(I thought this was appropriate for BookPairing, amiright? Originally posted on Food Riot on August 1, 2013.)
I think that first person who decided to take wine and enhance it/make it better/change it through its interplay with food is a fricken genius. Both are made better and both are matched forever in your mind. It’s stunning.
Wine and books have this same power–through the sensory and the intellectual, both can be enhanced. Plus, who doesn’t want an excuse to read more books and drink more wine? Thus, my recommendations for the perfect wine and book pairings based on your genre fixation of the moment.
Mystery and Pinot Noir
A good mystery comes down to the interplay between horror and suspense, with hints of character development that lead you further and further into the twisty curves of the book. The puzzle itself is just as fun as the final scene. Likewise, a Pinot Noir is all about the chase. It’s smooth enough to keep you drinking more, but the backbone of it is still dark and rich.
Romance and Rosé
Just so everybody knows, I’m bringing rosé back. (It’s similar to bringing sexy back, but probably much more realistic of a goal.) A great, dry rosé is the perfect summer wine, especially when it has just a touch of bubbles. Romance novels too–let’s face it, the rosés of the book world–are often enjoyed in private, away from the judgmental eyes of others. Both can be so amazing, though, especially when served dry, with enough depth and development to sway even their biggest critics.
Magical Realism and Malbec
I feel like some wine and book pairings need to hearken back to place. Magical realism, so steeped in South American traditions and authors, is matched with the Argentinian and Chilean varieties that are defining Malbec right now. Malbecs are so heavy with place that you can literally taste the earth that produced them.
Fantasy and Sauvignon Blanc
Truly amazing fantasy novels allow you to escape. In the same way, a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, marbled with drops of condensation, allows you to escape summer or the the demands of everyday life. They’re also just fun. And, let’s be honest, your proper fantasy novel (or series) is pretty damn long. You’ll be needing a wine that’s just a bit lower in alcohol content than average.
Literary Fiction and Bordeaux
Imagine a great Bordeaux in the same way you think about your favorite literary novel. Both open up slowly, decanting in memory as certain aspects become understood. Both require you to linger. Both require that you enjoy them at a sipping speed, making sure to enjoy every nuance before moving ahead.
What are your favorite book and wine pairings?