Mrs. Manhind wasn't happy with the "B" Josh got in Language Arts. "Mr. Suthers just doesn't understand Josh's unique point of view," she said when she met with Miss Clayton, Josh's guidance counselor. "Josh has 'A's' in every other subject except Math where he got an A+ and they put him in Algebra for the second term. Algebra for a 5th grade boy!" Mrs. Manhind said. Then she almost shouted. "And you think he can't write an intelligent essay?" Janice Clayton listened patiently as she was trained to do. But, in truth, there was nothing she could do about the grade. Nor did she want to. Janice had spoken with Mr. Suthers earlier in the day and she knew that the "B" grade was justified. And Mrs. Manhind was the eighth parent she had talked to that day who wanted their kid's grade changed so they could make the high honor roll. She was sympathetic but tired of the Josh's and the Jimmy's and the Brianna's and the Abby's that "should have gotten 'A's'" and didn't. Janice Clayton was ready to call it a day. She was anxious to get home. She needed some comfort.
Jim was there when she arrived.
"How'd you get home before me," she asked
"I needed a bit of me time," he said. "I've been grading papers all day. I'm worried about a couple of kids who aren't doing very well in this class. But do you know the Manhind kid?" he asked. "I'm moving him into Algebra," Jim said, "he's such a smart kid but he's lazy. I think Algebra will give him the kick in the butt that he needs. I think he is a bit spoiled by his mom."
"Is there any wine in the house?" Janice asked.
"I opened a bottle of Cotes du Rhone. It's on the kitchen counter. Should I get you a glass while you get comfortable?"
"I'll get it myself." Janice said.
"Something wrong?" Jim asked.
"It's nothing." Janice replied.
"Enjoy the wine," Jim said. "I'd give it an A+."
Janice walked out of the room muttering. "I hope the damn wine deserves it." She poured a glass, got comfortable in her "me" space, tasted the wine and shouted (the way Mrs Manhind did) "This baby deserves an A++."


2013 Clos du Mont-Olivet Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes
$18 the bottle
The 2013 Côtes du Rhône Vieilles Vignes checks in as a blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Carignan and 5% Syrah that's aging in a combination of concrete tank and foudre. It's a classic Côtes du Rhône that offers lots of pepper, leather, underbrush and garrigue to go with a medium-bodied, firm, taut and fresh feel on the palate. Take comfort in the fact that this wine far over delivers for the price. Take further comfort that we can deliver it to you this weekend. Light a fire, pour a glass and pair with Cato Corner Farm Dutch Farmstead cheese.
Nicholas Roberts – for important moments, for ordinary moments, for when the grade is deserved

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