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Clyde made himself useful and poured the wine all around.
“Hmmm — good stuff,” Erik licked his lips. “Did you make this?”
Clyde nodded. “Cab franc, I love it. My favorite varietal. And not bitchy like Pinot.”
“So Pinot’s bitchy, huh?” Beatrice looked at her glass and then at Clyde. “I suppose all the grapes have personalities…”
“Absolutely,” said Clyde, holding the glass in front of him so it caught the light from the fireplace. It glowed a deep, inviting garnet. “Cab franc is like a woman with a big, plushy ass who lies around and eats chocolate bonbons all day.”
Beatrice laughed and shifted subtly on the sofa; Mae noticed her ass was now peeping out from under the blanket – just slightly but enough so Mae knew: She thinks she’s got booty. And she did. Beatrice certainly filled out her skinny jeans in the just right way. Maybe it was true what they said about black girl butt…
“Alright baby! I can totally be cab franc.” Beatrice looked at Hella. “What about her? What wine is she?”
Clyde surveyed Hella. The flames burnished her hair. She was sitting so close to the fireplace, Clyde could see the thin sheen of sweat on her freckled face and the flush in the V of her t-shirt. He paused for a minute.
What wine was she?Creamy like Chardonnay? Involuntarily, he sucked in his breath. Best not to think about that. But then again… he pictured her green somehow – grassy, with a slight tang. Albarino? Tawny Port? For a split second he envisioned the tight bud between her legs like a young acorn – nutty.
“Well…?” Beatrice’s insistence broke his reverie.
“Ahh.. yeah… Hella…” Clyde cocked his head. “Viognier, maybe?”
“Viognier?” Hella didn’t seem to know it.
“Yeah, Viognier…” Clyde caught himself and his voice regained authority. “Floral white, but also herbacious. It tastes like a lawn covered in clover.”
Hella lay back. He could see she was picturing it.
“Bees like it,” he added, as if that somehow made it a more acceptable.
Hella smiled. “And I like bees.” He knew it was true the minute she said it. She was the kind of woman who’d approach all that sweetness unafraid, calming as smoke. Clyde could practically hear the humming.
“You know, ” he began. “When I just got out of college. Cal State Fresno – the fucking armpit of California but my grades sucked. I had no fucking clue. All I had was a frigging FFA diploma. We’d been to Fresno for some state conference so I picked the only place I knew that was far away from my parents and easy to get into.”
He continued, settling back into the cushions on the carpet. “But they had a good wine program. I can’t even tell you how I ended up in enology but – once I started – I fucking loved it. I’d always had what my dad called ‘a smart mouth.’ He didn’t mean it as compliment but now it really was. My mouth was smart. Smart about wine. I had a good palette and I loved tinkering in the lab – blending. That was my thing. I made all sorts of shit. Some really amazingly bad beer.” Clyde chuckled. So did Erik. Maybe it was guy college thing, Mae thought.
“Also some shitty wine. But then – finally – some drinkable stuff as well.
After I graduated, I thought I was hot shit. I was going to go out there and
conquer Wine World. Robert Parker was going to kiss my ass!”
The women laughed as Clyde shifted and patted his own behind. Beatrice made a kissing sound.
“Well,” Clyde sighed. “That was before it hit me that I had no connections. No family with a shit ton of acres in Sonoma. No name anyone recognized. I was just some dickhead kid from Fresno. Not even Davis. “
Looking at him not, the blond bearded, easy going epitome of NorCal wine country living, Mae tried to imagine him then – awkward, hungry, unsure.
What a decade can do….
“I tried to get a winemaking job but I’d started too late. I guess I could have gone into production, a lab somewhere, but instead I applied for a job in a tasting room. This was back in 90s.”
Mae scrutinized the handsome face, half lit by the fire – he must be older than she thought.
Clyde was warming to his topic. “Yeah, so it was a pretty small tasting room —”
Viviane, who had been quietly nursing her glass of wine tucked in the corner of one of the large couches, interrupted, “Named?”
As was rewarded with a smirk. “that shall remain nameless.” He ducked just in time to avoid the pillow Hella launched at him. “Hey – discretion is the better part of valor.”
“Ohhh,” Viviane purred. “It’s going to be that kind güvenilir canlı bahis siteleri of story!”
“Yes, m’am. It certainly is.” Clyde poured himself some more wine. Erik held his glass up and Clyde filled that, too. Mae got up and headed to the kitchen.
“Hey, where are you going? You want to hear this!” he announced.
“Just getting some more cheese…” they heard. “Go ahead. I’m listening…”
And so began Clyde’s tale.
You have to remember – back then Healdsburg was nowhere-ville.Just a sleepy little town.Westside Rd is still just two lanes.Nothing but vines and a barn or two.Maybe some guys growing a little weed.I had this beat up old jeep I was always fixing something on.Literally NO money.
The smirk was back as Clyde looked into his glass.
And what money I did have I spent on this.
He swished the wine around gently and Mae caught herself thinking – I wish he’d look at me like that.
Or weed.He laughed again. There was a general nod. Didn’t we all?
“Don’t look at me!” Viviane grunted. “I spent all my money on purses.”
“Of course you did,” Erik murmured as she elbowed him to make more room for her legs on the sofa.
So the tasting room was no great shakes. Just a small house, really.Sheila, that was the tasting room manager, had put a bar in where the living room would have been.There was a little kitchen right behind it where we ran the crappy dishwasher.There was a little bedroom, too, we used for storage.
Usually it only two of us – Sheila and me but sometimes Josh helped out.He was the vineyard manager – most of the time he was out back in the vines but if it got busy, Sheila would go get him and make get behind the bar.
God knows why she hired me.I thought I knew a lot about wine – making it at least – but I didn’t know shit about selling it.
Clyde ran his hand through his thick blond hair like he was trying to rub the realization back into his head.
Fuck. I thought it was obvious.He held up his glass in front of the little group of listeners. It’s good stuff. Just drink it!
“Works for me,” Erik said, reaching for Viviane’s glass when he noticed his was already empty.
And that worked.Kinda.Couples would come in and they didn’t give a shit about the wine.They just wanted to be with each other.That’s ok. They’d just buy the cheapest bottle and go outside to the picnic table and drink.
Mae could tell he said it with fondness now, the memory of that easy summer warming him, bleeding into this strange spring.
Then there were the cougars.
Beatrice and Hella caught each other’s eyes from across the room and – in perfect synch – growled.
Oh the cougars. Man, there wasn’t even a word for that back then.
He chuckled in disbelief.
Yeah, these women in their fifties.Sheila knew just how to sell to them.
It was uncanny.
He said it with real respect, thought Mae, as if he were still figuring it out.
Most of the time, when she was pouring, I’d be busy – taking racks of glasses to back, filling shipping orders, loading the truck to take the weekly order to Big John’s Market in town, the only place we sold wine outside the winery.But this one day…
The room was warm now, the fire just right. The wine had taken effect and the group looked lazy to Mae, like a pride, the women more alert but still relaxed, the two men luxuriating, diagonally across from one another, bookending the group.
So it’s August.And hotter than all get-out.I mean, we were dying.We didn’t have air-conditioning, just this rinky-dink little fan.Sheila was wearing this thin white blouse.
He looked into the fire, as if the dancing flames could conjure this woman after all these years. As if that heat he felt were hers.
I mean – now I know that’s fucking stupid.Nobody wears white in the tasting room.It’s like asking for disaster.But Sheila wasn’t the kind of woman who worried about shit like that.
He turned and stopped. It was clear he wasn’t certain he could make her clear to them and equally clear he needed to.
I think I had never really looked at her before.I mean – I must have.She was a hot woman and I was 23.So basically horny all the time.
Mae heard a guffaw from the sofa as Viviane patted Eric’s crotch.
But she was older.Like maybe 50.Great thick hair – like a horse’s mane. Chestnut, with a little gray.She was curvy, a little softer maybe than she might have been once, but in a good way. Nice cushy breasts.Great ass.Solid. I watched her that day and I noticed how sure of herself she was.How güvenilir illegal bahis siteleri quickly she cleared the bar.So there she was, rubbing the back of her neck with an ice cube.
And damn. Clyde sucked in his breath. If that didn’t give me the biggest fucking hard on ever!Just watching that ice cube melting into the little hairs on the back of her neck, dripping into the back of that white blouse.Just then she turned and caught me staring.I mean I was gawping.Mouth open like the stupid mouth breather I was.I just shuffling bar rags or something – like she hadn’t seen me. But out of the corner of my eye, I saw her smiling.
So in comes this group of 3 women.About Sheila’s age. Maybe they were locals.I don’t know.Nicely dressed.Classy.Sheila greets them, asks if they want a tasting.Of course, they do, so she lines up the glasses for them.
Wouldn’t you know it – they want Chardonnay.Clyde shuddered a bit.
Just chardonnay.Luckily, we had two of them. And a fume blanc.So enough whites.
Sheila reaches down under the bar into the little fridge where we kept the whites and I swear she bends over just so her blouse gaps a little bit and I can see the tops of her breasts.
Clyde put his hands out in front of him as if he had those luscious globes in his grasp.
Oh my god, and they’re so creamy.I wanted to kneel down and lick them like a fucking ice cream cone and I’m literally salivating. Fuck I’m practically drooling. When she says:
Ladies, this is Clyde.He’s still learning the business.
Now these women start sizing me up. Which is like the last thing I want them to do because by now I am painfully aware of my stupid hard-on.So I mutter something like “Hi welcome to blah blah Winery.Enjoy your tasting”.Sheila takes one look at my crotch, smirks and turns back to the ladies.She’s got a bottle of sparking in her hand.I watch as she defoils it and wraps her hand around the cork, slowly, like we’re supposed to.So it doesn’t make any noise when it pops.Well, she’s got her hand over the top of it and I can tell she’s got strong hands from the way she’s twisting it.
And I swear —
Clyde swallows and reaches for his now empty wine glass which he puts to his lips anyway – before he realizes.
Sheila, she’s looking right at me as she’s twisting this bastard cork just right so it fucking *sighs* when it finally come loose and next thing I know she’s filling the flutes for these ladies right as rain.As if she didn’t just jerk me off in her mind.
Next thing I hear is her voice.
“…typical yeasty aroma.And that gorgeous, delicious head…”
Clyde is rocking back and forth slightly. Maybe he doesn’t even know he is.
And while she’s saying it, she’s pouring enough so the foam is slopping over the side of the flute.Quick as a wink, she’s got a bar rag and she’s wiping it but – as she does –
There’s a moment of disbelief in his voice as he continues.
I swear …
He swears a lot, Mae thought, somewhere between charmed and irritated.
I swear she fucking licks her fingers.
Someone whistles low. It could have been Eric but it could also have been Hella. Whoever it was, Mae sympathized.
In that moment, she pushes the dirty flutes towards me and says –
“Clyde, honey, can you clean that up for me?”
Yes, M’am!! I’m thinking, I can SO do that.I grab those flutes so fucking fast I manage to drop one. It shatters on the concrete.Sheila doesn’t miss a beat – just keeps chatting up the women as I go to the kitchen to get the broom and the dust pan.
When I get back, she’s moved on to the chardonnay.
“This is our Cedar Ridge Chardonnay…”. Sheila pours three samples.”Now, ladies, this is how you have to picture this chard…”. She’s positively purring as she says it.”This Chardonnay is like Malibu Ken.It’s SMOOOOTH.Like beach boy smooth.”She smiles and the women smile back.They know EXACTLY what she’s talking about.
“Yeah, well, Malibu Ken, you know,” Sheila winks, “Well – he’s not – ugh –
*anatomically correct* but, hey, he’s super smooth and he can harmonize with just about any food.”The women laugh and one of them sticks out her tongue.It’s lewd but it’s like I’m fucking nailed to the floor with that stupid dust pan in my hand.
“Clyde, honey?” Sheila purrs in my direction and I skedaddle back to the kitchen. Where I slap myself in the head.Get it together, asshole. What is wrong with you, I tell myself.From the kitchen, I hear her say:
“Oh yeah, honey, he is all that! And then some.”I can’t help wondering güvenilir bahis şirketleri if it’s the chard she’s talking about. Or me.
I get back out there and it feels like these women are looking at me and fuck if I know what to do.I can tell Sheila likes my discomfort so I decide – fuck it, I’m just going stick it out. She can suck my dick.
Which is, of course, just what I want her to do.So that doesn’t help. At all.
Finally, she moves them on to the fume blanc and I relax a little.There’s like nothing sexy about fume blanc.
Or so I thought.
There’s Sheila, talking about fume like it’s some fucking rent boy on some tropical island.
“And then he says, oh lady…!”
Of course they’ve all been to Thailand.I hear ‘lava lava’ and some shit about Jack Lord.(Now it would be Jason Momoa, Mae thinks to herself.)
Oh my god, what the fuck is she doing?
“Well, some people think it tastes like kiwi but I think it tastes like…”
Fuck, I can’t even listen anymore.I am fucking going out to the public restroom, which is – thankfully – outside and I am going to lay hands on myself.
Mae can’t help but giggle. And – quickly – she realizes she’s not the only one. Lay hands on yourself…. ha!
Clyde looks at his listeners. He’s prepared to chide them.
You wouldn’t?!You so fucking would have. He looks directly at Eric.
You so fucking would have.He repeats himself.
So I’m out there in the restroom, my dick in my hand, and I can’t fucking do it.I’m hard as a fucking post and I can’t fucking do it.I even spit in my hand.I am so desperate.And I’m over there, jerking and jerking and hoping – God please let me cum – and for some unknown reason, I just can’t fucking do it. I end up going back to the tasting room and I’m still a fucking pole and there is nothing I can fucking do about it.
Eric groans. The women are silent.
So I go back. God. help me.And there she is. The ladies have, thank god, finished their tasting and are in the process of choosing their selections.’Clyde can you box that up for me? Thanks, honey.’ Oh my god.Take your wine and get. the. fuck. out.But, hey, I know they’re paying me so ok – I put the wines (Chardonnay – yeah, baby) in the box and hand them over the bar – yes, thank you, m’am please visit us again – and finally — they are gone.
It’s just Sheila and me.
She’s cleaning up the bar like it’s a normal day.And it is. Except it isn’t. I know it and she must know it, too.But still… it’s 4:30 and we’re closed. Thank. fucking. God.
We do everything we’re supposed to do.I’ve been hard for what feels like 4 fucking hours. Maybe it really has been 4 hours.Who even knows.I don’t care at this point.
The way Clyde says it now makes Mae wonder if he doesn’t feel like that right now. No matter what Ian Verasso said they should do.
We do the dishes.We run the register. Or she does. I’m low man on the totem pole so I basically do whatever she tells me.It was a decent day.
We’re almost done and then I ask her.
“How do you do that?”
“Do what?”We’re off the clock and Sheila has poured herself a glass of wine.Merlot.I notice.
Merlot? Merlot is the sexy wine? Mae makes a mental note?
Do what? She asks, swirling her wine.
Make all the wines sound sexy, I say.
Because they are, she says.She’s not playing to the audience.I can tell.
As she says this, Sheila hoists herself onto the bar.She crosses her leg playfully but I am painfully aware that she’s wearing a skirt.
The women listening twitch. Mae notices and she knows she’s not exempt.
“Baby, it’s all in what you say…”
The legs uncross.Just a bit but it’s enough.
Sheila swirls her merlot.
“Look at merlot,” she says.I take the bottle and pour myself some.Merlot, I think, nothing special.
“Look at merlot,” she repeats. For emphasis?I’m young and stupid and I have no fucking clue. So I just keep listening, trying hard not to touch myself.
Another guffaw from somewhere in the room.
“Merlot is like that gawky guy in high school. No one looked at him.”
She looked right at me.Like I was that guy.
Mae looks at Clyde and wonders if he’s blushing. It’s too dark and too warm so she won’t know for sure.
“But ten years later,” she stroking the bottle, “he’s back and he’s totally hot.”
I don’t know what to say.Am I merlot?I fucking don’t know if I’m geeky or ten years on hot.AllI I want is her to tell me what wine I am and drink me.
Sheila’s looking at me while she sits on the bar, slowing opening her legs just a bit.
Whatever the question is, it’s ok by me.The answer is YES.Just ask. Please just ask.
Slowly, she shifts and I can see her panties under her skirt. There – on the bar. Our bar.
‘Honey, at some point, you have to trust your own judgment.”
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