You don’t have to love reading to appreciate books. Sure, it helps, but it’s not mandatory, like...say, wearing a mask in public during a global pandemic. Books are how we record and organize our lives, entertain and teach our children and ourselves. Indeed, it’s not too much to say these days that we’re living in some book not yet written. Hard not to appreciate that, right?
Great books can turn almost anyone into a bibliophile and live in the heart forever. They make us excited to share them, and to find new ones just like them. Books that are just “okay” for one person, may prop up an air conditioner or set out to find new lovers via a box on the stoop. Anything is possible when it comes to books. August 9 is National Book Lovers Day. Are you ready to fall in love? Here are 5 book and bottle pairings that are sure to suit just about any reader. Here’s the best part—they are available in-store and online at Greenlight Bookstore.
Pairing: Duckman Espumante Rosa 2019
This whimsical debut by writer/comedian Aaron Jackson demands a wine that’s as bubbly and unique as his novel, in which an orphan named August March explores life and finds love in a post-war New York City speckled with theater society, pickpockets, con artists, and, stuffy boarding school students. Deftly, charmingly written, the perfect wine for this charming read is Joao Pato’s sparkling Pét Nat. This wine has a story of its own; Duckman is a fictitious character known for being inquisitive and forward thinking, a story which resonates with winemaker Maria Pato’s winemaking philosophy. Made in Bairrada, this unfiltered Baga rosé offers alluring notes of cherry blossom and strawberry, backed by mouthwatering freshness and a long finish that will stay with you sip after sip.
Pairing: Chateau Turcaud Entre Deux Mers 2018
This refreshing blend of sustainably farmed Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscadelle seems made for Gibbons’ now classic tale, first published in 1932, which sends up the gloomy romance tropes of Thomas Hardy and the Bronte Sisters with wicked style and aplomb. Flora Poste, orphaned at 19 at Cold Comfort Farm in Sussex, England, with relatives, the dour Starkadder family, and cows are named Feckless, Aimless, Pointless, and Graceless. Flora's confident and clever management of this cast of eccentrics is only part of the fun of this novel. Enjoying it with a glass of this wine, which hails from Bordeaux and opens with white flowers, citrus, and tropical fruit, but finishes as dry and witty as Gibbons’ writing.
Pairing: Sciccu Bianco 2019
Emezi’s novel is crushable in the best sense of the word―it’s impossible to put down, filled with beautifully rendered characters and rich, complex storytelling about one Nigerian family’s heartbreaking struggle to understand a gentle and somewhat mysterious child after his sudden death. For this pairing, Creta Paglia’s stunningly complex blend of indigenous Calabrian varietals Guarnaccia, Guardavalle, and Mantonico. Earthy, herbaceous, and refreshing, it’s sure to keep you sipping until the very last sentence.
Pairing: Kumeu Village Pinot Noir 2018
With her signature style and dark humor, Elizabeth McCracken has written an epic family saga, set against the backdrop of twentieth-century America, about three generations of a thoroughly unconventional family who own and operate a candlepin bowling alley. Luckily, there’s nothing conventional about this New Zealand Pinot Noir. Produced by the Brajkovich family, which first arrived in New Zealand from Croatia in the 1930s, the wine is bright, nuanced, and so delicious that it’s easy to forget just how much work went into crafting it.
Pairing: Pares Balta Mas Elena 2018
Filled with ripe red fruits, notes of turned soil, leather, and spice, this organic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc is as structured as it is smooth, just like Parish’s thriller about an epic Las Vegas heist engineered by a thief in a desperate bid to save those he loves. Every glass is transporting, the ideal match for a novel set in Las Vegas, Mexico, and Europe. Try it with creamy, irresistible burrata for an epic experience of your own.