| Teasing the Palate  ​|

BOOK 1:  of the Dirty Wine Series

"Maybe I read you wrong, but you seem like a woman who indulges in red. Full bodied, earthy, red, rich with a subtle fruit undertone."

| [DRAFT SAMPLE:  Rated "M" for Mature] |


Theresa Whitley stops at a local winery before the weekend’s shenanigans ensue. There she finds something more intoxicating than crates filled with fermented grapes.


Reid Taylor is captivated by the complex workings of wine until the beautiful woman graces the timber walls of his winery with her golden skin and enchanting brown eyes.


A mutual infatuation with wine turns into a steamy rendezvous in the wine cellar. Soon after, they realize they’ve only just teased their palate.


|1| Taste Test |

Theresa turned off the state road when she saw an arrow for the winery. In her haste to leave, she forgot to pick-up wine, her only task for the girls’ holiday weekend. She’d been preoccupied with work and her parents coming to town in a couple weeks she simply forgot. Playing hostess was always a feat that she loathed. Her father always thought he was a king when he visited no matter how much Theresa stressed she had work and life to tend to while he was using up all her hot water and eating all her food.

Theresa smiled when a beautiful two story cabin came into view peeking behind the canopies of the full trees. The whole ‘Christmas in July’ thing was a compromise her friends made so they could spend the holidays with their families and have girl time too. She was one of the last single women left in their group of friends and they never let her forget about that fact while at the same time using her to escape the beautiful confines of their lives, relationships, and parental duties.

Theresa was no fool though. She knew this particular trip was just a ruse by Gina to get Theresa and Lani talking again. It’d been over a year since they stopped talking to each other all because of some stupid guy. A stupid guy, a vast misunderstanding and refusing to talk, created this gaping void that neither woman was willing to span. Lani was another single in their group, desperate to find Mr. Right. So much so, she was blind to her prospective men’s many faults. Lani was her favorite friend for a long time, the last few years; however, ever since her first marriage fell apart, they’d grown distant.

Theresa parked her car taking in the elegant wooden sign that announced she’d arrived at her destination. The cabin that Gina rented wasn’t too far from the winery that Theresa found on her map app. She was relieved she’d be able to snag the loot and be less late than she was already planning to be. She’d been ignoring the calls and texts since she left the city. She knew her friends were just being nags.

She walked into the winery taking a deep breath of the woody smell of crates. Displays of wine on wood slatted shelves, and cards next to groups of bottled wines explaining their origin and the process to make them littered the space in a classy ornate fashion. The place was charming and sophisticated. Certainly not what she was expecting for a backwoods establishment. A hidden gem for sure.

Her insides jumped around and spread a pleasant heat through her body when she laid eyes on a rather handsome, well built man in a plaid shirt and fine fitting blue jeans. He was talking to a pretty older woman with bright blue eyes.

She didn’t have to ask, she knew the handsome man was the boss. The older woman took the bottle the man put in an elegant black box with gold writing scrawled across the front. The woman was talking passionately about something that Theresa couldn’t make out.

Theresa didn’t realize she’d been walking toward the pair until their conversation came into ear shot.

“My son will love this. He’s a wine snob you see.”

“It’s a nice French Merlot genuine to the Bordeaux region.” The handsome man said with a nod.

“Yes, you have a vineyard there don’t you?”

The man nodded and looked up at Theresa. “Good evening Miss. I will be right with you.”

Theresa nodded annoyed that words weren’t coming to her when they usually did with ease.

He strolled around the counter and walked the old woman to the door with light conversation that Theresa wasn’t interested in committing to memory. She touched the cursive outlined letters on the chocolates displayed near the register.

“I’m sorry to say you just missed the testing.”

“Um, I’m not here for the tasting.” Though she wouldn’t mind tasting him. She closed her eyes for a moment to get her thoughts under control when he took his place behind the counter. “I’m looking to purchase a few bottles of wine.” When she opened her eyes, she tried not to stare at mossy green eyes set in a heart shaped face, wide full lips and a dimpled chin.

“Do you know what you’re looking for?”

She snapped her gaze from his eyes. “Uh,” Well she knew the kind that she liked, but the girls were sweet wine-o’s unlike Theresa who liked bitter, red, earthy wines. “Sweet white.”

The corner of his mouth pulled up. “Dessert wine?”

“Mmmm maybe crisper and more acidic than a dessert wine.”

He nodded and made his way from around the counter. “It’s getting dark. Easy to get lost around these parts.”

“I’m not going too far.” She followed him through the space trying to keep her eyes on his brown hair and not go any lower.

“Really? Where to, if you don’t mind me asking.” He perused the white wines.

“I couldn’t tell you, it’s in my GPS. A cabin maybe ten or so miles away.”

“Oh, yeah sure. Alright, here we are.” He picked up the bottle of wine and turned it until the label faced up. “Now, of course you can always go with a moscato or a riesling, but if you want a nice crisp, fruit forward wine with hints of a flowery aroma, more tart to a subdued hint of sweet. Then I’d recommend the Sauvignon Blanc.”

She wasn’t a white wine drinker, but he made it sound amazing. “Well, how could I say no to that description.” She presented a wide smile captured by his earthy green eyes.

“Well, these wines won’t sell themselves.”

She smiled looking toward the ground for a moment because staring was rude, right? If staring was rude then what was flirting? “I’ll take… uh… how many come in a crate?”

He raised an eyebrow his eyes dancing with mischief. “Party or just a long week?”

She laughed. “Maybe a bit of both. Girls’ weekend and a long one I dare say.”

“Well in that case I will give you a good deal. Four hundred for a case and I’ll throw in one of my nice red’s on the house.”

“Reds?” Her mouth started to water. She was the first to admit she had a problem.

He picked up a case of the white wine and set it on the counter.

“Maybe I read you wrong, but you seem like a woman who indulges in red. Full bodied, earthy, red, rich with a subtle fruit undertone.”

She swallowed. “Guilty.” Theresa knew that he was talking about wine, at least she thought she knew he was talking about wine, but his eyes were tracing the curves of her face, his body language, and the glint in his eyes were telling her something else.

He checked his watch. “Perfect timing.” He whispered seeming more to himself. “I’ve been wanting to open this lot for a while.” He said making his way to the door. He flipped the sign to read closed. “If you don’t mind joining me.” He locked the door.

She frowned. “Uh, you’re not some crazy killer, right?”

His eyebrows lifted in amusement. “If I was, you’re already in big trouble don’t you think?” He laughed at her startled expression. “I know, not funny at all.” He unlocked the door and opened it. “You are free to leave if you wish; otherwise, I think I have a wine that you will fall deep in love with. If you’re willing to venture into the cellar with a shifty character like myself.” His charming smile made her knees weak with want and not for wine.    

She shrugged trying to mask her lust. “I’m a girl who loves a good intrigue.”

His handsome face broke out into a catching smile exposing a nice set of white teeth. “Good choice.” He mused closing and locking the door. “Follow me.” He made his way behind the counter, pulled a hatch in the floorboards revealing a set of wooden stairs. He clicked a light switch illuminating the path down. She might be crazy as hell for being this adventurous, but what was life if you didn’t live it?

She made her way behind the counter and followed him down into the cellar.

“Watch your head this part is quite low, but it opens up further down.”

She giggled when she could stand straight in the small space. “One of those issues us short people don’t have.”

He smiled back at her bent over for a few more feet before he stood to his full height. “That was apart of the original construction. This natural cave made way for this part.

Her mouth fell open in awe when the splendor of the cave illuminated by the lighting fell into her view. Crystals glistened in the craggy stone walls giving the dank space an ethereal quality. “Well, this is gorgeous.”

There was a solid stone wall on her left that housed wine stacked in wooden crates. The tops of the bottles faced toward the walkway in diamond patterned displays. On the right there was a metal railing that protected anyone from tumbling over the edge to what sounded like an underground river below. The water below had a soft blue glow to it.

“Is the water glowing?”

He paused in front of a wine display. “Uh, yes.” He pulled out a bottle turning the bottle so the label faced him. “It’s a, uh, type of fish that lives in the cave that has bioluminescence I think it’s called.” He smiled finding her face. “Now,” He began capturing her full attention. “You have your Pinot Noir, your cabernet, but this,” He held the bottle so the label faced her.


“Mmmm.” His eyes closed, lips turned up in satisfaction. She imagined the face might be similar to one he would make if her hand grazed down the front of his pants, or if her lips- “From Argentina.” He continued. “A rich symphony of blackberry, plum, and black cherry. This particular batch had a long enough oak aging, to feature a sweet tobacco finish.”

She curled her nose up.

“Do not be dis-swayed by the bastardized reputation of tobacco. Come.” He took her hand and led her deeper into the cave to an alcove set up with an elegant glass and metal table. He retrieved two glasses from a lit display full top to bottom with wine glasses.

“Where you host your wine tastings?”

“Only for special guests, investors, corporate sponsors, big money. It has a mood to it don’t you think?”

She smiled up as his amused face. His facial hair was creating that irresistible evening time shadow accentuating the angles on his cheekbones. The lights caught golden highlights in is dark brown hair. He placed the glasses on the table and retrieved a corkscrew from his pocket.

“I just got several cases of this wine in after ordering from a winery I ran into while traveling in Argentina. I believe I left part of my heart there.” He poured them both a splash. “I’m dying to see if it still tastes as good as I remember.” He smelled it. “We’ll want to let it breath. Come, I want to show you another bottle I’m quite excited about.”

As bizarre as it all seemed she felt like, and he treated her like, they’d known each other for ages. She wondered if this was how he made everyone feel with his light breezy charm and tamed good looks. He walked her over to another display. One bottle was pulled from the others in an alcove of its own with lights highlighting it. She knew this bottle, too well perhaps.

“Saladini Pilastri Rosso Piceno.”

He smirked. “You know it. And you pronounced it correctly. I’m impressed.”

She presented a charming smile of her own. “Red Blend of Montepulciano and Sangiovese and mellowed in oak barrels. I serve it with my roast at thanksgiving.”

His eyes lit up with amusement. “A woman that has some skill in the kitchen?”

She met his eyes from the corner of hers. “My father wouldn’t have it any other way. Him and all girls, he had to teach us everything he learned from his grandmother.” She traced the writing on the bottle. Even after her stepmother came into their lives, a woman that she thought of as her own mother, her father insisted they maintain their skills in the kitchen.

“That’s extremely attractive.”

She raised an eyebrow and met him face on. Someone was getting bold. She found the corner of his wide set full lips pulled up in amusement. Like a moth to a flame that was desperate to scorch him, he closed the space between them slipping his hand around her waist pulling himself flush to her body.

She placed her fingers on his chest more for stability than anything. She battled the storm waging in her middle, looked up at him from under her lashes then her gaze drifted to his mouth and  his lips parted. He tipped her chin up and descended on her pressing their mouths together gently. Painfully soft. It made no sense why her body erupted in all consuming flames.

There weren’t many things that Reid Taylor’s father nurtured in him. One thing that the man said would make his son a boat load of money, was Reid’s ability to read people. He was a shy boy and his father hated that. He insisted that Reid had to speak up or he’d always be the last one, the lesser man. The thing was, there were few things that captured his attention long enough to make him want to talk about them; then, he met wine.

He could talk about wine all day long which is what he did for a living. Combine that will the gift of reading people and prosperity was not something he was struggling with. He was a busy body, got that from his mother, with her pie baking and gardening, and sowing and whatever else the woman filled her days with. While she worked, she’d chatter with him, mostly small talk, or whatever was going on in her head. That’s where he learned a valuable skill. He learned how to appear outgoing even though his instinctive behavior was to turn inward.   

His father, later on in life, told him that he talked too much when he was nervous especially around women that he found attractive. He hated the man’s powers of observation, his coarse lack of empathy, and the dirt he refused to clean from under his nails.

When the pretty brown skinned woman walked into his winery, he quite enjoyed reading her. She wasn’t expecting his winery to be as “swanky” as it was, and she wasn’t expecting him. He could tell by the way her pretty cocoa brown eyes danced when she saw him that she thought him attractive. Her uninterested discussion about which white wine to pursue told him that she wasn’t a white wine consumer which made him warm and giddy inside. Because he reveled in a rich, red wine. It was easy to observe her under the guise of Mrs. Wigfree’s blabbing about her son, again, for the thousandth time. He didn’t mind the level of comfort the older woman provided. Enough for the dark beauty to venture into his haven.

He loved the winery he built near five years ago. He was proud of it even more when he saw her enjoyment of the space as well.

And then, in that moment, talking about one of his favorite wines: Saladini Pilastri Rosso Piceno in the familiar, almost intimate way that she did was the final piece of the puzzle that he needed to justify what came next.

He closed the space between them slipping his hand around her waist, pulling her soft curves flush to him.

When her fingers splayed across his chest his penis swelled under the heavy fabric of his jeans. She looked up at him from behind her lashes the lighting catching the rich brown in her eyes making them look like melted chocolate. Her attention drifted to his mouth and her lips parted. He tipped her chin up and descended on her pressing their mouths together.

He knew in that moment he messed up. There was no going back after feeling her sweet full lips on his, inhaling her intoxicating perfume blended with her body wash, deodorant and her own body fragrance. It was heady and sweet, irresistible. She moaned and her weight leaned into him making him feel sexy to bring such a woman to weakness. He laughed at his own absurd thought, but there was something primitive something animalistic about such a reaction. Her using him, his body, for stability. He deepened the kiss pulling her up into his arms. She wrapped her legs around his middle allowing him to hold her up by her round lush ass.

Her tongue grazed along his bottom lip. He angled his open mouth over hers allowing their tongues to stroke each other.

He set her on the table, positioned between her legs and reluctantly created space between their faces.

He retrieved one glass of wine and held it near her mouth.

She placed her lips on the rim of the glass and he tipped it back until she sipped some of the wine. She closed her eyes for a moment allowing the wine to play with her taste buds before her neck transported it to her stomach. The corner of her lips pulled up in satisfaction before she opened heavy lidded eyes. “That’s perfection.”

He set the glass down and clasped the nape of her neck pulling her mouth to his. He moaned when her taste mingled with the wine and danced in his mouth. He slid his hand up her silky dress top and cupped her breast in a soft satin bra. He rubbed over her hard nipple concealed under the cloth, straining to be free. He pulled the top over her head her long straightened hair  fell around her golden shoulders. She shivered. He barely noticed the chilly cavern air. She unbuttoned his shirt and pushed it over his shoulders. Then pulled his t-shirt over his head and tossed it on the floor revealing his bare chest.

She bit her lower lip. Her gaze raked his body. He needed her bare, ass out right then. He couldn’t take her heated gaze any longer without touching her. Her soft buttery skin slipped under his fingers like fine silk. His hand slid around her waist and he pulled her closer to the edge of the table by her lower back. He unbuckled her pants and she shimmied out of them leaving a pool of cloth on the floor.

He kissed her waiting lips, her chin, down the column of her neck. He gently pushed her to lay on the table as he kissed his way down her body. She arched into his lips sending chills ricocheting along his spine.

She was so incredibly soft it had to be a sin. He pulled her panties off  on his descent swallowing the saliva that developed in his hungry mouth when her scent hit his olfactory nerve. The light musky smell that assaulted his senses now that he was a breath away from her sex reminded him of his favorite wine: deep, sultry, earthy, an addictive collaboration of flavors he had no intention of denying.

He curled his arms around her thighs resting his elbows on the glass surface while she tangled her fingers in his hair. He first placed a single kiss to her lower lips and a strangled gasp fell from her open mouth. She flexed her hips toward him forcing a smile to tweak the corner of his mouth. He ran his tongue between her pussy lips and she moaned. He flicked her clit with his tongue in langued purposeful strokes then traced the length of her vagina with two fingers before sliding them inside her slippery passage.

He gasped at how wet she was, juicy, slippery, his cock throbbed.

He focused on his mouth and tongue and fingers flicking, and suckling and milking this beautiful woman. With every moan and whimper that made it to his ears, he worked more diligently determined to hear and feel her rapture.

Her fingers gripped a hand full of hair the pain like liquid gold, because he knew she wasn’t too far from completion. Not too far at all. He picked up the pace on the trilogy of stimulation.

So close her could-

Her husky, strained cry echoed through the cave bouncing off the rocky surfaces. Her breath was labored and a light sheen of sweat had developed on the surface of her skin.

He retrieved a condom from his wallet in the back pocket of his jeans before stripping them and his underwear off.

He pulled her to sitting on the edge of the table claiming her mouth. She wrapped her shaking arms around his neck and he secured her to him by grabbing her buttoxes.

She lavished his mouth with sweet deep unadulterated kisses as if they were lovers who’d not seen the other in an age. Such tender passion was devastating he wasn’t sure what to make of it. What he did know was that he could kiss her like that forever.

She pulled away from him, stared deep into his eyes, then kissed him soundly on the lips again before she spoke. “I want to feel you.”

His cock didn’t need any more coaxing. He moved her just on the edge of the table her legs spread for him to slide between her dripping lower lips.

He moaned squeezing her ass. “Why are you so wet?” He whispered when his cock was completely submerged in her oasis.

“The same reason why you’re so hard.” She pressed their foreheads together while he collected his mind. “Now, take me.” She demanded.

He looked up to meet mischievous, almost devious, melted brown eyes. The corner of his mouth tilted up having no desire to deny this beauty what she craved as much as he.

He pulled out and thrust into her. She dug her fingers into his shoulder holding on tight as he pick her up off the table. Holding her stationary he pistoned inside of her  falling prey to the call murmuring in the back of his mind, that wild primitive call from some ancient ancestral time when things were simple.

Survive and procreate.

Sometime he wished things were that simple, but he also loved that they weren’t.

He slowed his strokes mostly because he wanted to last longer, wanted to feel the tight walls of her pussy collapse around him, grip him like a glove when she reach that precipice, again. He found he quite enjoyed watching her come apart with him as the reason why. “Come for me.” He kissed her mouth still pounding his cock into her. She moaned into his lips, her limbs clinged to him, tightened shaking. Her head fell back breaking their kiss and her sex throbbed around him. He grumbled the sensation of her orgasm  set his off in long languid powerful pulses.

He took in a deep breath and let it go setting her back on the edge of the table. She was still holding him and he wasn’t about to let her go.

After a moment, she unlaced her arms from around his neck and pulled away his cue to remove himself. He stayed between her legs; however, rather liking the heat that flowed from her body. She reached across the table for the glass of wine and took a long sip draining the sample pour. A pleasant smile pulled up the corner of her mouth. “Like I said, tastes just perfect.”

The corner of his mouth pulled up when he met her deep brown eyes and held them. “You taste better.”


|2| Earthy Wine Kisses |