For this week's challenge, I offer the following: The Blind Tasting
The blindfold pressed against her eyelids with a light but uncomfortable pressure. Her hands were gently guided to the first of three wine glasses. She tipped the vessel beneath her nose and inhaled. A flood of nutty caramel surged through her mind, underscored by a hint of blackberries and citrus. A private smile escaped to her lips as she tilted the glass to take her first sip. Her taste buds were assailed with a tsunami of velvety liquid. There was the expected caramel, but something richer lay just beneath. She was instantly transported to the Paris metro, and the tray of toffee she consumed at the chocolatier on the Champs-Elysees. “I taste the almond and blackberries in this,” she uttered, trying to be objective. Port was her favorite, most expensive vice. “This is a blend, I think, from Jaspers on the Rhone.”
A flutter of giggles ebbed around her. Frowning, she added, “It’s only a twelve year tawny, and needs to mature some to truly come into its own.”
“You’re brilliant Jenny,” her sister’s voice reached her ears. “How can you keep track of all that?”
“Experience and patience, Heather,” she replied. “Next?”
Again, her hands were guided to the appointed glass, the routine repeated. “This has the same nose and texture,” she said frowning. “Bitter with almonds and sweet berry finish…same region, same blend…”
Heather said hastily, “I forgot to offer you bread to cleanse your palette.”
“No, this is the same port,” Jenny announced, her accusation firm. She broke her promise and removed the blindfold amidst scoffs and scowls. “There’s only one glass, Heather.”
She looked guilty, biting at her lower lip in an intense pout. “I honestly didn’t think you’d notice that it was the same port.”
The other bridesmaids, swaying in drunken unison like the tide, chimed in with a mixture of disbelief and cheers. Jenny shook her head and laughed. “What am I going to do with you, little sister?”
“I could open another bottle of port?” she offered, grinning sheepishly.
“Okay,” Jenny replied with determination, “but we’re going to do this right. Everyone grab a chocolate. I’m going to teach your taste buds to sing.”
Heather waited as the others rushed to the other room, surprising Jenny with an impromptu hug, “You’re the best ever!”
“And you’re drunk,” she replied, teasing. Together, they followed the others, eager for their share of the chocolate.