I missed a few Sweet Saturdays. Jumping back into things for the last of the year. I’ve previously featured Beth and Tracey with a glimpse of their relationships. Today, you meet Sarah, as she meets someone, too. From After Ten:
“Don’t bother with the Sauvignon Blanc. It tastes like burnt rubber.”
Sarah had been considering the Sauvignon Blanc, but that less-than-glowing endorsement was enough to make her think twice. She turned in the direction of the voice that had offered the unsolicited advice. “Burnt rubber?” she asked with an amused smile. “I guess that means you didn’t like it.”
The woman who had offered the opinion laughed as she tucked a strand of shoulder length auburn hair back behind her ear. “No. Not so much.”
“I can’t say I’m familiar with the taste of burnt rubber, so I’ll take your word for it that it’s not very good. Is there anything you do recommend?” Sarah had picked up the sheet that offered notes on all the wines available for tasting that night, but barely glanced it.
The woman smiled, a slight crease forming around her hazel eyes. “I heard someone say that the Chardonnay was pretty decent. Personally, I’m officially steering clear of the whites after that little misadventure. I’m generally more partial to reds, anyway. There’s a Pinot Noir on here that I thought sounded good.” She looked at the printed sheet that she held. “It says here that the striking palate exudes flavors of cherry, cranberry, cola and cinnamon supported by nice acidity and firm tannins. What do you think? Sound like something you’d like?”
Sarah barely heard the description of the wine, finding herself intrigued by the woman’s confident smile, as well as her eyes. “Probably,” she replied. “But then again, don’t they write these to deliberately make the wines sound good? I mean, I rather doubt that the notes for the Sauvignon Blanc say anything about burnt rubber.”
That garnered a laugh in response. “No, they don’t. I guess that’s why they didn’t ask me to write the tasting notes. I’d probably be too honest.” The woman shifted the glass she held to her left hand, extending her right. “I’m Kelsey Howton, by the way. Sixth grade math teacher and wine snob.”
Sarah smiled at the introduction. “Sarah Canfield. Juvenile law attorney and fellow wine snob. It’s nice to meet you.”
“Since we seem to have something in common,” Kelsey said as they shook hands, “What do you say we try that Pinot Noir and see how accurate their notes are?”
Sarah agreed, laughing as they made their way to the tasting counter. “I get the feeling you could write something better.”
They sampled the Pinot Noir and found it more to their liking, and spent the rest of the evening together, comparing notes on the other wines, even concluding that one tasted like lighter fluid. Sarah hadn’t enjoyed an evening quite so much since back in law school when she dragged Jordan along to a tasting of local Texas wines.
It was a few days later when Kelsey phoned Sarah at her office. “How’d you find my number?” She hadn’t given it, though the thought had crossed her mind on more than one occasion.
“Didn’t I mention I was also a detective?”
“No.” Sarah’s lips curled in a smile. “You wear many hats.”
“Not really,” Kelsey demurred. “I’m just resourceful. I looked you up in the local Bar directory. I hope you don’t mind?”
“Not at all.”
“I really enjoyed talking to you the other night.”
“I enjoyed it so much I was wondering if you’d like to have dinner with me.” An uncertain pause followed, but before Sarah could reply, Kelsey continued, “And if I’m reading things wrong, I apologize for making the biggest mistake of my life.”
Sarah found her apparent nervousness charming. The other night at the wine tasting, Kelsey exuded such an air of confidence it was hard not to be attracted to her. Now she revealed a side of herself that was less sure. Sarah found herself wanting to get to know both sides of this woman a little better. “No mistake. Dinner would be lovely.”
There was an audible exhale on the other end of the line. “Whew. I was so afraid my radar might be busted.”
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