Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Literary Adventure in Wine Pairing

Five Books Five Wines

Inspired by Wine Oh! TV's Top 5 Wine & Book Pairings for the Holidays I decided to put together a list of 5 of my favorite books of all time and the wine that would be paired with that book (who are we kidding... I don't cook so pair this with whatever food you want. For me some nice crackers, thin slices of Dubliner and Ghouda cheese and some smoked salmon go with just about everything).

I am currently reading Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore but have not finished it yet so I cannot confirm the wine pairing although the reviewer recommended a fine French Cognac.

Let our literary adventure begin.


by John Muir

This is one of the most heartwarming stories of a dog ever written - which is really saying something because you could write the story about how you named your dog and it would be heartwarming.  John Muir was one of my heroes growing up.  I have always wanted to live a life of adventure and so when I was young I would read about adventure until I could go out and make my own.  

Pair this with a nice Malbec ( a hearty wine )

No One Here Gets Out Alive
by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugarman

There are tons of great biographies so why include this one?  First of all it is really well written and will instantly transport you back to the 60's and 70's in a time when our world was rocked by Vietnam, assassinations of major political figures, the space program and at the same time Scooby Doo and Gilligans Island.  As a kid living through all of this it was a little bit confusing - but the music was great.  Secondly, this list consists of some of my favorite books of all time and their corresponding wine pairing.  I did love this book and it was so obvious what the wine pairing for this book needed to be. So of course this book had to be included in the list.

Pair this with a *Spode Ode (see recipe at the bottom)


Boo and Boo Hiss
By Rene Gutteridge

Life in a small town is interesting enough but if you are a renowned horror writer who is just trying to move on with your life it can be even more interesting.  The Boo series is a fun set of fast reads especially if you have ever spent any time in a small town.  (It seemed to me like I knew every character in these books in real life).  

Pair this collection with a nice chilled Riesling.


Les Miserables
by Victor Hugo

This is one of my favorite books. During one of the mischievous summers of High School my dad handed me this book perhaps to keep me out of trouble.  It was one of his favorite books and really has great characters and a fantastic chase scene.  If you are going to see the musical, which is now celebrating its 25th year, it would be good to read the book.  The video clip below is one of my favorite songs from the musical - besides that I am a pretty big Nick Jonas fan. (PS either get this title in a Kindle version so you can take it with you or just go ahead and buy the hardback - you're going to want this in hardback)

Pair this with a nice Bordeaux.  

Let the wine of friendship never run dry

Confederacy of Dunces 
by John Kennedy Toole

This should be read at least once in everyone's lifetime.  The book is set in New Orleans and is as tasty as a beignet from Cafe Du Monde. It is my all time favorite book of all time.  (Did I mention all time?)

Pair this book with a nice Chardonnay and a slice of *white wine cake. (See Recipe Below)

Thanks for taking this literary journey of wine pairing with me.  What are your favorite Book / Wine pairs.



fill a large (New and Unused) garbage can about 1/4 full of ice

add fruit - cantelope works well

add a couple 2 liter bottles of 7up

have each guest at the party bring one bottle of wine and pour it into the Spodie Odie as they arrive (It is not your job as the hostess to tell them what wine to bring - they will know - but you may want to tell them that it is going to be mixed with other wine so they may not want to bring the wine that would pain them to mix)

Drink Slowly

White Wine Cake

You can make this in a regular cake pan or bundt pan but to be true to the story it is more fun to make them in ornate mini bundt pans - read the book and come up with your own variations!


1 box of Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1 (3 oz.) box Jell-O French vanilla instant pudding mix (or substitute soft-boiled custard for a more traditional recipe)
3/4 cup of water
3/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 cup of Chardonnay
4 eggs
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans are very southern)

Cooking Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Spray the pan with Pam
3. Mix cake ingredients well; leaving out the nuts
4. Put nuts on the bottom of the pan
5. Pour in cake batter
6. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes

Remove from oven and slowly pour 1/2 of glaze on cake.
Cool 15 minutes and turn out of pan. Spoon rest of glaze on warm cake.

1 stick butter
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. Chardonnay wine
Boil butter, sugar and water for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in
wine. Cool.

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