The Strange Red



"The wine list is just limited. I think we have to ask the waiter if they something else in the cellar" , Phil said slightly brushing his freshly scrubbed chin as if the task would be rather an impossibility.

The waiter comes in with the same blank face he showed me the day before when I made the reservation. He couldn't be tired yet as we were ones of the first customers to grace their locale today so I guess it is his natural face expression--nothing. He wears a blue over sized shirt which makes him shorter than his 5 foot frame. The sun was high and the light reflects strongly on his blading head, his nose and cheeks. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe he just tripped off a bucket full of olive oil, head first.

"Si,señor?" , the waiter asks

"Do you have any other wine that is not included in this menu? The choices are quite limited and we would like to know if you have anything else"

" One question señor. Do you think we could put all the wines in Spain in that menu?" he says passionately. Still, his face doesn't show any slight change of feelings. Adulterating men should learn from his facial expression (or the lack of it), it's just genius.

" Of course not but honestly, I don't fancy neither of what you have here"


I could feel the tension boiling. Phil tries to calm down although I could feel him wanting to kill someone today.

He fakes a cough and goes on.


"Ah..what about this one?" , asked Phil pointing out some strange wine from an unheard region of the country "Is this good? "


" Ah, señor. I don't know. Personally, I don't like wines; for me they are the worst drink that one could have. Malisimo!"

This is one of the few occasions that I wished I didn't know how to speak Spanish. Ignorance is bliss--is at it's finest at this very moment.

" Is there anyone who in this restaurant who could perhaps tell me something about these wines you have? Someone who actually understand something about wines?"


"Si, señor. Un Momento" and he flees.

Normally, Phil would have given them serious verbal lashings faced in a situation like this. However, he knows I am not happy with him getting ballistic with the wait staff for certain reasons. Most serious of which is that they might spit on our food.

He looks red now.

The Manager comes with a smile from ear to ear. He immediately moves on to explain about the strange red wine from the strange region. The manager is pleasant and does not lose the smile. He cracks a joke which we graciously answer with a laugh.

The tension is cleared. Finally the bottle arrives and surprisingly, it is a good one.

The waiter lurks from behind as we devour our paella and gulp the strange red. I seriously want some baguette to go with the nice food.I look up to call a staff but meet the waiter's eyes instead.

I look down on my plate. The rice is exquisitely golden.