(1939-04-26) Picnic Blushes
Details for Picnic Blushes
Date: 1939-04-27
Location: Rousseau Vineyards

It's a beautiful April Saturday, with bright warm sunshine and cool gentle breezes. In front of his shop windows, Augustin is just installing a window-sill planter, fresh with burgundy and pale yellow flowers, just the color of red and white wines. The flowers nod gaily on their stems, drinking in the sun while the wind teases them. Gus steps back, dusting his hands off, to judge the effect with a critical artist's eye. The planter itself has been carved with fanciful vine-and-grape motifs that curl quite splendidly, and stained the same color as the hardwood floors and shelves inside the shop itself. "That should do," he murmurs to himself.

Zephyr strolls into the shop front with a walking stick and a basket in a gloved hand. In the other hand is a basket. Smoothly he places the cane in the same hand with the basket and uses the now free hand to remove his whimsical top hat. The hat is collapsed and placed in the side of his basket as he takes steps into the shop. His hair is swept back to keep the hat hair at bay. "Good day my fine chap. I was hoping that you could supply some wine for a Spring Picnic?" He lifts up the basket some pointedly.

"Good day, sir," Gus returns with a grin. "Indeed, we have a wide selection. Did you have something in mind?" he asks. "We've got reds, whites, blushes, dry, not-so-dry…" He sweeps a hand toward the shelves and their stock of wines.

Zephyr turns to keep the door opened so that Clover may push the buggy containing their young son inside. "Hmm, what do you think Darling? White, blush, red, dry, sweet. What are you in the mood for?" He lifts up the basket their personal cook put together for them to enjoy on this lovely Saturday Afternoon. He gives a bit of a proud 'this is my lovely family' smile over towards Augustin. "This fine gent - What is your name my good man? - is happy to help us."

Clover pushes in the pram with the impatient toddler into the store, taking a moment or two to look around as they delve further into the store. "Blush, and slightly sweet. I am impatient for summer, but I am not quite ready for white wine yet, plus it doesn't pair well with what you have in there." Spotting next to Zephyr, she'll reach down to fuss with Tristian before she smiles at Augustin. "A pleasure to meet you, I am sure you might be able to steer us in the right direction."

"Augustin Rousseau," he says. "But everyone calls me Gus." He props his hands on his hips and gives the toddler a look. "What a splendid little chap," he compliments. "Our blushes are over here," he tells them, leading them to a particular shelf. "These are the sweet ones - this one is almost a dessert wine, honestly." He waves his hands at the selection available. "Fine day for a picnic, isn't it, though?"

Zephyr comes around the displays on the floor to look over the selection of wines. "Which do you recommend?" His free arm goes around Clover's back and lowers his chin to rest on her shoulder. Eyes on the selection but often glancing down to his son. When the lad decides that a cork on a bottle looks like something he would love to gnaw on he gets a stern throat clearing from his father.

"Rousseau?" Clover says with a tilt of her head. "My mother is a Rousseau, do you have family in France as well." She says brightly, before moving Tristian out of the way of the corks, since those are not foods. "It is, I have been eager to get out of the house and out in to some nature. Just a few more weeks and my garden will be back right where it should be." She says with a nod. "Oh, not that sweet, I'll save the dessert wine until we are back at home."

"That rather depends on what you've got in that basket, Mr…" Gus says. "Mr. and Mrs…?" He pauses so that Zephyr can give his own name and his wife's. He looks with surprise at Clover. "Why, I do," he says. "My parents were both born there, got married and moved here, where I was born." He nods a bit. "A family outing is just the thing for you, then. Going to a park? I hear they're looking quite nice, about now."

Zephyr uncurls his arm from around his wife so that he can pull from the inner pocket of his robes a pouch that clinks and hangs heavy. "We might as well restock the cellar while we are here. Though if you don't mind arranging some samples?" Ever the businessman. "Zephyr Macnair and this is my stunning wife, Clover. Do you arrange for deliveries? Since we are off to the country for the weekend, we of course can't take more than will fit in the basket. But I am glad to have some good wine in the area."

"It is looking a little sparse down in the cellar." Clover says thoughtfully, tapping her finger on her lips. "What do you have in full bodied reds? I believe we're having a roast for the next family dinner and I know they will appreciate a good red to enjoy with it." When her husband mentions the samples, she'll nod her head. "Yes, that would be lovely, if you're allowed to do so of course." Holding Tristian on her hip, she'll bounce him lightly, while he idly tugs on her hair.

"I can indeed get you some samples," Gus promises. "And we do make deliveries. Are you on the Floo network?" He beams at the both of them - such a young face. "Have a seat," he offers, gesturing to a couple of stools near the counter. He himself goes behind it and brings out a couple of sample cases stocked with small bottles. Two glasses are brought out as well. "Here we have a few blushes," he says, uncorking one and pouring enough to taste into the wine glasses.

Zephyr takes up the glass of wine and samples it like a man that is quite experienced in sampling the finer things in life. After he's finally given the sample a polite deposit in a spittoon he gives a delighted shark wide smile. "That is excellent. My complements. What do you think Darling? Shall we take two crates?" Zephyr doesn't seem to do anything small.

Clover settles into the stool, setting Tristan down in his pram while she samples the wine. She does idly move the buggy back and forth to try and sooth him and keep him entertained. She however, doesn't spit it back out, that would be unladylike. "Two crates? Darling it is a fantastic wine, but I do not think we need to crates work." Reaching over she'll pat his hand. "However, I trust your judgement and your wine seems to be on the level of what we enjoy, so I say we should get half of a crate of this, and let him choose a mix to fill the other one and a half crates." She says, almost making it sound like it would be a test, more than a business proposal.

"Well," Gus laughs. "You shouldn't leave me to fill them. I'm in the business of making and selling wine, after all! I'll fill it with only the best - and consequently the most expensive - vintages." He laughs again. "Another sample?" he offers, uncorking another bottle and raising his eyebrows at them. Two clean glasses are also pulled out and at the ready. He looks awfully young, maybe 17, to be in this business.

Zephyr doesn't put on airs that many a disgustingly wealthy man would, there's no pfft or other snubbing at Gus' admitting that he'd set them up with the most expensive vintages. "What is family for if not for support in business endeavors. As Mrs. Macnair said, have at my good boy. Create your dream crate. After all, we at Macnair Manufacturing make dreams come true and all of that." He shakes his head with a chuckle. "Now that I've made myself appear a complete self pitching tosser, please, truly, have a bit of fun, you will be compensated."

Gus's eyebrows raise again, in pleased surprise. "Well, alright, then," he says, rubbing his hands together. "Thank you very much!" Then he places both of the sample boxes before the couple. "Please do sample as many as you like," he tells them. There is a spittoon nearby of course, so that neither of them has to leave tipsy. He's behind the counter while Zephyr and Clover sit on stools before it. The lady is idly pushing a baby carriage back and forth for the toddler sitting inside, who'd clearly rather be out and about making mischief and gnawing on corks. "Ah," he says. "I have something for young sir that might keep him entertained," he says. He disappears into the back room for just a moment, reemerging quickly with what looks like a root ball - it's a ball that seems to be composed of smooth, white roots entwined so completely within each other that there's no telling where it begins or ends. "Perfectly harmless," he assures them, handing it to Clover so she can decide whether or not to give it to her baby.

The door swings open, and Kahren steps in, looking around the shop curiously. She smiles at the couple and their child, and nods to the young shop keep, before she moves around the store, looking at he bottles for the various vintages on display. She makes no attempt to interrupt, however - that would simply be rude.

Zephyr receives a kiss from his wife to the cheek when Tristan gives a wave of his arms that he doesn't want the ball. "Owsigh!" There is an exchange of whispers and the ball is placed on the counter with a grateful and apologetic smile. She then carefully navigates the shop with the pram and takes their son outside. Leaving Zephyr the oh so lovely 'chore' of sampling the wines and while Gus compiles his dream team of wines Zephyr occasionally taps a bottle and lifts one or two fingers to indicate he'd like one or two bottles of that in addition to what the vintner is selecting himself.

"I'll be with you in just a moment, miss," Gus promises Kahren. Clover's exit with the toddler gets only a cheerful grin and a wave of his fingers. He gets a pair of empty crates from the back room and starts filling them up with Zephyr's purchases, including the ones which the man selects. "You have excellent taste, sir," he compliments him. As his filling brings him nearer to Kahren, he smiles at her. "I'll be done in just a moment with this, miss. What can I help you with?"

"Oh, take your time. I was simply thinking of splurging on a bottle or two of something nice for my mother's birthday," Kahren explains in a casual tone, flashing Augustin another smile. "But I'm in no rush, no worries."

Zephyr politely turns away from the others to use the spittoon. Then he licks his lips looking quite pleased. "I think this might be my favorite thus far." He takes up the sample bottle and pours a taste into a fresh glass and offers it to Kahren. "What do you think? Tastes to me like something a mother of such a fine lady could appreciate." His tone is complimentary without being flirty as he holds out the glass. "Gus my good friend, I will take a crate of this. And one bottle for the birthday lady if her daughter agrees." Sounds like this bottle is on him.

Gus is in the process of thinking of what to recommend when Zephyr quite takes the matter into his own hands. "Excellent, sir," he says, and hurries to fill the order.

"That's a generous offer," Kahren responds in surprise, moving towards the man to take the offered sample. She admires the color and enjoys the perfume before taking a sip from the glass, letting it linger on her tongue before she swallows. "Oh, that is lovely, I agree."

Zephyr's lip spread in a shark like handsome grin. "When dealing with what is it now…" He does a quick count. "Six crates, what's one bottle more for a Birthday? Give you mother good tidings from the Macnair family." A little charming wink is given and then he moves on to try the next sample.

"I'm so glad you like it!" Gus says happily. He continues to move around the store, filling up the crates for Zephyr. He does take a short break to put the bottle for Kahren into a black velvet drawstring bag, and hands it over to her with a small bow. "Here you are, miss."

"Still - it's appreciated," Kahren responds. "And I will certainly pass on your tidings." She offers her hand then, along with a warm smile. "I'm Kahren Umbridge. I am to assume you're Mister Macnair?"

Zephyr slides his hand into Kahrens and gives it a genteel shake. "Zephyr Macnair. That was my wife Clover and our boy Tristan you passed by. Very good to meet you. It's my pleasure, truly. Hmm, I really should stop sampling and join the rest of my family…" But he takes just one more sip and taps the bottle with a smile and lifts one finger towards Gus.

"I don't believe I've had the pleasure of meeting young Tristan before - but I've heard of him from Clover. She helped train me in Potion and Plant Poisonings," Kahren explains. "It is largely due to her help that I earned the rank of Healer, just this year." Whether or not that is entirely true - it's still the polite thing to say. "He's a darling boy, isn't he? I can't blame him for not finding much of interest in here, though."

Zephyr looks very pleased to hear about how Clover has affected Signe's life. "She is an amazing woman, isn't she? Married very well there." He winks and then pulls out a business card from within his robe. It is placed on the counter along with two gold galleons. "Thank you Gus, you have a fine, fine selection. To the both of you I bid a very good day." He takes up a few bottles and slides them into the picnic basket. His whimsical top hat is brought out and tapped so that it gives a pop out. Then he heads for the door, stopping at it to turn and tip the hat once it's settled on his head before taking his exit to re-join his wife and son.

"And you as well, Mister Macnair. Enjoy the time with your darling boy - I can see why Clover is so entranced by him," Kahren responds, flashing the man another smile. She watches him go, before turning her attention to sampling the other wines offered. Maybe she'll buy a second wine of another type…? Just for a little variety.

Once the money hits the counter, Gus is right there to collect it with a heartfelt thanks. He stashes it where the money all goes, and then turns to pay more attention to his other customer, Kahren. "Please feel free to have a sample," he offers her. "So you have an idea of what else you might want?"

"Perhaps a dessert wine?" Kahren suggests. "We could have the first with dinner. But then afterwards…" She reads the labels on the bottles, looking for something that might suit.

"Absolutely," Gus says. He points out a few wines for Kahren to consider. "This one tastes particularly nice with cheesecake," he says. "This one suits just about anything chocolate," he promises.

"I have a real weakness for chocolate - but unfortunately, my mother prefers cheesecake. And it /is/ her birthday," Kahren remarks. Still, she gives both a try, letting out appreciative sounds for both. "Oh, I'd be happy with a bottle of either - but I suppose I shall have to get this one," she adds, indicating his first recommendation.

Gus nods and gets her a new bottle of the cheesecake-complimentary wine, and slips it into another black velvet bag with a drawstring. Then he tells her the total with a smile.

Pulling out a small coin purse, Kahren counts out the correct coin, and sets it on the counter. "Thank you very much. I'm sure these will make mother's birthday all the more enjoyable. My compliments to the vintner."

"I'll pass it along to my father," Gus promises with a warm smile. "He'll be quite chuffed to hear it. I hope you have a very pleasant evening celebrating your mum's birthday. Tell your friends about us!"

"I shall do," Kahren agrees brightly, as she takes up to two velvet wrapped bottles. "Ta!" she adds, along with a friendly wave, before making her way out the door.

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