We’re reading a lot during quarantine. And drinking a lot. Let’s put the two together.
Here are 7 books – with recommended wine pairings – to add to your Corona Virus quarantine reading list.
1. Love in the time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
I mean, how could you not be in the mood to read this classic right now. Before we know it we’ll be reading books titled “Love in the Time of Corona”. If you don’t feel like working your way through this intense one, the 2007 version of the film is on Netflix (I won’t tell).
Pair it with: a hearty Spanish Brandy, try Lepanto Solera Gran Reserva Brandy de Jerez, $60
2. The Wine Bible by Karen McNeil
Or just “The Bible” as I call it, this 1000-pager will teach you literally everything you need or want to know about wine. It covers everything from the history of wine, the wine making process, and all of the hundreds of varietals that are most important in every country you can think of. Karen McNeil’s entertaining writing style will you keep you far from dozing off while you conquer this book. Come out of quarantine with all of the knowledge of a certified sommelier. Read my in-depth review here.
Pair it with: an interesting and unique Txakoli rosé, try 2018 Rezabal Txakoli Rosé, $18.99
3. Wine Folly by Madeline Puckette
Too distracted to actually focus but want to flip through something and still take some knowledge away? Wine Folly’s diagram-filled book on wine tasting is perfect for applying to the weekly (err…nightly?) glass of wine you’ve been having these days. This book has guides to tasting, pairings, and understanding the fundamentals of wine – all presented in easy to digest diagrams and images. Read my in-depth review here.
Pair it with: a no-brainer Pinot Noir, try 2015 Lumos Temperance Hill Pinot Noir, $43.99
4. Root Cause by Steven Laine
A charming, fictional mystery about a modern day outbreak of the historical Phylloxera bug that attacked vineyards around the world in the 1860’s. If you’re stressed about COVID-19, this read will make you happy that it could be worse – at least the world’s vineyards are safe! (Read a full review of this book here).
Pair it with: an intense Mourvèdre , try 2014 Domaine Tempier “La Tourtine” Bandol Mourvèdre, $69.99
5. Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker
One of the first books I read that made me realize my passion for wine, Cork Dork takes the reader inside the wine world and what it takes to become a master sommelier. It’s a delightful autobiography by Bianca Bosker that covers the year she temporarily quit her journalism job to write about becoming a master sommelier, starting from zero experience with wine. She also covers myths and misconceptions about wine and whether aspects of tasting are bullshit or real – all backed by science. Read my in-depth review here.
Pair it with: a quaffable Beaujolais, try 2018 Louis Jadot Beaujolais Gamay Noir, $11.98
6. The Widow Clicquot by Tilar Mazzeo
An historical business biography about the woman behind the Veuve Clicquot Champagne brand. Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin was the OG “Boss Babe” who, after her husband’s untimely death circa 1800, defied convention and took over the Veuve Clicquot wine business. When her husband died, it was nothing more than a fledgling start-up and she was only 27. Now known as the one of the top luxury Champagne brands in the world, the 248 year old label’s success can be entirely attributed to “the Widow Clicquot” and her business savvy. P.S. She’s also the first person to ever make a rosé Champagne. Genius? Oui. Read my in-depth review here.
Pair it with: obviously any Veuve Clicquot, try 2008 Veuve Clicquot La Grand Dame Brut Champagne, $129.99
7. Wine Girl by Victoria James
The memoir delves into the innumerable stories and experiences Victoria James has cultivated during her time as the country’s youngest sommelier. She became a sommelier when she turned 21 – i.e. when most people are legally able to drink. She worked in the industry since the day she was allowed to work, and began passing theory exams before even hitting the legal age. She’s a prodigy for sure, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t face many hardships and abuses from those in the industry. This book provides some of the uglier (read: sexist and ageist) sides of the industry from Victoria’s perspective.