. She asked her if she wanted some red wine and she said, "Certo" (certainly). She looked at me and asked me if I wanted any and, of course, I agreed as well. Luckily she remembered that I'm a light-weight so she only poured me half a glass.

It was corposo (full-bodied) just the way I like it, but had about 13% alcohol. I was afraid I'd get tipsy since I hadn't eaten anything this morning. She had some bread out that was dipped in olive oil and so I took one piece.

At about 12:30PM, I was trying to figure out a way to tell her that I needed to go since I hadn't gone to the market to buy food yet. Concetta offered her bicycle to me so that I could go to the market, but I refused. Even going on a bike makes me nervous with all the scooters, cars, and tourists.

When an American couple arrived and wanted to taste some wine, I realized that it was my queue to leave. As she poured them a few glasses of red wine, she said a few words to me and I told her that I'd come back next week for a visit. I don't like bothering people when they're with customers although she was happy to keep talking to me.

When I left, I made sure to walk on the sidewalk instead of the street (which is where I normally walk) because I was feeling a little buzz from the red wine.

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