March 2019 Reading & Tasting

a place for us.jpg


I'm typically skeptical of celebrities releasing books. Especially when the celebrity hasn't exactly had a resume in book publishing. However, this month, I've selected A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza, and the first book published by Sarah Jessica Parker in her new imprint, SJP for Hogarth, a division of Penguin Randomhouse. I love that SJP chose to spotlight an unknown 26-year-old writer who wrote a beautiful work of literary fiction. The story starts at a wedding in Northern California, Hadia is getting married, and the family is overjoyed (and apprehensive) to find their estranged brother is in attendance. As you can imagine, this is the beginning of a family drama, one that goes back to the beginning of the family's life and all the roles and relationships between its members. 


To pair with this quietly beautiful story, we need some contrast: a bold wine that can be just as beautiful, Zinfandel. When you hear that word, you may immediately think White Zinfandel, the sugary pink (and remarkably cheap) wine made popular in the 1980s. However, Zinfandel is a different animal. It's a black-skinned grape often grown in California, Italy, and Croatia, and typically results in a wine bursting with peppery, lush berry fruit flavor, accented by cocoa and vanilla. It's multi-faceted and layered with spice, much like our book this month.