How much do you know about wine? My expertise consists of recognizing a white or red wine or a rose Zimpfandel. Yes, I know my colors. Two months ago we visited Napa Valley and I listened with fascination as wine experts explained the properties of their wines and allowed us to taste samples.
I usually don’t drink. One can of beer or a glass of wine greatly improves my mood. More would make me tipsy.
Imagine, by 11:00 am I already drank three glasses, by 1:00 pm I added four more, and by 4:00 pm I totaled ten glasses of delicious wines. Yes, I was giggling, kissing my husband and loving every bit of the beautiful Napa Valley. In spite of the daze shrouding my brain, I learned a few things about vines, grapes and wines: The smaller the grape, the more concentrated the flavor. Skin color and thickness give wine (red and rose) its color and its aromatic qualities.
Acid and sugar level in the fruit determine the wine’s sweetness and percentage of alcohol. An average temperature of 57-59o F is ideal and good vineyards need very well drained soils. Slopes which have concentrated sunlight and better drainage are more suited to vines than flat lands.
In my latest book, PRESCRIPTION IN RUSSIAN, the heroine learns to drink vodka.
Excerpt: Fyodor handed Jillian her shot glass and raised his. “Welcome to Belarus. I’m sure we will have a great working relationship.”
Jillian considered her shot glass without touching it. A deep scowl furrowed between her eyes.
“What’s wrong? Is there a bug floating in it?”
“You expect me to drink this, straight? No ice, no water, no orange juice?”
“Why would you spoil the taste of vodka? We always drink it straight. Try it.” He clicked his glass against hers. “Nazhtrovia.”
She sighed, stared at the clear liquid in her glass, and slowly raised her drink.
“It’s not a medicine. Believe me, you will like it. Nazhtrovia.”
“Cheers. I mean Nazhtrovia.” At first, she sipped it slowly, then took a good swallow, choked, coughed, and cleared her throat. “Not too bad.”
Fyodor laughed. “You will get used to it.”
With time, she would get used to their vodka and hopefully to their food and traditions. Maybe she could get used to him and his children. Bozha moy, Good God, what was he thinking?
Cursing himself, Fyodor grabbed his shot glass and emptied it. She’d just arrived in his country and had acted as the conscientious delegate, dedicated doctor, and perfect guest, but otherwise she’d been assertive, poised, reserved, and somewhat aloof. Da, but she had lovely eyes and fabulous assets. And he was hard-put to deny his attraction.
An American Pediatrician
A Russian Surgeon
A woman who frantically avoids marriage and family
A man with four adorable sons who badly need a mother
Can attraction and love overcome guilt, duty, and a clash of cultures?
“Mona Risk writes heroes with heart, heroines with spunk in stories and settings that are simply unforgettable!" -- Roxanne St. Claire, Killer Curves, National Bestseller.