"The problem with rosés is that too often the wineries just cheap out on the process and make a fast selling wine. Not a lot of thought goes into crafting something interesting."

Sarah looked back at me with a disapproving glance. "No, the problem is that you don't understand the taste profile. Structure is important."

She stood up and moved the bowl of still warm olives closer to her and started to pick all the salty black ones out. She was close to finishing her sommelier studies and getting prepped to write the exam. All of which was good news for me, as there was much research to be done and a few discoveries along the way. Moldovan reds, pinots from Oregon and Bolgheri Superiore, it was a grand exploration of wines that I had never ventured for and hell I even learned to love a few whites along the way too. Above all the Sicilian muscat whites were like a revelation but rosés were where I started to draw the line, "Pink wine is diluted wine."

"You are missing out."

"Not with this one."

"Think you can do better?"

"Honestly yes, but I can only think of three and one is a dessert wine."

"Three?" She grabbed the textbook from the table and flipped to her tasting notes. "I can find three good ones too. Would you like to have a taste off?"

"A what?"

"A taste off, your wines versus mine, add a few fellow tasters of reputable skill and we are off. Whom ever wines score the highest, wins the night. One caveat though, we both bring wine but you do the cooking, I want my favourite warm olive focaccia this time and lots of dips."


"Hmm maybe it's the wine and the olives tonight, but my imagination is wandering." She moved her blue eyes up from the empty bowl and leaned back in her chair looking me over. "What good is a bet without a payoff. I think we should make it interesting."

"How so?"

"Well to be honest, we are all bored by now of tastings and it would be nice to do a little Iron Chef thing, your wines versus mine but we need a prize."

"Hmm, a really nice bottle of wine?"

"Hah! If you won, you would just end up sharing it with me, and if I won ..."

" would end up teasing me with it but never delivering."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"That you are a player."

"Yes, I do like to get a man all riled up and pursue things a little but I still think you are more the tease."

"I could only aspire to your level."

"Ooh, you haven't seen anything yet Mister. I know what I want for my prize now but it is not a bottle."

"Dare I ask?"

"No, I'll keep that to myself, but I want to make a bet, winner takes all."

"Takes all what?" I probed, trying to restrain my imagination.

"Write down what you want on a piece of paper right now and we will seal them up until tasting night." She reached over to her desk and grabbed two envelopes and as she did so, I let my imagination loose for a second. Summer is always the hardest season for a single male, especially when it comes calling in a sleeveless white blouse with a generous plunging backline.

"Here, put your wish in the envelope."

My imagination went blank, at the worst possible time. Apparently it was so occupied that it had lost the ability to communicate with my hand. Sarah was already done and closing the seal. She craned her neck to peek at my winning choice, allowing me a view of the third feature that I liked on that blouse.

I panicked and wrote something so utterly uncreative, that I am embarrassed to tell you what that one word was. She lifted her eyebrow, pretending she had seen what I had written and her cheeks went a little flushed.


She reached out for the envelop and held it to the light. "Triple fold huh? I didn't think of that."

I quickly reached for her envelop and she slowly slid it away, "Perhaps we should put these in another envelope for safe keeping until our taste off. Time for bed."

We gave each other a long kiss goodnight. "Any chance of a sleepover tonight?"

"I would have but now I will just leave you wanting. Besides, I need to be alone tonight to enjoy my little thoughts, tomorrow is after all a work day."

"Little thoughts about big bottles huh?"

"Uh huh, something like that. Good night mister."


Despite distractions, I managed to come up with a fairly straight forward plan. Being the one who brought the food, pintxos from Catalonia would be my secret weapon. Big bold tastes; salty, spicy and the pure heat of padrón peppers for distraction, all to compliment bold wines and maybe a rich sweet bottle too. I totally skipped on dessert, anything subtle or too sweet would have lent itself more to the genuine rosés. As a capitulation to what I knew would be an all out rebellion, I made shrimp with a dark chocolate sauce, not a drop a sugar. Sarah took full advantage of her organizing role and invited only fellow classmates from her sommelier course.

I was dead, but fate managed to play that little game it plays with anybody over thirty holding a party. You could invite fifty or five hundred people, but only ten will ever really show up. When Sarah collected the final numbers, we were down to six including us. A last minute invite to Sarah's older neighbour Susan and a date brought us up to eight.

As we sat down for the tasting, we were back to five, Susan and a man to be named later as she put it, were late and Chelsea the small dark haired woman with emerald green eyes showed up solo. A damn shame that. Simply dressed in a silver top and dark jacket, the mass of curly hair that stopped perfectly at her shoulders created the perfect frame for her best asset. Only a fool would turn down a chance to drink wine and stare into those green eyes. They gave me a new appreciation for the word jade.

Sarah called her guests to the table, "Alright everybody, are we ready to taste some wine?"

Jenn and Chris came from the couch where they were chatting up Chelsea, who had barely said a word.

"So how do we do this? It is my first tasting," inquired Chris as he sat down.

"Well I am sure that Jenn has talked to you about what we do on wine nights," Chris nodded and Sarah continued, "It is fairly simple, there are score cards on the table, each wine has been hidden in a paper bag and given a number. Not even we know each other's bottles. On your page are three qualities that you can rate out of twenty; smell, mouth feel and finish. Which reminds me, here are some plain rice crackers to clear your palate. Highest average wins."

"Wins what?" perked up a voice from the front door. It was Susan and the aforementioned man to be named later. The girls were in utter silence as he dipped his head under the door frame to enter. He was literally tall, dark and handsome, and tall, almost seven feet.

"Wins the bet, we don't really know each other's prize as it is contained inside these secret envelopes which we wrote on last week," I piped up.

"Sounds delicious, but from what I've heard, I highly suspect Sarah would just want you to cook for her for a month. Hopefully she added something like you have to be naked to make it more interesting. Did you girl?" Susan winked and Sarah full on blushed, something I had never seen her do before. Susan paused to take off her boots and I brought her over something from what was left of the appetizers.

"I'd ask you how you are doing Susan, but I can guess by how few buttons are holding your top together that everything is going swimmingly."

"And then some," she smiled and leant over giving me a full view of what I must admit were the two most perfectly round breasts I have ever seen. As she peeled off her knee high boots she also revealed a set of killer calves. "A dancer's legs are always her best asset."

"Come on Susan, time to get your taste buds warmed up."

"Already done hon,"she winked and did a little pirouette with a kick almost as high as my head, which allowed me to enjoy another view. "Hey you two, I see a whole lot of spicy Spanish tapas, but where are all the sweet things? You can't have a wine tasting without chocolate."

"I noticed that too," piped up Jenn. "Are you holding out us Sarah?"

"Nope," replied Sarah pulling bottle number one out of the fridge, "I had nothing to do with the food tonight but I have noticed the same thing. I highly suspect that someone and I am not naming names is trying to slant the contest a little by avoiding chocolate, which as every girl knows, enhances the subtlety of any wine."

"The fix is in," Chelsea added with a small grin.

"No worries ladies, I have brought my own secret weapon to start the night. Please meet bottle number one." Sarah popped the cork with great gusto and let it fall to the table. Even from my side of the table I could sense the aroma of wild strawberries, it was a fruity perfect punch to my gut.

I pulled the cork off the table for fairness sake, but there was no denying it, this was the big gun, a pink Veuve Clicquot.

"Take that Mister," Sarah smiled as she poured the first round of glasses.

Susan wiggled in her chair as the glass came to her, Mister tall dark and handsome stared at his champagne glass with an odd face. "You have to forgive Eric, he is Italian and I don't think Champagne is big there. Especially not a pink one. Don't worry, I'll finish yours if you want." Susan slipped over letting her hand fall into his lap and lifted her body up against him. She stole a kiss then took his glass.

"Grazie," he said.

At least I have one vote in my favour and maybe just maybe he will recognize the Sicilian Moscato I brought. Scanning the faces of those at the table I could see that Chris had also pushed his glass to his wife Jenn. Chelsea and Sarah were nose deep in their glasses, soaking up the aromas of this rare treat. They exchanged a little knowing glance, and truth be told, I agree that if the game is to be lost, best lost on such a gem.

Marks were scored, glasses were filled and bottle after bottle came out. All the while Susan and the tall dark Eric somehow drifted closer. I watched as Sarah was staring at the corner of his mouth and cheek as they raised whenever Susan kissed him. A twinge of jealousy formed in my chest and faded. Susan had this one labelled and there was no way she was going to share with her. The neighbours had an understanding that extended to me.

Chris and Jenn started to grow annoyed at the whole scene. Judging by their body language, they way they only lightly grazed each others personal space, there was not a lot going on in their sex lives.

On bottle four, I brought out the chocolate shrimp, knowing how fast they would go at our end of the table, I plated six onto a another dish and topped them with some extra ginger shallot oil. True to form, the plate was empty before I even got to the far end of the table. "Chris, guard these with your life, they are just for you two."

"Thank you," he smiled, sliding the plate directly on to Jenn. It was the first time they had looked at each other for most of the night. Their hands paused together as he handed them off, she took one and handed the plate back. When there was one left, they had a little fight insisting that the other one finish it.

Sarah seeing my distracted observing, leaned over and whispered my ear, "Don't think you are getting off so lightly for the lack of dessert tonight but that was a nice gesture."

"It is the ultimate compliment a cook can enjoy, seeing two people fight over the last piece."

She raised her glass towards me of my final rosé choice, a bubbly pink moscato from southern Italy. Her face looked a little perplexed as she surveyed the aromas.

Eric was a little less confused, "Perfecto."

It was my turn to say grazie.

"Parla l'Italiano?" he looked at me in surprise.

"Un po, perche?"

"Perche lei es un buono cucchino!"

"Sono molto piacere."

Susan watched us both with a furled eyebrow and she told me no. She could only handle one man speaking Italian tonight. They finished up their cards and handed them over to Sarah, who promptly handed them over to Chelsea. "I can't count with a damn, Chelsea has the honour."

"Pass me a pen then and all your cards," she said.

I stood up and offered everybody an espresso, no one partook except Eric and myself.

"You'll be up all night," teased Susan.

He lifted that corner of his lips and Sarah focused in on them again, "I very much hope too."

Susan stood up and said, "That's my cue, cheque please! Come on big guy time take me home."

"But I have had a little too much to drive."

"No worries on that, I live right next door."

"Hold on you two," interjected Sarah, "Susan, I need you here for five more minutes, if you can hold out that long. Enough time to see the results and let your man fuel up a little."

"Alright but hurry up on that espresso!"

Maybe it was the wine mixed with summer air, but as Chelsea ran her long thin fingers across the score cards, the image of them running over my naked skin came into mind. An image so clearly that it almost stopped time, I was having my moment of distraction and completely missed the Moka pot boiling up.

Chelsea looked at the table and reached for the bottle of moscato pouring the last of it in her glass. "I'll take this as my accounting fee. Do you two want to reveal the bottles first? Everybody, here are your cards back if you want to make more notes."

Sarah pulled each bottle out of the bag, in order. The first was no surprise, she had gone to town. She balanced the books with a Cab Sauvignon rosé from South Africa and a Languedoc from the killer 2009 year.

There was a little gasp when she pulled out my bottles. The hearty deep rosé that tasted like beefsteak tomatoes to everyone's surprise was from Closson's Chase of Prince Edward County. My second bottle, a sweet but tart late harvest cab franc from Niagara on the Lake. Sarah was impressed I could keep it almost entirely local.

"And now the scores, "Sarah smiled at me, still studying the late harvest's label.

"I can take you there if you want," I offered.

She smiled.

Chelsea stood up, "From the Accounting firm of Pop'em and Drink'em of New York, London and South Cleveland, here are tonight's tabulations. Sarah, you scored an average of fifty five on each bottle and you, the other guy, the one who shall be named loser, only managed a lousy, measly average of fifty two. Sarah, the title is yours girl! "

She let out a fist pump in the air and Susan led a round of applause, then asked, "Can we go now?"

"No, you have one last duty for me," Sarah passed over the sealed envelop to Susan, "Please read out what's on my card."

Susan opened the envelop and reached in for the second one labelled with Sarah's name. She pulled out the paper, unfolded it and read it too herself first. Eric peeked over and laughed, Susan blushed.

"Well," Jenn said.

"Well," Susan paused for a second, "It says Susan's choice, good thing we made it over tonight girl or you would be the one waiting for a prize!"

Sarah, still standing, rested her arms on the table, "So? "

"Hmm since you are actually a good chef despite the whole dessert thing and I am in a naughty mood, I am going to have to go with naked chef and slave boy. Don't worry, just for a day, and just to make it more fun since you seem so intent on diverting Eric's attention, you can only speak in Italian."

Sarah, Jenn and Chelsea let out a little ooh and Eric and Chris looked at me with indignance.

Susan on the other hand, lept up and grabbed her beau by the forearm, "and with that I leave you all to your merry thoughts. Buenas noches all"

"Hey, that's Spanish," I trumpeted at her.

"And don't you forget it, Mr. Naked Chef."

"I think this is where we bow out," Chris said sensing exodus time, grabbing Jenn by the hand.

There was a lull after everyone left and I began to pull in the empty bottles from the table.

"Shame there is no dessert," Sarah lamented.

"I wouldn't use the term no dessert."

"So what term would you use?"

"I have something in the back pocket of my satchel, seeing as the two of us are always left to clean up," I looked at Chelsea and apologized.

"Had being the operative word, cough it up," Sarah said as she ran to the kitchen and my satchel.

"Perhaps we could negotiate this whole Naked Chef, slave boy thing over some of the world's finest darks, that is not in that pocket?"

"Bribe me with chocolate and I shall consider your request, slave."

"Only the best for you O Master, how would a four estate single origin sampler from Valrhona curry your favour? "

"It pleases me, greatly. Chelsea, shall we retreat to the back garden while he prepares the offerings?"

Sarah and Chelsea moved outside to the back deck. When I finally came out, I could see that something amiss, the girls were whispering to each other and looking up. Sarah put her fingers to her lips signalling for me to be quiet.

"What? Nobody told me the whole slave thing starts now? Hell, I am still dressed."

Chelsea grabbed my arm, pulled me down and put her long fingers over my lips and with the other hand pointed up to the open second floor window of the house next door. Susan's house.

I could hear a moan, and then the gentle rocking of what sounded like a bed frame.

"Tell me again big boy, what you want to do to me," said a woman's voice. Then I could hear Eric's deep voice start speaking to her in Italian.

Chelsea lent over and whispered in my ear, "They must have forgotten that the window is open, they were already going at it when we came out, "she leaned over to Sarah and whispered something to her. Sarah whispered back.

Susan's voice between moans commanded him, "No tell me slower."

Chelsea leaned back and brought her lips right up to my ear, her warm breath warmed the lobe and I shut my eyes to get lost in it, "Sarah wants to know what he is saying."

I stood up and quietly moved my chair between them. Leaning in was like diving into heaven, I watched their cheeks and lips move back and forth, softly leaning on each other then me, waiting for the next line to translate. Quickly I found that the girls loved it more when I repeated the Italian words first then my interpretation. Sometimes I just left it in Italian. Sarah's bare shoulder pressed up against my shirt and I could feel her heart beat press upon my chest.

"He is talking about Italy, Florence I think. He wants to take up to the top of the Duomo at sunset. He is going to climb her, er I mean with her, but behind her so that he can watch her perfect legs all the way up to the top. Especially if she wears the green dress." Eric was enacting his climb with Susan's body, when he reached her breasts, he went the story of the building of the two perfect Duomos and how they started the whole Renaissance.

"I thought there was only one Duomo in Firenze,"Chelsea observed.

"But here, now, there are two, trust me, they are perfect."

Sarah landed a good solid punch on my shoulder, "Hands off Mister, Susan and I have a deal about each other's property."

"How'd that come about?"

"We crossed over once, and it wasn't good."

"What?" my twang of jealousy was back.

Eric had finished with her breasts and moved up towards her neck. He was now talking about the Campanile and the perfect white, pink and green marble that surrounds it. He had lifted her thighs up around his waist and moved Susan on to the wall. "When we stop at the top, he is going to hold her close and slowly raise up her dress while and bring their bodies together..."

Susan's arm lifted up and they both made deep, deep sounds, her head dropped down, and her arms were straining to hold, but it must have been worth it. She was starting to move her body up and down. The sounds became more pronounced and Chelsea squeezed my thigh a little harder. Distracted, I had barely noticed it was there. Chelsea leaned over to Sarah and whispered something that made her blush. She turned to Chelsea and gave her a kiss on the cheek. My heart nearly leapt from its moorings at the sight and sound.

Report Story

byslipperyblisses© 0 comments/ 13873 views/ 1 favorites

Share the love

Report a Bug

2 Pages:12

Forgot your password?

Please wait

Change picture

Your current user avatar, all sizes:

Default size User Picture  Medium size User Picture  Small size User Picture  Tiny size User Picture

You have a new user avatar waiting for moderation.

Select new user avatar: