Book Clubs, Food and Wine
A monthly blog
Jan Penhorwood, wine consultant at the Langley store.
Before learning about wine and entering the industry I worked as a librarian for 30 years. I have also been an avid reader (and book club member) for almost as long. My book club, perhaps a thinly veiled wine-drinking club featuring fiction, meets monthly. Each month a different member hosts & chooses the book and also prepares a full dinner with wine. But there are many different ways to run a book club. If by chance you are looking for book titles that feature wine or ideas for thematic books to pair with wines, I have some ideas for you in this monthly blog.
I am currently recommending John Lanchester’s novel “The Debt to Pleasure” (1996). A fabulous romp providing mystery and actual seasonal recipes along with an erudite history of food. Hilarious cookbook cum-memoir written by a brilliant, snobbish and eccentric man, Tarquin Winot, as he drives through France to his house in Provence. One of the most unreliable narrators you will ever encounter, Tarquin slowly reveals more and more of his sinister agenda as the book progresses. Choose from one of the book’s seasonal menus, an egg curry or perhaps a herbed chicken. A Provence rosé would be perfect!
Cote du Provence rosés are available at various price points. I love Domaine Houchart ($19.99) a dry rosé with hints of grapefruit, apple and strawberry. There is a light blossom scent and a satisfying mineral taste. Or splurge on Whispering Angel ($39.99) with its hints of strawberry, cherry, blossom, orange peel and honey. If rosés are not to your taste, Provence offers other wines: some with hints of garrigue (the name given to the collection of wild herbs that grow everywhere - rosemary, lavender, juniper and thyme) from their soil; choose a French Sauvignon Blanc or a rich oaked red made with the Mourvèdre grape. Santé!
Summer Bonus Blog Post
Feel like starting a book club this summer? Or maybe just collecting a couple of great “summer beach reads” for 2022 and pairing them with some wine?
The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel
Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
-Sonoma Pinot Noir
The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand
-French Sauvignon Blanc, maybe even a Sancerre!
Note: I usually obtain my books from the library. I do occasionally buy them, especially if I am sure I will reread them. I recently bought a Kindle but have not yet fully embraced it. My wines come from “Everything Wine” and most, but not all, are from the Langley store.
… August preview for those who love to plan ahead. Anything by author Ian McEwan.