“I don’t trust them Claudette,” Didier whispered.


“Captain Jack seems unfriendly and his friend Stephen is strange. Is he English, Irish, Spanish or what? I am afraid they will sell us out. The only good omen is that the boat name is French.” 

“I am so glad we picked up our Complant allocation from your cousin in Dover.  That was brilliant, cherie.”

“There are two things we cannot survive without great wine, Didier, my love – a world war and a pandemic.”

At that moment, they heard the thrum of engines and the guttural sounds of German. As they ran on deck, the night was pierced by a high-powered spotlight.  They were shocked to see Captain Jack run from the deck house, long blond hair blowing in the wind, jump to the deck gun and shoot out the light in one deft motion.  The fog enveloped them as they drifted, silent and dark, into the night.

Hours later as they huddled in the deck house with Jack and Stephen, waiting for their rendezvous on the Normandy coast, Didier realized that he had harshly judged these rugged men. “A glass of wine with you, sir,” he said to Jack as he poured 2018 Complant Beller Vineyards Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon.

“Why, old man, this wine is delicious,” enthused Jack. “It has a dark garnet color and is almost opaque.  On the nose, it displays heady aromas of cassis, tart cherry, sandalwood and hints of fresh bay leaves and pine resin. On the palate, it has a fruit sweet entry and is mouth-coating and full on the mid-palate without being hot or heavy, with echoes of black fruit and herbs. It is ethereal and somehow concentrated at the same time and this sense carries through on the long, vibrant finish.”

“I have visited California, but I never thought it would produce wines like this,” said Stephen, “It’s almost as if it came from the unknown future.”

At 3 am they heard the yell, “AHOY LE NAVIRE!” and Didier and Claudette saw their friends Emile and Jules in the small boat tying up alongside. After the arms and the remaining wine were loaded and they were slowly moving away, Didier and Claudette turned to wave, but the Surpendre had already disappeared into the fog.

“Hold me, Didier,” cooed Claudette.  “It is good to be alive, n’est pas.”

 “Oui, cherie, it is indeed good to be alive.”