Putting the "Lit" in Literature: A Book Pairing for Every Wine

What could be a more natural combination than wine and books? Maybe wine and cheesy books but I have opted to suggest more classical pairings. Below are classic book reading suggestions for (most) varietals of wine. The majority of the flavor descriptions have been pulled from VinePair.com and all of the books have been pulled out of my own head.

Disagree with me? That's what the comments section is for!

Barbera

“Barbera is very low in mouth-drying tannins and high in acidity, which makes it the perfect wine to pair with rich foods.”

Recommended Pairing: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl (a world of pure imagination)(stuck in your head now?)

Bordeaux

“The success of Bordeaux can be boiled down to one simple trait: it’s location…due to the fact that it’s served as a major port city for centuries, it also gave the local winemakers the opportunity to access different regions of the world via its visitors.”

Recommended Pairing "Around the World in Eighty Days" by Jules Verne, or in this case "Eighty Ounces".

Burgundy

“The practice of delineating vineyards by their terroir in Burgundy goes back to medieval times, when various monasteries played a key role in developing the Burgundy wine industry.”

Recommended Pairing: "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco, not exactly about French monks but monks nonetheless. Dead ones, upside down in pig's blood. Delicious.

Cabernet Franc

“Historically, Cabernet Franc was primarily used in the production of the coveted Bordeaux blend, contributing finesse to the wine by adding a peppery, earthy and herbaceous component."

Recommended Pairing: "The Three Musketeers" by Alexandre Dumas. Cabernet Franc = Porthos.

Cabernet Sauvignon

“In 1976, a Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags’ Leap in the Napa Valley beat out the top Bordeaux Chateaus in the 1976 Judgement of Paris in a blind taste test. From that moment on, California Cabernet Sauvignon was launched into the world and began to be ordered at steakhouses around the globe.”

Recommended Pairing: "The Iliad" by Homer, because America won this one straight up Trojan Horse style. France didn't even see it coming.

Champagne

“Royalty became associated with Champagne in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The leading manufacturers made efforts to associate their Champagnes with nobility and royalty through advertising and packaging, which led to popularity among the emerging middle class.”

Recommended Pairing: "The Marie Antoinette Romances" by Alexandre Dumas, a six book series about some French royalty that was less than popular with the middle class.

Alternate Pairing (or second bottle): "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Chardonnay

“It’s a wine that can be simple or regal, aged for many years or consumed immediately.”

Recommended Pairing: "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens. Rags to riches!

Chenin Blanc

“Chenin Blanc has tropical fruit flavors of melon, pineapple and banana that go along with a very distinguishing flavor of green apple. It’s a wine that goes well with all sorts of dishes, but it’s particularly great with poultry and fish.”

Recommended Pairing: "The Rum Diary" by Hunter S. Thompson

Chianti

"I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

“A wine that is very earthy and rustic, high in tannins, has a smell and taste that is reminiscent of cherries and strawberries, and is high in acidity.”

Recommended Pairing: "The Silence of the Lambs" by Thomas Harris

Malbec

“Wine expert Jancis Robinson describes the French style of Malbec as a ‘rustic’ version of Merlot.”

Recommended Pairing: "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau. A rustic wine for rustic musings.

Merlot

“Merlot, which in French means The Little Blackbird, is the second most popular red grape in America.”

Recommended Pairing: "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien, the second most (non-religious) popular book in America.

Moscato

“Historically known as a dessert wine, Moscato has a slight fizz and flavors of nectarine, peach and orange that are very pleasing to your taste buds.”

Recommended Pairing: "The Wizard of Oz" by Frank L. Baum because Moscato is basically the Five Alive of wines and should take you back to your (dizzy) childhood.

Petite Sirah

“Petite Sirah has deep rich flavors and aromas of blueberry, chocolate, pepper and spice, and its high tannins and acidity make it great for pairing with curries, as well as rich meaty dishes.”

Recommended Pairing: "The Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling

Pinot Grigio

“A zesty white wine that is as refreshing as a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer’s day.”

Recommended Pairing: "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury

Pinot Noir

“Pinot Noirs have flavors of ripe red berries, sweet black cherries, mushrooms and what sommeliers call forest floor, that smell you get from freshly fallen damp leaves.”

Recommended Pairing: "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey

Riesling

“From its beginnings Riesling was the preferred elixir of German nobility, and they transported the wine with them throughout their conquests and business dealings across Europe.”

Recommended Pairing: "The Magic Mountain" by Thomas Mann

Rosé

“The perfect wine for sipping in the park or at a backyard barbecue.” 

Recommended Pairing: "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Sauvignon Blanc

“It is believed that the grape was given the name Sauvignon Blanc from the French word sauvage, which means wild, because the grape grew like a weed throughout the region.”

Recommended Pairing: "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding

Shiraz

“This wine is so dark that if you were to hold a glass of the wine up to the light, you’d have a very hard time seeing through it.”

Recommended Pairing: "The Divine Comedy" by Dante Alighieri

Zinfandel

“Zinfandel made its way to California during the gold rush as waves of Americans headed west.”

Recommended Pairing: "Call of the Wild" by Jack London