Guest Post

Cowboys & Wine Tastings | Heather Slade

Kiss Me Cowboy Cover
The latest book in the Cowboys of Crested Butte series, Kiss Me Cowboy, has (somewhat surprisingly) a wine tasting scene in which our hero orders a bottle of Marqués de Murrieta Rioja, and pairs it with charred shishito peppers stuffed with almonds, Catalonian flatbread with dates, caramelized onions and bleu cheese, and blood orange sorbet. I don’t know about you, but if an already hotter-than-you-know-where cowboy ordered what I just described, I’d follow him to the ends of the earth.

Readers will find that almost every one of my books has some reference to wine, and as I did in Kiss Me Cowboy, I typically include a food pairing. Why? First and foremost, I am an executive sommelier—which is sort of like an executive chef, except instead of knowing way too much about food, I know way too much about wine.

I can say honestly, that getting my second tier sommelier certification was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. Instead of taking seven or eight weeks to complete the program, I thought it would be a good idea to enroll in the seven-day intensive class.

When I arrived the second day at seven in the morning, and took my first of what would be twice-daily tests, I thought I had it pretty well in the bag . . . until I reached the final page. The instructions consisted of one not-so-simple sentence: Draw France, then draw and name all the wine regions in France, and finally, select three of those regions, draw and name each along with their noble grapes. The way I remember it, I cried. I probably didn’t actually cry, but I was close. Along with sick to my stomach.

The program consisted of a number of elements: tasting (not a problem); food pairing (not a huge problem); things like being able to draw France’s wine regions (kind of a problem); wine service (which doesn’t sound like a problem, but when the level of service required is on par with that of the White House, or service to kings and queens, it becomes way more of a problem); knowing wine law for every wine region in the world (bigger problem); and finally, viticulture (which was so much of a problem I had to read three books to understand the one book that was required reading). And yet, I somehow passed with the required 85 percent, and received my certification. It’s hard to believe after all that, I actually still enjoy drinking wine, and even writing about it.


Blythe Cochran is a woman who’s never been treated the cowboy way—and Jace Rice knows he is just the man to teach her what that means. Unless his twin brother, Tucker, gets in the way.

The last place Blythe wants to spend Thanksgiving is at the Flying R Ranch in Crested Butte, Colorado, but that’s where she’s headed. She and her best friend’s family have always celebrated the holiday together, so it was go along, or spend the holiday home alone.

Feeling sorry for herself because she’s dateless and her best friend is newly engaged, Blythe asks Renie to fix her up with a hot cowboy. When she arrives and meets not one, but TWO of the hottest cowboys she’s ever seen, Blythe decides the holiday might not be so bleak after all. When both men compete for her attention, it’s hard for her to choose. Who would win her affection—easy-going, bronc-riding, cowboy Jace, or brooding artist Tucker?

Regardless of whom she chooses, there is a secret being held between the brothers which could drive a permanent wedge between the two men, who each touch a different part of her soul. When the hidden truth is finally exposed, will it tear a family apart, or heal past wounds?

This book can be read as a standalone with no cliffhanger.


My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order. I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur. I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.

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