Books and wine – any avid reader knows they are natural bedfellows, but have you been giving enough thought to what beverage could enhance your reading experience even more (and vice versa)? With the busiest season for book publishing underway, we’ve put together a few wine recommendations for some traditional and modern classics. Lots of food (or wine) for thought…
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The one book on your school list that everyone actually looked forward to reading, this one lingers long in the memory so you need a suitably memorable wine to do it justice. The coming-of-age story of racial injustice in the deep South takes many twists and turns and to match this complex but accessible story you need a complex but accessible wine. You could argue that New World Pinot Noir fits this description to a tee and the Edgebaston Pinot Noir from South Africa is a nod to the intricacies of red Burgundies with powerful New World flavours – the perfect partner for a book that packs a lot of power into its timeless message.
The most famous book from the world’s most famous crime writer is a fine pick for those who love this sort of page-turner and when it comes to wine, you need something to not only match the opulence of the surroundings, but also provide some sort of comfort as the grim story unfolds (it is MURDER on the Orient Express, after all). And what better wine to drink as you become drawn into the carefully plotted tale than a fine Bordeaux? Or rather a fine Claret as they would have no doubt called it on that particular train ride. Try the Château Mondain for something that’s just as engrossing and sumptuous.
Full disclosure: I’ve never read this book. Actually, I’ve never read any of his full-on horror novels, sticking only to the less-gory ones because I’m a complete wuss. But seeing as this is the Stephen King book that most people are most likely to have read (not only as a classic but also because it’s been attracting a lot of new fans recently), I’m going to go with this title.
Sticking to the ‘comfort’ theme, when it comes to scary books, you need all the comfort you can get – something warming, reassuring which contains no hidden surprises. You don’t get more consistent than Australian Shiraz and the Laughing Bird is smooth, fruity and requires no other accompaniments to be quaffed. And don’t forget, for this particular read avoid anything remotely resembling a clown on the label. An unlikely occurrence, but no doubt there’s some quirky individual out there who thought it was a great idea.
The most modern of modern page turners, this is a gripping read of deception and revenge that you just won’t want to put down, so you should match it with a wine that also keeps you coming back for more (within reason, of course). A mouth-watering white would be my pick, something that shows an interesting flavour in the finish with a decent amount of acidity to get your taste buds going. You don’t get more enticing than the magnificent Riesling, so chill down a bottle of the Enchanted Garden Riesling from Eden Valley in Australia and you’ll find yourself reaching for the glass with every turn of the page. Best stop after a little while though, or you might not be able to make out the words anymore.
Now we’re entering the autumnal months, there is no better way to spend an evening than wrapped up in a cosy blanket and a great bottle of wine, and all readers and wine lovers will agree, it doesn’t get much better than this.
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