Wining and Dining the Count
According to frequent Wooter "D. R. Acula," this wine is "even better than the blood of the innocent." We assume that's a metaphor.
The carriage ride to the castle had been terrifying, a jostling, bumpy affair around winding mountain roads beset on all sides by oppressive fog and the anguished wails of the creatures of the night. More than once I looked out my window to see a pack of rabid wolves rushing along beside our carriage. The horses only barely maintained their course, but in due time I saw it looming ahead of us like the abandoned throne of some bitter ancient god: Castle Dracula.
The Count greeted me shortly after my arrival, and as imposing as the Castle was, I don’t believe I’ve ever been so thoroughly chilled as I was when I took his hand. It was cold to the touch, and his piercing blue eyes were somehow impossibly colder. He smiled, sincerely, but it was a smile completely devoid of compassion or warmth. His gaze left me deeply unsettled, but his hospitality I could not disparage; a spacious room, friendly and voluptuous female staff, and an incredible meal laid out for me upon my arrival.
As we ate, I could not help but notice that Count did not have a drink in front of him. Having finished my water, I produced from my bag a bottle of 2011 Joseph Henry Chardonnay. I offered some to the Count, but he politely declined.
“I never drink … wine.”
I shrugged, and poured myself a glass. It was delicious, and proved a compelling companion for the salad, fish, and poultry laid out before me. While I was distracted by the crisp green apple and citrus flavors, to say nothing of the hint of pear, the Count suddenly materialized behind me. He placed his hand on my shoulder, and with terrible strength pinned me to my chair. In my terror, I nearly shrieked, but the Count suddenly relaxed his grip, having caught a closer glimpse of my bottle.
“Say, is that a 2011 Joseph Henry?” I nodded in terrified assent. “Well, I suppose I could drink … wine just this once.” And we did, and had quite the pleasant evening. We finished up our real estate dealings the next morning, and he sent me off, cheerfully babbling on about “taking London like a lost, under-dressed librarian at midnight,” “flooding Leicester square with the blood of that arthritic old dog Van Helsing,” and how "thanks to your fine wine, there'll be a place for you as a pet in my dark, predatory empire of hedonism." But other than that, really, he seemed a pleasant chap, and he certainly had excellent taste in wine.