A Kiss of Cabernet is the title of my first book in Love in Wine Country series, debuting Oct. 20. I’m not a wine expert like Paige, but I have actually crushed, fermented, and bottled cabernet and zinfandel as home winemakers.
But my experience with chardonnay is the most memorable.
It was hot—far too hot to be making a white wine in the family garage. We picked about 800 pounds of grapes and brought them home. Usually we rent a device that crushes the berries and removes the stems, but we couldn’t locate one. So I got out an old one about life in the California Mission times. It described crushing the old-fashioned way…with your feet.
Recalling an old I Love Lucy classic episode where Lucy dresses like a peasant and stomps on grapes (they even show it on airplanes these days), I put on shorts, scrubbed and disinfected my feet and ankles, and stepped in, lifting one leg at a time. It felt like stepping on twigs in a vat of lumpy mud. I was slow because…guess what? Stems are sharp. Lucy stomped like a marathon runner.
When the grapes were finally crushed, we poured them into tall plastic containers with lids for preliminary fermentation. Then they go into storage—cold storage—until ready to bottle. Did I mention it was hot? We lost the entire lot a few days later because we couldn’t cool the garage and the temperature rose to a hundred and one degrees.
Paige and Jake don’t make wine in A Kiss of Cabernet, but Jake learns about wine as he falls in love with Paige. I hope you fall in love with both of them.
About A Kiss of Cabernet
The sweetest vintage of all is the one you can’t have…
Napa Valley vineyard manager Paige Reynoso is furious. After a six-year absence, her boss—big-city entrepreneur Jake Madison—has returned, only to announce he’s selling the vineyard. Paige has always dreamed of buying Garnet Hill, which sits on land where her ancestors first settled, but without the cash, she’s out of luck. And then there’s an even bigger problem…she has a serious thing for the surprisingly tempting man who’s just destroyed her dream.
Jake’s in a tight spot. With his other business ventures struggling, he needs cash—fast. The last thing he needs is the too-lovely Paige convincing him the grapes are an effective long-term investment. Or needing Paige herself, whose spirit and heart bring his to life. But as their attraction grows, Jake knows he’s not in a position to offer her anything beyond this moment. Because Jake has a big secret…and it has nothing to do with sour grapes.
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