A red hot ember burned in my arm. Waves of pain washed through me like the waves on the stony beach were I lay. My shirt stuck to my chest. Shots continued but now much less than before and farther down the beach. Off to my left I heard movement. Next minute Sarge was telling me that I’d been shot but I was going to be okay.
We had gotten separated from the platoon in the first rush to the beach. We both knew the chances of finding a medic soon were not good. We also knew that if the blood soaking my shirt wasn’t stopped, I’d be dead in hours.
Sarge looked at the wound. He figured a tourniquet above the wound would stop the blood but the bullet also has to come out and soon before infection set in.
As I fought to keep my head above the pain, Sarge ran the flame of his Zippo back and forth across the blade of his bowie knife. I tried not to think of that blade digging around in my arm.
Sarge could tell I was hurt’n bad. He put the knife down and reached into his pack and pulled out a bottle. ‘This might help you kid.’ he growled as he poured a cup and lifted me up for a sip.
The nose was extremely subtle and so I was expecting to be disappointed. Surprise, surprise, the first sip was a joy! This was a wine that was round and full bodied.
Pain again wracked my body, I nodded and Sarge again held the cup to my lips. This time I managed a good mouthful, chewed, swirled it and breathed in some air. I was immediately rewarded with hints of pepper.
Sarge could tell as my face tightened that another sip was needed. A large gulp delivered some significant tannin but not unpleasant or overwhelming; and the finish, the finish seemed to last forever.
Sarge leaned closer and growled, ‘are you hurt’n kid?’
‘I am Sarge, I whispered,’ I’m hurt’n for another taste of that wine’
He obliged and after several more slurps asked,’ How do you feel son?’
“I feel,’ the pain caught my breath, “this would” more pain,” pair well with beef or pork.”
‘Ahh,’, he said,” too robust for chicken or fish ehh.” Then he gently laid me down and reached again for his Zippo and Bowie.
“We best get started son.”
“I need to know one thing.”
“What was the name of that wine?”
“A 2006, Luigi Bosca Malbec from Argentina.”
“A good choice, Sarge, complex, robust and spicy”