“1995 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild.” With one hand under the bottle and the other on its neck, I present the wine for his approval.

After a cursory glance at the label, he nods. “Thank you.”

I retrieve my knife from my pocket and cut away the foil from the neck of the bottle. Alec hands me the decanter then picks up the already-lit candle from the center of the table and places it in front of me. With the soft glow of the candlelight illuminating the bottle neck, I’m able to pour the wine into the decanter in such a way that ensures any sediment produced in the aging process remains in the bottle. When I’m finished, Alec returns the candle to its original location and takes the now-empty bottle from my hands, replacing it with a glass.

I’m about to pour when the shimmer of my tastevin catches my eye. I haven’t used it since the night I received my Master Sommelier Diploma. Feeling that tonight will be equally significant, I put the glass down and pour a small sample of the Lafite into my tastevin. With my eyes closed, I savor its bouquet. Earthy and smoky with hints of licorice and blackberry, it’s a pleasure to inhale. When I finally taste, its palate is just as I recall. Elegant and restrained, it promises to exceed whatever expectations Edward may have—provided he gives it the time it needs to open.

“Lovely.” When I open my eyes, I see something in his I can’t identify, but it’s intense and makes it hard for me to remain professional. In a pathetic attempt to buy myself a moment to refocus, I say what I’d say to any restaurant patron after opening a special bottle, “You made an excellent choice.”

He shrugs. “I came here knowing what I wanted.”

“Ideally, it should decant for two hours, but if you have difficulty waiting—”

“I don’t.”

“If you change your mind…” Esme begins.

“I won’t…” He pauses, then flashes Esme that smile. “However, if you’re not too busy, I’d love some company.”

Knowing she’d like him if she knew him, I answer on her behalf. “She’d love to.”

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  1. on 12 Jun 2011 at 2:15 amDetochkina

    Oh, he came there knowing what he wanted, didn’t he?
    Let’s see if he gets it at the end.