July 2017 Reading & Tasting

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Book

It's really summer now, and I think we need a gossipy beach read. That's why I picked The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, the dramatic tale of an actress of Old Hollywood, and of course, all of her husbands. 

Wine

To pair, we need a wine that's a little cheap to go with our gossip novel (price-wise, of course, not quality-- you know me). The low cost, crisp and refreshing Vinho Verde is a good fit (and my beach wine of choice). 

May 2017 Reading & Tasting

Book

Somehow it became May 1st, so I have another book and wine for you. The Leavers by Lisa Ko comes out in hardcover tomorrow, and I've already heard good things. The story is about a mother and a son separated by powerful forces-- the boy grows up in the Bronx and his mother is an undocumented Chinese immigrant who disappears one day, without explanation. I haven't started reading yet, but I hear that once you start it's hard to put down. 

Wine

To pair with it, let's drink any wine from Croatia. Why Croatia? Wellllllll... our very own book club member is getting married this month, and honeymooning in Croatia, so we'll be celebrating in her honor! 

April 2017 Reading & Tasting

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Book

I've been hearing about this book everywhere: The Idiot by Elif Batuman. It takes place in the '90s, following the daughter of Turkish immigrants through her time at Harvard, discovering and inventing herself into adulthood. 

Wine

And the wine of the month is... Semillon, a full-bodied white, much like a chardonnay, but with flavor notes like a Sauvignon Blanc-- lemon, green apple, and pear. It's most often found in France and Australia. Hello, SPRING! 

March 2017 Reading & Tasting

Book

March's book is here! 

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller-- a book that's getting lots of buzz for being a serious page-turner, and just came out a couple weeks ago. Prepare for a scandalous marriage tied with a bit of mystery, and a strange disappearance. 

Wine

Let's pair that with some wine (obviously). Because March marks the kick-off of spring, I think it's only right to drink rose, of the Provence variety

December 2016 Reading & Tasting

Book

For December's pick, I'd like to get back to our roots and select a read that has two of the characteristics that I strive to maintain since our club's beginning: New York City + women writers. So let's try The Clancy's of Queens by Tara ClancyThe memoir describes the author's life as a New Yorker, with her three different perspectives: Queens, Brooklyn, and the Hamptons. 

Wine

For wine, I think we should stick to red for the winter, but let's all bring and taste a red wine blend. That could mean wine created from two or more different types of grapes. It's common to see blends like Cabernet + Merlot, Grenache + Syrah, Tempranillo + Malbec, but there are a ton of options. 

November 2016 Reading & Tasting

Book

This month's pick: Get in Trouble by Kelly Link, a Pulitzer prize finalist and a collection of short stories in which a writer with a crazy imagination explores inner lies and odd corners of reality. I think this will be a fun way to mix it up (and I'll certainly need some fantasy in my life with the holidays coming up).

Wine (or Cider!)


Let's mix it up in the wine selection, too. Instead of bringing wine this month, bring your favorite hard cider. There's been a huge surge of new and funky ciders, especially in New York State. To avoid that sickly sweet stuff, select something that's on the dry side. Wolffer Estate makes a fantastic one in adorable little bottles. I also love Bad Seed and Farnum Hill has well. 

October 2016 Reading & Tasting

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Book

I want to read one of book club's favorite authors: Marla Semple who wrote Where'd You Go Bernadette? Her new read is called Today Will Be Different, about one woman's reinvention of herself.  

Wine

Since we're getting into the thick of fall, I'd like to switch to red. Let's drink Malbec, a wine that's typically found in Argentina or France, and which each region produces a very different flavor. Most likely, you've had Argentinian Malbec, which tends to be fruit forward with flavors of blackberry, plum, and black cherry. The French Malbec is more leathery and tart, and a little more tannic. Lucky for us, this wine goes great with cheese. 

September 2016 Reading & Tasting

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Book

I can't believe it's been three years since we started reading and drinking wine together. 

Let's read Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss. It follows our NYC connection/ female writer theme, so I think it will be a great choice for our celebratory meeting. 

Wine

As for wine, three years in a row, we're sticking with one of my all-time favorites, Gruner Veltliner, a medium-bodied, dry white wine that's peppery with notes of stone fruit and citrus.

July 2016 Reading & Tasting

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Book

This July, let's read My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. It's a story about two friends growing up in Naples, Italy. The book is actually book one in a series, in case you like it so much and want to continue on. 

Wine

We'll pair that with a loose wine recommendation: natural/organic/sustainable/biodynamic wines. I drink natural wines a ton, not because they are made without chemicals (although that sounds good), but because they are often super earthy/unfiltered/funky, which I love. I also realize they aren't for everyone, so bringing an organic/sustainable/biodynmic wine, too. 

You're probably like, what's the difference? Wine Spectator is here to help

March 2016 Reading & Tasting

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Book

This month, we're going to read a new/old book. Back in 2007, The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson was published: a memoir about her aunt's 35-year-old murder that was reopened when new DNA evidence was uncovered. This month, the much-talked-about book was reprinted. If you like Making of a Murderer, you'll probably like this one, too. 

Wine

As for wine, let's go with Muscadet, a light-bodied, mineral-y wine from the Loire Valley in France. If there's one thing that Muscadet pairs really well with, it's oysters! 

February 2016 Reading & Tasting

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Book

Since February is a short month, I want to give everyone a chance to catch up on their reading, so I selected a collection of short stories called Fortune Smiles, by Adam Johnson. It's won TONS of awards, including one of the best books of the year from the Washington Post. The collection focuses on giving voices to characters with major life obstacles or tragedies. 

Wine

As for wine: To mimic the dry, crisp winter weather, let's taste any variety of dry-tasting wine of your choosing. Dry meaning, there's little residual sugar in the wine, but understandably what is dry to one person, may not taste as dry to another. When in doubt, ask someone at your wine store for a recommendation! 

January 2016 Reading & Tasting

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Book

Our reading and tasting for January. We're going to read Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal. It's a novel that paints the picture of the food revolution from the last 25 years, in the point of view of a Midwest chef-- centering on themes of class, family, and culture. 

Wine

As for wine, I'm going to get a little abstract but bear with me. Rather than choosing a region or a varietal, I'm going to go on tasting notes. In honor of our country-midwest theme, bring something earthy, grassy, funky, or reminiscent of the countryside.