We often chat about pairing wine and food, but what about pairing bottles with books, especially when we love to snuggle up with a great read this fall?
Here with her pairings is Natalie MacLean, author of the national bestseller Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much.
Great to be here!
What’s the first pairing you recommend?
In 101 Fascinating Canadian Music Facts, David McPherson shares lots of fun trivia such as the hit that launched Frank Sinatra’s career “I’ll Never Smile Again,” was written by Toronto pianist Ruth Lowe, that Serena Ryder played the quietest concert ever in the world from the ocean floor during low tide at Bay of Fundy National Park or that the title of the Tragically Hip’s album, Road Apples, is not actually talking about apples?
And speaking of apples, you get those aromas as well as fresh lime this zesty, zingy dry Riesling from Reif Winery in Niagara. It would also pair well with seafood.
Reif Estate Winery Riesling 2021
Niagara River, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
What do you have next for us?
We’re talking about End Credits by Hollywood insider Patty Lin who was a writer for hit shows such as Friends, Freaks and Geeks, Desperate Housewives and Breaking Bad. She gives us an insider look at the thrills and personal costs in this funny, revealing, inspirational memoir. Not only was she often the only woman in the room, but she was also often the only Asian person.
In honour of this juicy Californian story I have a juicy California Chardonnay from Chloe with notes of buttery goodness and ripe peach. This would also pair well with movie popcorn.
Chloe Wines Chardonnay 2017
California, United States
Let’s move on to your next book and bottle.
I’m recommending Mudflowers by Aley Waterman, a heart-breaking beautiful novel about love, romance and family. In the year following her mother’s death, the main character Sophie must navigate a complicated love triangle between a new flame and a past partner.
I’d pair this book with this seductive Pinot Noir from Quails’ Gate in B.C. Pinot Noir is the heartbreak grape because of its sublime sensuality. This wine would also pair well with tenderloin.
Quails’ Gate Estate Winery Stewart Family Pinot Noir 2020
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada
Sounds great! What do you have next?
I have Prophet, a fast-paced fusion of science fiction, detective noir and romance by the New York Times–bestselling author of H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald, and the mesmerizing new voice of Sin Blaché. Two characters team up to uncover how people’s fondest memories are being weaponized against them. It’s wonderfully bizarre.
I’d pair this book with the equally complex and layered Peter Lehman Barossa Shiraz from Australia. It’s full-bodied with aromas of dark, brooding fruit – perfect for hearty meat dishes.
Peter Lehmann The Barossan Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
Barossa, South Australia, Australia
Delicious! What’s next?
Rouge is a gothic fairy tale about a lonely dress shop clerk whose mother’s unexpected death sends her down a treacherous path in pursuit of youth and beauty. It’s Snow White meets Eyes Wide Shut in this exploration of the dark side of beauty, envy, grief, and the complicated love between mothers and daughters.
With a book called Rouge, I have to go with a red wine of course – this smooth, robust Conundrum Red, a Cabernet from the Wagner Family. This wine would also pair beautifully with steak or meat lovers’ pizza.
Conundrum Red 2020
California, United States
Sounds great! Would you also pair any of these wines with your own book, Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much?
Sure, my book would pair well–and read better– if you’re drinking any of these wines while reading it! If I had to pick one wine though it would be the Pinot Noir, that heartbreak grape, since my memoir is also a blend of humour and heart.
You can find all of Natalie’s book and bottle pairings on her website at nataliemaclean.com.