Cheerwine? I'll Tell You What It Tastes Like...
Oh, sure, it's cherry with a kick, but that's just the base.
It's a mental vacation back to my school days, when things were easy and responsibilities were few...when there was no such thing as a lazy day because my friends and I always had something we could do, some way to make the days disappear. Volleyball, movies, games, cook-outs, you name it, we ran around and did it and knocked back Cheerwine.
It's a screaming jolt back to college when I couldn't find any place that sold it in Memphis, and anytime I went home for a weekend to Nashville, I'd clear the grocery store shelf of all they had and truck it back. I had to; I'd drink it plenty, and anyone that tried it wanted more.
It's the sensation of describing it for people on the West Coast, because no one in Portland had ever heard of it, but they all wanted it when I was done. Was it my words? Was it my tone of voice? Was it the wistful and satisfied expression on my face when the story was over? Who cared? It was glorious.
It tastes like victory, because I'm in Virginia now, and it's on the shelf down the street at the store. Anytime I want, I have it at my finger- (and tongue-) tips. It's introducing it to my fiancée and her family, and watching them react with that wonder and pleasure that I first felt, so many years and miles ago, and knowing I'd made new fans for something I'd loved for so long.
It tastes like good times, memories of good days and good people. It tastes like home.
Apparently, they liked that answer. They wanna send me a hoodie, anyway.
Rock and roll.