In Defense of a Concord Vintage

Ben Nardolilli

“Inspired by that same French excellence”

You snifters and swirlers,

Who barely even drink,

You championship imbibers

Seeking bottles with medals,

I release you! Leave me

And my sacramental wine, alone!

Is your Burgundy blessed

By a lineage stretching

Like a vine to Aaron’s seed?

Yes, you can claim heritage

To Caesar in your terroir,

I suppose, but brothers and sisters

We will end up in the same place,

Why mock the river I float on?

Such a nice purple, like the night

Slowly turned to flame,

And if it is too sweet and not bitter,

The taste you love to anoint your mouths,

Give me peace and rest,

You may balance your pleasure

With a sour foretaste,

Call my stuff a syrup,

But I have no guilt in sweetness

Complimenting hues of sugar

Touching my words and dreams,

With this bottle I will set sail,

And greet you at the shore we seek,

Why be mean to me now?

Let us be quiet, then smile

Once we realize it is not wine inside us,

But a floating reflection

Of ourselves that we have consumed.

About the Work

Ben Nardolilli

Ben Nardolilli is a writer from Arlington, VA. His work has appeared in Perigee, The Oklahoma Review, Hawk and Handsaw, Heroin Love Songs, Farmhouse Magazine, The Maynard, Elimae, The Houston Literary Review, and Quail Bell Magazine. He maintains a blog at

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