Please welcome witty, wine-loving guest blogger Cat Bowen to the 90+ Cellars Blog! She loves vino almost as much as she loves reading (but thankfully doesn't devour it as rapidly as she does books). She knows a thing or two about both though, and is here to recommend five of her favorite reads, each paired with one of our wines.
There are few things that go together quite like wine and books. Ok, maybe, wine, books, and pajamas, but that’s another tale to tell.
Book clubs have been making a beautiful resurgence as of late. Their popularity has grown ten-fold since I started my first “All Nancy Drew” book club at age ten, where the only other members happened to be my Grandmother, and my stuffed bear, Tiny Tim. As a grown woman, I can look forward to bi-weekly or monthly gatherings with fellow book junkies. Clubs where we laugh, have intelligent discussion, and drink glass after glass of wine.
At my book club, we are all of us of same mind: drink, read, and be merry.
I live to share this with others. Not only my adoration of the written word, but my Bacchus-like love of the fermented grape.
Therefore, I have compiled five book and wine combinations on behalf of the amazing Ninety Plus Cellars, for your book clubs to enjoy and imbibe. These wine and book combos will stimulate your mind, your palate, and perhaps whomever you may drunk-dial during book club. (I’m not saying I’ve done this…I’m not saying I’ve not done this.)
This book will leave you so utterly wrapped in the spirit of what it is to be grounded in the midst of upheaval that the wine needs to be as rich and deep as the text. This is a love story of survival and family set in modern-day Chechnya, Russia. The book’s complexity is only matched by the beauty of the prose: “Perhaps our deepest love is already inscribed within us, so its object doesn’t create a new word, but instead allows us to read the one written.”
This book will give you a serious case of the laughing feels. When a man who has a serious social disorder wants for a wife who meets his strict criteria for the ideal mate, begins falling for his list’s antithesis? Sparks aren’t all that will fly. I feel as though a bubbly beverage is the best pairing for this book. In the novel, the protagonist has researched wine rather fully, and has an entire list of which wines go with his favorite gourmet meals, and when his level of what he considers appropriate is challenged? Hilarity ensues. Funny books and wine bubbles. Perfection.
This book is part romance, part paranormal, part intelligent romp through the annals of Oxford history, and all parts great read. This book is rich with symbolism, and explores what it means to be human, and where it is we’re all headed. The male primary character in this book is a 1500-year-old scientist and vampire, and his amazing sense of smell drives his love for wine. He describes the smell of the vanilla in the barrels and the taste of sunshine in the fields. Any book club could wax poetic for hours just ruminating on the various contexts of “drinking” in this book. An old-vine French Grand Cru Bordeaux will stand proud with its ruby color and viscous mouth feel. A perfect wine for a centuries-old French vampire, no? (sidenote: this is the first of a trilogy, with the third being released in July.)
Set just after the Spanish Civil War, this book tells the tale of lost love, the preservation of literature, and the danger associated with having the wrong people in power. This book follows one boy from the beginning of adolescence to the nascence of his adulthood as he seeks to unravel the mysteries of a book he receives from the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. At the same time he is learning how to be an honorable man, and what it is to love. To celebrate this tour-de-force of Spanish fiction, only a Spanish wine with as much smokiness as the story will do.
This book couldn’t be any funnier. It’s a smart read with a hilariously nerdy heroine. As you follow the story, it becomes clear that her love of facts and implacable nature is not only a funny plot point, but also makes every reader, and her boss, fall hopelessly in love with her. I chose the Cotes du Rhone Blanc, because I feel as though the lesser-known varietal is perfect for someone who enjoys trivia almost as much as I love reading books and drinking wine.
When Cat Bowen isn’t drinking while reading, she can be found blogging at www.BreakfastToBed.com where she blogs more about books, wine, food, and trying to stay healthy while simultaneously raiding the cookie dough.
Are you part of a book club? If yes, is there wine present at your meetings?
What's the best book you've read lately?