“Hello! Welcome to the Street Wine shop! How can I help you today?”
A blonde woman with a bright smile eagerly greeted me when I passed through the wooden double doors. I just take a quick glance at her as I navigate my way deeper into the store, shaking my head at her, “No, I’m just browsing for now.”
“Well, if you need any assistance, I’ll be right up here to help.”
“I’ll make sure to keep that in mind, thank you.”
I swear, I came to this store just to come pick up a nice bottle of wine for my dinner. I don’t need to have somebody following me around, asking me about what kind of wine I’m looking for. I’ve been a connoisseur of wine for the last two decades. My palate has been refined over years of learning about the most subtle differences between grapes from regions all over the world.
To keep up my charade I gave the blonde woman a small smile, followed by a wave, and began analyzing the various empty display wine bottles scattered around the store.
Although the store itself was rather small, the main floor was divided by shelves, hallowed out small cubbies on each side to hold a vast assortment of wines. With detailed geographical maps placed high along the walls they identify what kind of wines are in each aisle, mainly being divided by country and the region for the individual cubbies. It actually made it a bit easier to figure out the kind of beverage I want to enjoy my steak with for the night, nothing sweet with a smokey taste and easy to drink: some kind of red wine.
There are other people in the store, some of them holding hands and laughing a terrible puns. Another shop employee asked if I needed any help, but I acted like I didn’t hear them and turn the corner to go into the Italian wine aisle. Wines from various regions in Italy were just out of my reach. Tuscany, Piedmont, Lazio are my personal favorites.
The shelves and cubbies were filled to the edge with bottle, all of them having beautifully designed labels to separate producers and vineyards. One such label grabbed my attention when I notice the outlining of a woman posing on top of some letters that spelled out “Donnatello.”
I grabbed one of the bottle from the cubbie to read the back, but it was all written in Italian, a language I’m unable to read. As much as I want to read the information about the vineyard, I’m sure one of the staff members already know about it. I looked around to see if any one of them was wandering around when I noticed that a stock person was sitting on the floor at the end of the aisle, stocking one of the cubbies with more of the “Donnatello” bottle. I suppose I could ask them really quick.
I approached the stock person which turns out to be a girl. Although she was sitting with her legs crossed, it was apparent that if she stood up, she would surpass me in height, her being no more than six feet tall as apposed to my five and a half. The ends of her hair, as dark as a clear, night sky, fanned out around her on the wooden floor. A simple pair of blue jeans on her lower half, her dark blue apron covered her long sleeve white shirt.
“Excuse me,” I started as I held out the bottle in front of me, “could you tell me about this wine here? I’m curious about the wine maker’s history and the kind of grape blend that it’s made from.”
The girl continued her stocking and replied without looking at me, her voice was tired and had a bit of raspy tone in it, “I’m not sure about it; I only stock the wines. I’ll have to get somebody from sales to help you.”
“I’m not sure about it; I only stock the wines.” What kind of response is that? How can you work in a store and not know about the products you stock?
The girl’s words threw me into confusion. Surely she knew that if she took this job, knowing the products would be required of her, “You don’t know about this wine?”