Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Books and Wine

As the weather gets colder and the days get darker, I have to admit a certain preference for curling up by the wood stove with a good book and a nice glass of wine. I was intrigued by a title that came through the branch recently that seemed to match up both my desire for reading and my love for a good glass of wine. In Search of Bacchus: wanderings in the wonderful world of wine tourism by George M. Taber is exactly as the title suggests a travel narrative that focuses on the experiences of drinking wine and visiting vineyards around the world. It was named one of Wine Spectator Magazine's 2009 Best Reads for Wine Lovers.

It got me thinking about other reads for wine lovers: here are a few that caught my eye.

Sideways by Rex Pickett: the novel about a weekend trip through California wine country that inspired the Oscar winning film of the same name. There is much for wine lovers here but also for fans of humourous fiction. On the wine side, I recently read that the success of the film had an unexpected impact on the wine industry in the states. One of the main character's is vocally passionate about Pinot Noir, and the film was thought to be responsible for a spike in Pinot Noir sales in the year of its release.

A Good Year and The Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle: Mayle is a prolific author of both fiction and nonfiction and clearly has an interest in wine. These two novels both feature wine and wine making in their plots. In A Good Year, the main character has been having a rough time in his high finance job in London,: a visit to his recently inherited winery seems just the thing to clear his mind, although its not without its own intrigues. The Vintage Caper on the other hand, is an intriguing mystery about the theft of a wine collection.

The Winemaker's Daughter by Timothy Egan: an interesting combination of wine love and big business intrigue in a story in which a daughter tries to assist her father during a drought that has been having a severe impact on his winery. There's more going on here that just a dry spell, and the feisty heroine investigates.

If nonfiction (like the book mentioned at the start of this post) is more your interest, here are a few more titles you might want to check out:

The Billionaire's Vinegar: the mystery of the world's most expensive bottle of wine by Benajmin Wallace.

Corked: a memoir by Kathryn Borel

The Geography of Wine: how landscapes, cultures, terroir, and the weather make a good drop by Brian J. Sommers

A Short History of Wine by Rod Phillips

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