“What do you mean it’s green?” Josh eyed the bottle of wine sitting on his desk. He glanced up and watched Anthony open another case of wine shipped from their newest acquisition, a vineyard in Ireland.
Anthony pulled out several more bottles, placing them on the desk in front of Josh. Josh pulled a bottle to him. “How the hell do you propose to sell this stuff to a pack of meat eating animals? Shifters got some couth, not much, but some.”
Anthony’s quick shake of his head said he wasn’t sure either how they’d get the twenty plus bottles sold before more showed up.
“I ordered based on prior vintages. Sally said Riesling went well with fish and other poultry. I enjoyed the bottle she and her husband brought back with them from their trip. How was I supposed to know that shifters don’t know squat about bottling booze!” Anthony’s exasperated sigh and tone told Josh he wasn’t any happier than him on what appeared to be piss poor drinking stuff as Granddad use to say.
A knock sounded on the office door, interrupting any further discussion. Sally opened the door and peered in. “I see you got the shipment. How is it?”
She moved into the office. Josh knew she wanted to know more. She’d recommended keeping the old staff on and intermingling shifters amongst them. An odd Irish law prohibited animals and humans working together in the production of spirits. Since shifters morphed once a month, the law messed things up.
“I don’t know,” Anthony offered. “Josh finds the color worth commentary. As to the contents of same, can’t say as we just opened the cases.”
Sally’s sheepish grin and shrugged did little to sooth Josh’s ever growing angst. Guess they could only do one thing. Open one of the blasted bottles and drink the vile looking stuff.
Josh grimaced as he reached for the opener he kept in the office. He hated eating vegetables as a kid. The matron of the orphanage where he spent most of his youth insisted all plates had to be clean before any child left the table. That included eating nasty tasting green things like peas, green beans, and spinach. What kid liked broccoli? Even that smelled like stinky gym socks no matter how much cheese sauce cook ladled on the stuff.
Thank Gods and Goddesses, Granddad had claimed him. Meat and plenty of it graced the elder’s table. The only green there was an occasional salad his grandmother insisted on including. Dressing hid enough of its flavor, so eating it wasn’t too awful.
“Hand me a couple of glasses,” Josh groaned as he worked the seal off the bottle closest to him. He wound the corkscrew into the cork praying the contents didn’t pour forth some detestable odor as he pried the cork loose.
Anthony placed three glasses mid desk. “Sally, you get to taste too. You’ve got to sell the stuff.”
Josh caught Sally’s nod as he popped the cork out. Holding his breath wasn’t helping. His lungs cried out for air. Letting go a pent up sigh, Josh quickly inhaled.
Sweet scents rolled up his nostrils and down over his palate. Hints of peppermint along with a burst of orange and chocolate flashed through his mind as he took another breath. He handed to cork to Anthony. “Take a whiff, see what you get.”
Anthony waved the cork under his nose. His wide-eyed gaze told Josh he’d gotten a surprise too. Anthony handed the cork to Sally. “It’s worth the sniff.”
Sally also passed the cork beneath her nose twice before she smiled and reached for a glass. “Yes, well worth the wait I say.”
Anthony handed her a glass, taking one for himself. “Pour away. I think we’ve got a sensation on our hands.”
Josh poured a third of a glass for each of them. Each sipped after saluting the others with their raised glass.
Tendrils of chocolate mixed with orange and peppermint flowed over his tongue and taste buds. He sipped again. His own smiled grew as sweetness greeted him. Josh looked at the label on the bottle. He could make out the wording on it. Didn’t Irish speak English?
“Anthony, can you make out what this says?” Josh thrust the bottle label side up toward Sally and Anthony.
Sally steadied the bottle. “It’s Gaelic. I can translate it for you.”
Anthony rolled his eyes and sipped. “This is great. Shifters love sweets when they’re on the make. I bet we sell a bunch of this come full moon.”
Sally laughed. “Yes, I’m sure we will. After all the wine is called Chocolate Aphrodisiac.”
Happy weekend everyone! Couldn't resist a bit of play on words this week. Share a book or two with your spice and loved ones. Remember reading joined can add to everyone's reading pleasure!