5 Great Holiday Books & Bottles to Give or Get

We’re back with more book and bottle pairings with Natalie MacLean.

What do you have for us first?



We’re starting with The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais This is a magical novel about a modern-day coven of witches who are under the threat of losing their home. This is really a story about the power of sisterhood, secrets and identity. Bianca is a lyrical writer who infuses great insight and humour into her story.

I should also note that Bianca will be at Perfect Books in Ottawa this Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in conversation with author, Amy Tector.




Blue Nun 24k Gold Edition Sparkling





I’d pair this book with Blue Nun sparkling wine not just because the colours of the book cover and bottle label match, but also because this delicious, off-dry bubbly has edible gold flakes in it. Its flavours of apricot and peach would also go beautifully with an apple crisp, eye of newt or whatever you’ve got bubbling in the cauldron.


What do you have next for us?



I have Home Safe: A Memoir of End-of-Life Care During Covid-19 by Mitchell Consky. This gorgeous memoir is actually a celebration of life and the relationship between a father and son. Journalist Mitchell Consky finds out that his father has terminal cancer, with less than two months to live. This is the story of how they deal with that crisis during the pandemic and social distancing. It’s the Canadian version of Tuesdays with Morrie.





Delas Les Launes Crozes-Hermitage 2020
Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône A.C., France




I’d pair this memoir with this robust Delas Les Launes Crozes-Hermitage from the Rhone Valley in France. Like the book, it has a long and satisfying finish. This wine would also pair well with a hearty meat dish.




Let’s move on to your next book and bottle.



I have How Are You, Really? an instant New York Times bestseller by Jenna Kutcher. She reframes questions about meaningful relationships, finding purpose and being comfortable with your own body, among others, in a series of questions and answers. It’s brutally honest, funny and wise.






Stags’ Leap Winery The Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California, United States




I’d pair this book with Stag’s Leap Winery, The Leap Cabernet Sauvignon from California. It’s nuanced, complex and deep, just like Jenn’s reflections on the issues that matter most. I’d also pair this with a rack of lamb.


Sounds great! What do you have next?



I have Don’t Keep Your Day Job by Cathy Heller. This marvelous book is all about turning your passion into profit, so taking a hobby or side hustle and making it your career rather than sticking with a job you don’t like. On a deeper level it’s about finding happiness and purpose, especially since work is such a big part of that. Cathy has such wise advice for anyone wondering if there’s something more for them in life.





Fresh Sparkling Rosé
Ontario V.Q.A., Canada




I pair this book with Fresh Sparkling wine to toast a new career and to celebrate saying sayonara to the old one. This bubbly has notes of field strawberries and would also compliment field greens and vegetarian dishes.


What are you wrapping up with?



I have Dying of Politeness by the two-time Academy Award winner, Geena Davis. This is a wise and witty memoir about her “journey to badassery” as she calls it. It’s quite a departure from the restrained, polite childhood she had before becoming a Hollywood superstar. My favourite movie of all time is Thelma and Louise. Gina has been a leader for gender parity in Hollywood and founded an institute that supports these initiatives and research.





Josh Cellars Lodi Zinfandel 2020
Lodi, California A.C., United States




I’d pair her memoir with a strong California red wine, the Lodi Zinfandel from Josh Cellars 2020. It’s quintessentially American and would also pair well with beef brisket.



You can watch Part 1 of my conversation with Leanne here: The Best Holiday Books & Bottles for Gift Giving 


You can find all of Natalie’s book and bottle pairings on her website at nataliemaclean.com.





Posted with permission of CTV.






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