About six months ago, the Sweet Partner in Crime wanted to start taking tennis lessons. Both of us had batted a ball around before, but neither of us really knew how to hit groundstrokes properly, serve consistently, or use any strategy other than "try not to shank the ball onto the adjoining court."
Along came The Coach, a colleague of the Sweet Partner's, who responded to her request to "give us a few pointers" by setting up weekly lessons, breaking down our bad habits, and giving us the ability to actually keep a rally going. Coach is always good for the pithy gem. On the first day he worked with us, he came out with this:
"You know what the best shot in tennis is? The one that goes over the net. After that, there's a world of possibility. The wind could blow the ball in. You could hit a bird. Your idiot opponent could hit a volley from the baseline. But if it goes in the net, the point's over. Everything goes from there."
As the weeks passed, I realized that I have the natural ability to play "caveman tennis" (not a good thing), learned that moving on a tennis court is like playing basketball defense instead of trying to fill a hole like a linebacker, discovered that I can hit a decent one-handed topspin backhand, and discovered a competitive intensity in the SPinC I'd never seen before. (Note: Hit to her backhand if you play her. One she lines up her forehand, you're toast.)
Obviously, six months isn't enough to turn me into Roger Federer (although I actually have been mistaken in public for Andre Agassi…), but improving has been fun. So, in honor of the Australian Open championships, the Vine features Australian Shiraz.
These very distinctive Australian creations are, like a weak backhand volley, squarely in the Vine's wheelhouse:
d'Arenberg 2004 "The Love Grass"
Pillar Box Red 2006 -- Pillar Boxes are the
Shoo Fly 2006 "Aussie Salute" -- Another blend. This one is largely