As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, what could be better than sitting outside in the sunshine with a glass of wine, a snack, and a good book? If you’re looking for the perfect evening, these wine, food, and book pairings have got you covered.
12 Perfectly Bodied Book-and-Wine Pairings
Zinfandel is fruity and spicy. It pairs well with barbeque, Italian food, and this funny and moving debut novel about Ruth, a thirty-year-old woman who, after a breakup with her fiancé, quits her job and moves home to find that her father is losing his memory and is only erractically lucid, and her mother is just erratic. But as Ruth's father’s condition intensifies, the comedy in her situation takes hold, gently transforming all her grief.
A glass of Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied with bold tannins. It pairs perfectly with lamb, beef, aged cheeses, and this bold, breathtaking novel about two teenage girls in 1980s Atlanta who strike up a friendship. Only one of the girls knows an explosive secret: they are actually half-sisters, because their father has two families.
Sip a dry and light-bodied Pinot Noir and savor the soft, smooth finish as you snack on cheeses and crackers and dive into this lush, seductive novel about Nancy Astley, a young woman from a small English fishing town whose life is forever changed when she becomes infatuated with Kitty Butler, a male impersonator who performs at music halls. When Kitty asks Nan to accompany her to London as her companion and dresser, Nan is swept into a glamorous, unfamiliar world and the two begin an affair.
Provincial Nan King’s world is forever changed when she falls in love with a cross-dressing music-hall singer and follows her to London as her dresser and secret lover.
A light, zesty Chardonnay with a touch of citrus is perfect with shellfish or pasta with a creamy sause and this quirky, charming coming-of-age story about ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly, who decide to investigate the disappearance of their neighbor and end up uncovering all sorts of local secrets they hadn’t bargained for.
A dry, tart, and herbal wine like Sauvignon Blanc is perfect with goat cheese, fish, and the loveably grumpy protagonist of this novel. Ove is a curmudgeon with staunch principles, strict rules, and a short fuse. He’s withdrawn from the world since his wife’s death and doesn’t intend to reenter it, until an annoyingly friendly family moves in next door and draws him out of his rut and into their lives.
“If you like to laugh AND feel moved AND have your heart applaud wildly for fictional characters, you will certainly fall for the grumpy but lovable Ove (it’s pronounced “Oo-vuh,” if you were wondering).”
Pinot Gris is light-bodied and easy-drinking, but often with a bitter flavor. It pairs well with salad, light cheeses, and this honest, bold, moving novel. Queenie is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London who is straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. After a messy breakup, she seeks comfort in all the wrong places, and ultimately sets her on a path of healing and self-discovery .
The perfect summer wine, Moscato is floral and sweet with a slight fizz. Sip it with fresh fruit, hazelnut desserts, and this spellbinding story about three generations of beekeepers. The novel moves between William, a biologist in 1852 England inventing a new kind of beehive; George, a beekeeper in 2007 America who is fighting an uphill battle against modern farming; and Tao, who must hand-paint pollen on trees in 2098 China after the bees have all disappeared.
Champagne is bubbly, creamy, soft, and mellow. Drink it well with brie cheese, strawberries, and this hilarious, feel-good romantic novel. Don Tillman is a brilliant yet extremely socially challenged geneticist who has designed a sixteen-page, scientifically sound survey to identify his perfect wife. But when Rosie, a spontaneous whirlwind of a woman who would definitely fail the survey, shows up to ask for his help in finding her biological father, Don realizes that perhaps love isn’t a scientific equation.
The protagonist of Graeme Simsion’s romantic comedy THE ROSIE PROJECT is the most refreshingly unique, honest, and hilarious character I have read in a long time. I don’t generally read romantic comedies, but this one stole my heart right from the first paragraph.
Merlot tastes of red fruits and has a soft finish. Drink it alongside a pasta dish or chicken while reading this evocative and romantic memoir in which a Pulitzer Prize–winning war correspondent chronicles his love affair with Kaji Yukiko, a mysterious older Japanese woman he met at the seaport of Yokosuka in the wake of World War II.
A beautiful and evocative memoir based on the author’s summer-long love affair with a remarkable older Japanese woman in the wake of World War II—“the most romantic memoir you’re likely to read in a lifetime” (New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand).
Pulitzer Prize–winning war correspondent Paul Brinkley‑Rogers has lived an adventurous life all over the world. But there is one story he cannot forget: that of his haunting love affair with a mysterious older Japanese woman in 1959. Paul was a sailor aboard the USS Shangri‑La that long‑ago summer when he met Kaji Yukiko in the seaport of Yokosuka. A fierce intellectual, Yukiko shared her astonishing knowledge of literature, film, and poetry with Paul and encouraged, even demanded, that he use his gifts to become the writer he is today.
But theirs was not a quiet love story. When a member of the yakuza, Japan’s brutal crime syndicate, attempted to kidnap Yukiko, Paul realized that there was much more to her—and to Japan in the devastating wake of World War II—than he saw at first glance. Through the searing letters that Yukiko wrote to him and Paul’s vivid telling of a history made all the more powerful and poignant by the weight of time, Please Enjoy Your Happiness reaches across decades and continents, inviting us all to revisit those loves of our lives that never truly end.
A Ruby Port wine has a red color with intense aromas of ripe red- and blackberries. It goes well with sour cherry pie, chocolate, and this powerful collection of personal essays by actress and activist Gabrielle Union discussing gender, sexuality, race, beauty, Hollywood, and what it means to be a modern woman.
A crisp, light, pink rosé goes well with summer salads, rice dishes, and this novel with a sly sense of humor. Frances, a coolheaded and observant young woman who befriends a well-known photographer, is reluctantly impressed with her sophisticated home and handsome husband, Nick. But however amusing Frances and Nick’s flirtation seems at first, it begins to give way to a strange—and then painful—intimacy.
Shiraz can have notes ranging from sweet blueberry to savory black olive, with intense flavor and a peppery finish. Pair it with hearty foods like brisket, chili, and this intense, immersive novel about a woman who becomes fixated on her neighbor, a famous actress with a charmed career, a gorgeous husband, and three adorable children. But what begins as a fascination turns into a shocking and disastrous obsession after a terrible interaction with the neighbor at the annual block party.
*Vogue’s “Most Anticipated Books of 2019”
*Entertainment Weekly’s “One of January’s Hottest Reads”
*Literary Hub’s “Most Anticipated Books of 2019”
*Southern Living’s “Best New Books Coming Out Winter 2019”
In this taut, arresting debut, a woman becomes fixated on her neighbor—the actress.
Though the two women live just a few doors apart, a chasm lies between them. The actress, a celebrity with a charmed career, shares a gleaming brownstone with her handsome husband and three adorable children, while the recently separated narrator, unhappily childless and stuck in a dead-end job, lives in a run-down, three-story walk-up with her ex-husband’s cat.
As her fascination grows, the narrator’s hold on reality begins to slip. Before long, she’s collecting cast-off items from the actress’s stoop and fantasizing about sleeping with the actress’s husband. After a disastrous interaction with the actress at the annual block party, what began as an innocent preoccupation turns into a stunning—and irrevocable—unraveling. Immersive and darkly entertaining, Looker is a searing psychological portrait of obsession.