Celebrate International Literacy Day with a glass of wine and a juicy book! Read on for our top 9 must-read books for wine lovers.
Is there anything better than curling up with a good book and a delicious glass of wine? Books are a lot like wine! They can be multifaceted and complex or simple and satisfying. A good book can completely change your perspective on the world, and the right bottle of wine can do the same. That’s why we’re celebrating International Literacy Day with nine must-read books for wine lovers!
This day (September, 8th 2021) raises awareness for literacy issues within local and international communities. So, whether you’re reading for personal enjoyment or swapping books with a friend, remember what a beautiful privilege it is to read for pleasure and curiosity.
That being said, here are nine of our favorite wine-inspired books that are perfect for reading solo or for discussing with your next book club. Just don’t forget the wine!
Find Wine Inspiration in Non-Fiction Memoirs
You don’t have to be a wine professional to enjoy a good glass. However, isn’t it fascinating to learn about the folks who are experts at bottling perfection? Their stories will educate you, inspire you, and perhaps even surprise you. Here we’ve gathered three memoirs for you to enjoy over your favorite glass. They include stories about finding love and acceptance, enduring hardships with tenacity and grit, and using the magic of the natural world to find deeper meaning.
Love by the Glass: Tasting Notes from a Marriage
This sweet and inspiring memoir tells the story of one couple’s love for wine, writing, and each other. Dorothy — Dottie — Gaiter is a young, black, ambitious reporter in 1970s America, and John is a recent college graduate and one of the few Jewish people in the town where they live and work.
First meeting as colleagues on a small staff of writers, the two strike up a friendship that soon blossoms into a romance. One bottle of André, a couple of marriage vows, and a whole lot of Wall Street Journal columns later and now they’re sharing what they’ve learned. Snuggle up with a loved one and your favorite glass of wine and enjoy Love by the Glass: Tasting Notes from a Marriage
Curious to know what it’s like to be a professional wine expert? How about the country’s youngest sommelier? At age 21, that’s what “Wine Girl” Victoria James accomplished.
When you’re at the top of your field, however, the fall to rock bottom feels that much greater. James gives readers a raw look at the restaurant industry. Plus, she shares an honest take on her experiences as a young professional woman within that complicated world. You can find Wine Girl by Victoria James on Amazon.
Wine, Moon, and Stars
Before Gérard Bertrand was a professional rugby player, he was a young boy making wine with his father in the South of France. Now retired from the rugby pitch, Bertrand oversees an incredibly successful winemaking operation on his family’s vineyard. Even more fascinating is his experience when it comes to biodynamic farming.
In his memoir Wine, Moon, and Stars, Bertrand describes his life experiences, his love for the natural world, and how that all culminates into his innovative business practices and thoughtful wines. For a wine experience that ventures into the metaphysical, give Gérard Bertrand’s story a read.
Learn more about biodynamic winemaking and discover how the cycles of the moon and other aspects of nature may affect a wine’s qualities and flavors.
Revel in Wine with Works of Fiction
Much like enjoying your favorite wine, reading a work of fiction is a fabulous way to escape. That’s why we’re also reaching for fictional worlds in wine country. The books here include a light-hearted look at friendship and relationships, a time-period piece that’s sure to sweep you off of your feet, and a couple of thrillers set in wine country.
Good buddies Miles and Jack are heading into California wine country for a seven-day getaway in this clever and insightful novel by Rex Pickett. The success of this novel led to its adaptation into an Oscar-winning film starring Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church.
Jack will soon be married and is on this trip to enjoy all of the bar-hopping, golf-playing, and wine-drinking he can get in before the big day. Recently divorced Miles, on the other hand, is at a crossroads in his life. He’s undergoing a bit of soul-searching and is unsure about his future. Take the Sideways trip for the fun wine details, stay for the hilarious truths about human relationships.
For more wine-inspired films like Sideways, check out our list of flicks we suggest for movie and wine night!
The Vintner’s Daughter
It’s 1895, and the tragic loss of her father has sent young Sara Thibault’s life into a tailspin. With dreams of becoming a master winemaker now out of reach, Sara travels to California to pursue a new way of winemaking. There in the Napa Valley, a man could help Sara regain her family’s vineyard so she can follow in her father’s footsteps. Or he could take it all away. Check out The Vintner’s Daughter for complete wine-country immersion in a period-piece romantic drama.
Dial M for Merlot
Justin is your average Star Trek-loving geek who’s been stood up for the last time. After meandering into a wine-tasting following his latest tough break, Justin’s life suddenly changes. Now, he’s off to France, has a taste for fine wine and an appreciation for good food. Plus, he might not be so unlucky in love after all. For a fun and sexy novel with a kick of adventure, luxury, and maybe even murder, just Dial M for Merlot!
Nose: A Novel
A Napa Valley-based thriller by wine-genre writer James Conaway, Nose: A Novel follows wine critic Clyde Craven-Jones in his investigation of the origins of a mysteriously unknown Cabernet.
This particular wine scored the highest possible score on his wine-rating scale—a ranking never given by Clyde to any other wine before. Disturbed and delighted by this fact, Clyde sets out to discover the details of this Cabernet and soon finds himself in an even larger mystery, decades in the making.
Explore Your Creative Wine Side with Poetry
Poetry is a means of artistic expression that’s been celebrated for thousands of years. Like sampling fine wine, experiencing poetry is a treat for the senses and requires openness to the many layers and notes that may exist. Writing, reading, or listening to poetry is a great way to explore your creative side. The only thing that could make it better is by adding a sensual glass of wine.
Searching for Cloves and Lillies
In a fabulous take on wine pairings, Regine T. Rousseau suggests a specific wine to try with each of her poems in her beautiful book of poetry called Searching for Cloves and Lilies: The Wine Edition.
Touching as it is creative, Rousseau’s poetry explores all of the lessons, lovers, and life events that shaped her into who she is, including being a well-versed wine-enthusiast. For wine pairings that inspire metaphors for life, get your copy of Searching for Cloves and Lilies and settle in.
Tears and a Wine Glass
Often our most deeply felt emotions are paired with a glass of rich red or a crisp white—a pairing that inspires the title of Jasmine Ciera’s stunning new book of poetry, Tears and a Wine Glass. Ciera’s book of poems was released earlier this year and has already been met with rave reviews from readers.
Ciera writes that “this book is dedicated to the truth seekers. The ones looking to heal and be healed. This is my story, her story and even his story. So take a seat because this will get deep, I give you tears and a wine glass.” If you’re in the mood to uncork a bottle and explore your feelings, Tears and a Wine Glass is the perfect book for the occasion.
Sit Back, Sip Your Wine, and Enjoy a Good Book!
We hope these nine suggestions have put you into a prime wine-sipping and book-reading mood because there’s no better way for wine-lovers to celebrate International Literacy Day. Books are one of life’s simplest luxuries, and, much like wine, a good book can offer a bold, inspiring, or eye-opening experience.
Not sure which wine to select for your cozy reading endeavors? We recommend having a variety on hand so you’ll have the perfect bottle for any occasion. Subscribe to our Wine Subscription and have wine delivered right to your door. Happy Reading!