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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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    Why I Stopped Drinking Non-alcoholic Grape Wine

    I stopped drinking non-alcoholic grape wine about 23 years ago.

    Yes, you read that right!

    I served in the South East and on one of those adventurous days, my friends and I found ourselves at the Ariaria Market Aba.

    Those were days when the ‘New Generation Banks’ as they were called then, were making the waves and there was a boom in the market for packet shirts.

    There’s a building at the market at Aba, off Tenant Road, that houses various ‘designer houses’.
    By designer houses I mean different tailoring shops that could produce practically anything so long as it was shirts and in almost every shop you entered on that building, you’d find all sorts of labels from Versace, Tommy Hilfiger,TM Lewin, H&C, Thomas Pink, Gucci, you name it!

    My colleague who lived in Lagos had found the shirts selling business quite lucrative at the time and Tenant and Asa Road was to the rescue!

    So, off we’d go to Aba on some weekends, we will then comb the whole of Tenant road seeking for and buying shirt fabrics, then proceed to the building on Asa Road, where she’d submit the fabrics and they’d conclude on number of shirts she’d be coming to pick in a week’s time. (I think it was N150 they charged for sewing and labelling at the time plus packaging per shirt. If you paid N100, you would get only shirt and label!)

    We would finish this business that brought us and then wander into the main Ariaria International Market to window shop and probably buy one or two things that caught our fancy.

    There’s this back alley that led to the main market from Asa Road, and it was on this back alley that my love for grape wines/juice died!

    Ha! We stumbled on some little boys of not above 9 to 10 years who were filling and cocking a lot of bottles lined up, with a substance that looked like zobo, while another set of boys were imputing labels that bore names like Eva, Cape, and others.
    My colleagues and I stood transfixed for some minutes, dazed as we watched the goings -on, until a deep voice bellowed behind us, “Nwa Corper, una wan buy?”

    That was how our brains connected to our feet and we ran for dear life!

    I swore I was never going to drink anything in Nigeria that looked like or resembled ‘non alcoholic grape wine’ again and I have stuck by this resolve since then until I met this beauty (see picture).

    Recently, the death died a fresh death when I started seeing bottles bearing names like ‘Evra’ etc.

    This baby right here 👇is giving everything a glass of grape juice should give!

    Chivita grape wine

    The taste just envelopes your buds and even long after you’ve savored it, your mouth will still be bearing witness!

    I am not advertising for chivita, infact I had kissed goodbye to their products for a while now until I stumbled on this on the shelves of my favorite supermarket in Jos yesterday… The rest, as they say, is history!

    Meanwhile, to my Eastern folks, does number 50 Asa Road still exist?
    Even as I write, I recall the creaky and dingy stairway that led to the 3rd floor where my friend had her customer… Those high rises in Aba are a testament in resilience! Whaaaat!

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