Login   Sign Up 


Wine Lovers

by JudeH 

Posted: 15 September 2008
Word Count: 1684
Summary: Emergency Crit needed. Entering competition and need to send this off in an hour

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

Wine Lovers

‘Chill out, Kelly;’ the Wine Lovers tutor said; the one with the funny little glasses, head-to-toe white linen and Jesus sandals who was slurping a mouthful of Vin du Vinegar by the bar. ‘This isn’t a competition. It’s just a bit of fun. Wine tasting is all about the experience.’
Whatever, Gandhi. If this wasn’t a competition, why had the Wine Lovers staff blindfolded all the wines, handed out score sheets and sorted out a prize? Kelly sneaked the blindfold off the wine she’d just poured and quickly glanced at the label.
Chardonnay. Of course. She’d spotted that a mile off. Before Gandhi had let it slip.
Russian River Valley. Ok, so she hadn’t known they had grapes in Russia but they definitely had grape-flavoured Smirnoff, so she didn’t see why not.
She quickly replaced the blindfold and picked up her glass, squirming as Gandhi shot her a warning look over the spittoon. What? It wasn’t as if she was cheating. She was just giving her taste buds a head start. Now. What was it he’d said about Chardonnay? Creamy, vanilla flavours. Tropical fruit aromas. Or was it citrus? She buried her nose in her glass and sniffed again, determined to come up with some juicy adjectives for her tasting note. Melon, that’s what it was; lovely, tropical, Russian melon.
Quite frankly, all the wines at this Wine Lovers dating event were starting to seem the same. As were the men. Gandhi was the only vaguely-interesting bloke there. Not her usual type, but there was something sexy about the way he’d described the ‘ripe aroma, beautifully rounded body and long elegant finish’ of that last Chardonnay. She shoved her nose further into her glass and tried to concentrate on the wine instead of his yummy aftershave.
At last Gandhi collected their score sheets, glanced through them and leapt on stage, holding his Sauvignon Blanc aloft. ‘Ok Wine Lovers – let’s raise a glass to tonight’s blind tasting winner – the very determined Kelly, with her highly discerning taste buds.’
Yes! This made all that slurping and spitting worthwhile. But why did she get the feeling Gandhi hadn’t meant ‘determined’ in a good way? Ok, so she’d been a teeny-weenie bit gung ho about trying to identify the wines before anyone else, but she was just getting into the spirit of it, that’s all.
‘Well done, Kelly, you’ve won two free tickets to next week’s event.’
Two free tickets? Tricky. If she needed two tickets she probably wouldn’t be here would she? Not that she didn’t know loads of blokes who’d be up for a date, of course. They were all just beer drinkers, that’s all. She’d have to bring Alice, her flat mate.
‘See you next week,’ Gandhi said on his way out. ‘Maybe we could share a bottle of Russian River in the park afterwards?’
Gulp. Was he asking her out? ‘Maybe,’ she shrugged. Best not seem too keen. ‘I’ve always been interested in Soviet wines.’
Gandhi scratched his head. ‘Right, whatever,’ he replied. ‘You dig out the Soviet stuff and I’ll get us a nice bottle of Russian River, Californian Chardonnay.’
Duh! Kelly could have banged herself over the head with the terracotta wine cooler. There was no way she could go out with him now. ‘Actually, now I think about it, I’ve just remembered I won’t be able to make it after next week’s class after all. Sorry.’
Gandhi wasn’t her type anyway, she told herself as she marched home. Way too alternative for her rugby-boy tastes.
May be joining the Squash Club would have been a better bet after all. She’d met her last bloke, Tim, at the gym. It had started well; all sexy looks over the treadmill and interesting positions on the weights machines, but men were such bad losers when it came to sport. There was nothing sexy about being thrashed by a girl. Not to mention the small matter of her being banned from the local leisure centre for doing racing dives in the shallow end during ‘Baby Splash Time’. Tim had been such a bad sport about that.
Overtaking a jogger on the other side of the road, she powered towards the imaginary finish line by her front door before checking her watch. Yes! Only ten minutes to get back this time. A personal best. No matter that she felt a bit sick after all that bloody Chardonnay.
‘So, what was it like?’ Alice asked as Kelly let herself in and sprinted up the stairs, two at a time. ‘Any fruity numbers this week?’
‘You know me, always up for a good plonk,’ Kelly replied. No need to mention the hiccup with Gandhi. Alice would only tell her swallow her pride and have a drink with him anyway. She was always going on about Kelly giving blokes a chance.
‘What about the wine?’
‘It was alright, I suppose. Though I don’t see the point of all those wishy-washy tasting notes the tutor makes us write; I don’t see how everyone can appreciate wine in their own way, like he said. Surely you’ve either got a knack for these things or you haven’t?’
‘Is that what Walter said?’ Alice asked, swishing up the stairs behind Kelly in her jangling bracelets and floaty skirt. ‘He sounds quite sweet to me. Not everyone’s as competitive as you, Kel.’
Walter. So, that’s what Gandhi was called. ‘How d’ you know his name?’ Kelly asked, trying to ignore the alarm bells going off in her head.
Alice giggled – such a girly laugh – and followed Kelly into her room. ‘He looked really fit on that flyer you brought home so I googled him,’ she said, slumping onto the bed and messing up Kelly’s symmetrical pillow arrangement.
‘Watch my pillows. It takes me ages to arrange them like that.’
Oh, don’t start with your control freakery again,’ Alice said. ‘I want to hear more about Walter. What’s he like? If you’re not into him I might try my luck. I’ve always had a taste for the finer things in life.’
Whatever. Good luck to Alice. Kelly was sure she and Walter would be very happy together. In fact, she might just call him now, and rebook that drink after next week’s class – just as friends of course. Best get any awkwardness out of the way before he and Alice got together.
Come next week, Kelly was all trained-up and ready for her wine-off with Walter. There was no way she was making a dick out of herself again, especially since Alice was coming along. All that alcohol was tricky to fit in round her extra sessions down the gym but at least she knew her Semillon from her Sauvignon Blanc now. Walter seemed most impressed when she asked a complicated question about a little-known wine appellation in the Loire Valley.
Alice, on the other hand, wasn’t really paying any attention to the wine. She seemed much more interested in dropping innuendos at Walter.
‘Yum, great body,’ she cooed, slurping her Chablis. ‘Think I’ll swallow this one!’
Honestly, it was so cringe worthy, Kelly was about ten seconds away from arm-wrestling that bloody Chablis off her. Not that she was jealous of course. But that was beside the point.
Frustratingly, Walter seemed to be lapping it up. But there was bound to be a professional explanation for all his lip licking. Appreciative noises. Long-distance spitting into the spittoon…
Argh! By the time she’d downed her first glass of Pinot Grigio, Kelly had worked herself into a right frenzy. It wasn’t like her to get hot and bothered over someone she didn’t even fancy that much, but rivalry could do that to a girl. She sashayed over, fired-up for a challenge (and if she was lucky, some winner-takes-all action afterwards.)
Still up for that drink? Walter asked, in what Kelly was fairly sure was a get-me-out-of-here way.
‘Oo! Are you guys going out?’ Alice muscled in, stroking the stem of her glass in a totally over the top way. ‘Don’t mind if I join you, do you?’
Ok, this time it was personal. The gloves were off. It was almost as if Alice was doing all this to piss Kelly off. ‘Sorry,’ she replied, past caring why she was annoyed now, ‘but its kind of a date thing, isn’t it Walter?’
Walter looked gob smacked, in a good way. ‘What brought that on?’ he asked, taking her hand as soon as they were outside. ‘I kind of got the impression you weren’t that into me.’
Kelly smiled and pulled him towards the park. Funny, that. She’d been thinking the same thing but now they were up close, she was starting to feel a bit intoxicated.
The evening passed surprisingly quickly and over a bottle of something deliciously fruity, she even found herself leaning over to give Walter a snog. Wow, how’s that for a ripe aroma, a beautifully rounded body and a long elegant finish?
But how was she going to break it to Alice? She’d be so gutted, Kelly almost felt guilty.
But to her surprise, when she sneaked back into the house a dead-o’ clock, the kitchen light was still on. Feeling like a right bitch, she headed for the kitchen. Best get this out of the way.
Weirdly, Alice was all smiles. Driven hysterical with unrequited love perhaps? ‘What time d’ you call this?’ Alice asked, tapping her watch with mock outrage. ‘I take it Walter popped your cork after all?’
Gulp. How to tell her? ‘Erm… Actually, I wanted to speak to you about that.’ This was excruciating. ‘The thing is; I really like him, Al. And I think he likes me too. Would you hate me if I went out with him again?’
‘Ha! Brilliant! I knew a little friendly competition would get the ball rolling. I’m fed up of seeing you sack blokes off without giving them a chance. If I have to make a loser out of myself to get you to play ball, then so be it. Go for it, mate!’

Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

Account Closed at 18:26 on 15 September 2008  Report this post
Jude, I accidentally commented in the main thread section, under your query. sorry for that.


Cornelia at 14:01 on 17 October 2008  Report this post
Sorry comes late for the competition, but I enjoyed the story very much. There's always something intriguing about expert knowledge and the topic is one that everyone wants to know more about. The romantic set-up worked well, too.

The only bit that snagged me was you used 'right' meaning 'very' a couple of times and it stood out.

Lovely story


JudeH at 11:55 on 29 October 2008  Report this post
Thanks Shelia

Only just noticed you'd written this review so sorry to get back to you late. Very helpful for when I resubmit this in future. No word from the competition yet, so fingers crossed they didn't have your eagle eyes...

J x

Cornelia at 14:07 on 29 October 2008  Report this post
I guess it was a colloquialism that maybe won't make any difference. Good luck, anyway.


To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .


Other work by JudeH:      ...view all work by JudeH