“Firm yet gentle.” 14 Hands Winery M-G-S Red Blend 2015

Readers of yesterday’s post know I spent the day with family, delighting in the fact that mine is perhaps that lone profession in which a snow day means precisely the same thing to me as it does to a school student. It was wonderful.

I went out and shoveled my walks around noon yesterday, the heavy, wet snow building up so fast. My idea was to get one layer off, despite the fact that it was still coming down, to make the job easier for later. Then around three in the afternoon, a young man stopped by, shovel in hand, and asked to do my walks. They were, by then, covered anew.  Wanting to reward his entrepreneurial spirit, and remembering that I used to make my spending money precisely the same way, I agreed to hire him. When I asked when he’d do it, he told me to email him. I said I’d rather he just came back tonight to do it, and he looked confused, but said he would. I went back inside to start preparing to cook dinner.

Some time passed, then more. I watched Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn, played with my kids, changed a few diapers, then cooked Pad Thai for dinner. The family and I ate it, Sonja cleared the table, then she and I took the kids upstairs to put them to bed. On the way, I grabbed the kid’s homemade business card and sent him a quick email.

On Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 5:03 PM, mark gudgel <mark.gudgel@yahoo.com> wrote:
Hi (kid whose name I won’t publish),
I just wanted to confirm that you were going to come back to my home and get the walks tonight as we discussed earlier today when you stopped by. There’s no huge hurry on my end, but I know that once this slush freezes it will be harder to remove, so if you weren’t coming for some reason I wanted to know right away so that I could do it sooner than later. Again, no rush — I know you had family plans. Let me know? Thank you. I admire your entrepreneurial spirit!
His reply came quickly, sans any editing:
thank you mark but sorry that  got so late to my computer and i had to help cook diner really early, and it got dark to fast. I will come by tomorrow if i don’t have school and do it for the same price if thats ok with you.
“If I don’t have school.” That stood out to me. I followed up with a quick reply:
Please do come by tomorrow. Thanks (kid whose name I won’t publish)!
He responded:
don’t forget i might have school
As badly as I wanted to begin correcting his grammar and punctuation, the matter of my walk felt more pressing. I considered going out in the now-dark to shovel, but decided I’d give him another, final chance. Sonja and I settled in to watch Deadwood and I decanted for us a nice bottle of wine.
The 14 Hands Winery M-G-S Red Blend 2015 is a really nice wine, and a more restrained, refined cousin to the Merlot I reviewed last week. Beautiful deep purple in hue with a vibrant, expressive nose of red fruits, sage, vanilla and leather, on the palate the wine is firm yet gentle, and decidedly well structured. Flavors of continued cherry, strawberry, and mild blackberry mingle with a continuation of the vanilla and leathery flavors. The wine is young, clean, and silky smooth. There is evidence of oak from start to finish, and the finish lingers. 49% Mourvedre, 26% Syrah, and 25% Grenache, it’s a fascinating take on a southern Rhone blend. The 15.5% ABV is masked to a degree by the smoothness of the wine. Limited to 151 cases, this is one I recommend you seek out.
This morning, I looked outside at my snow-covered walk and lamented not having the time to do it that I had last night. I sent a follow-up response to the young man who had promised to do my walks, trying my best to be firm yet gentle.
Good morning, (kid),
I’m a little confused. Yesterday when you stopped by we agreed that you would shovel my walks. Our agreement was the only reason I did not shovel them myself. When did you plan to uphold your end of this agreement? Please let me know if you are not in fact going to shovel my walks as I will need to try to figure out when I can do that today. 
Thank you,
This feels a little tricky. On the one hand, I want to support a young neighborhood kid as he tries to make money. On the other, I feel like I really need to help another young person understand that, in life and especially in business, you do what the hell you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. I suspect he won’t be back, and I’ll get to the walks after my last meeting of the night. That said, while I won’t be turning him in to the BBB, I do think I’ll need to try to explain to him why I’m not ever going to hire him to do my walks again. He’s thirteen — it says that on his handmade business card. I want to try to help him learn from this, firm yet gentle. It may require another glass of wine on my end.
Cheers to the villages that still raise children,

6 responses to ““Firm yet gentle.” 14 Hands Winery M-G-S Red Blend 2015

  1. Pingback: “NO! (YES!)” Alpha Omega Sauvignon Blanc 2015 | itheewine·

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