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Grapes are rich in potassium, vitamin c, tannins (believed to protect against viruses and tumors), resveratrol (which appears to combat the effects of bad cholesterol), and caffeic acid (to protect against cancer), among many other antioxidants. So, technically speaking, the world is a better place because of grapes. But it goes further than that. On a sensory level, grapes provide us with sweet muscadine jelly for homemade buttermilk biscuits; pale-green, ruby-red, or midnight-purple clusters for the artist’s still life; and Chardonnay, Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, port, Champagne, sherry, and vermouth for delicious consumption. Grapes offer well more than antioxidants. They provide plump bites of sweet juice that squirt a fountain of aphrodisiacal power and grape flavor into your mouth. Savor your grapes. Appreciate them well.

creating the image

For this image, Randall and I were envisioning a hot, sweaty guy coming in from the vineyards in Italy with a huge cluster of grapes slung over his shoulder. I went on the hunt for a good-looking back and found just what I wanted in Walgreens. He was standing in the magazine aisle wearing khaki shorts and a relatively tight white undershirt. Not sleazy tight, just out-running-errands casual. I introduced myself and asked if he might join me in a dressing room across the street at Dillard’s so I could take some Polaroids, our only option in this pre-digital-camera world. He agreed. Why, I do not know. But I’m thrilled he took the chance on my hair-brained request. The final shot of plump purple grapes, his sweaty back (hand-oiled by yours truly), and a few sprigs of wild grapevine found growing on our photographer’s patio, captured the Bacchanalian romance-novel look we were going for.


photo by ben fink
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