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The Sunday Salon: WASTED – Wine and Literature

The Sunday Salon.comIn my last Sunday Salon I mentioned that I was hosting the wine tasting group I’m a part of, WASTED. The theme for the night was “Wine and Literature,” so everyone brought a wine that went with a particular book passage. There were a lot of good wines, and it was fun to listen to everyone read their particular book passages.

We started out with a Guenoc Victorian Claret, a red wine that I picked out because the wine shop employee told me it was the kind of wine that characters in a Jane Austen novel would drink. It tasted a bit like tobacco and cherry, pretty good.

The first drink we had was a sherry, which went with The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, part of a series of “trashy adventure novels” featuring FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast. I’ve actually never had sherry before, but it was pretty good — sort of nutty and honey tasting.

After that we got into the white wines, starting with a really delicious champagne. The couple who brought it said it was inspired by two quotes they came up with independently:

“Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.” — Dorothy Parker

“My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne” — John Maynard Keynes

The next wine was another champagne from Clive Cussler’s book Trojan Odyssey, one of his Dirk Pitt novels. I don’t remember the exact quote, but it was a very sinister dinner party with a particularly suave villain.

Next up was mine, a California Symphony called “Obsession,” that went with Margaret Atwood’s, The Robber Bride. When the three main female characters meet for lunch, they always order a white wine and a bottle of sparkling water. It was only an $8 bottle of wine, but it was surprisingly delicious.

My friend Lindsay brought a Domaine Dupeuble Pere et Fils Beaujolais Nouveau — basically a good French red wine — to pair with Molly Wizenber’s A Homemade Life. It was a lovely passage about coming of age in France, eating delicious French food and drinking lots of wine our of glass yogurt jars. This book definitely was added to my wish list.

Another favorite reading was from the most recent David Sedaris book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, from a chapter about how the drinking culture in France is very different from in the United States. I don’t remember the wine, but it was good.

My friend Kristin read from Roald Dahl’s short story, “Taste,” from The Best of Roald Dahl. which is a story about a wine contest where a sleazy old man is trying to win a competitors daughter by identifying different vineyards in France. She brought another deep red wine that was quite strong.

One of my favorite moments was when one of the girls introduced her book saying, “My passage is from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince… maybe you’ve heard of it!” It was funny because she seemed a little embarrassed to have brought the book, but just about everyone in the group was really excited about it. The passage was about the Death Eaters drinking elf-made wine, so she brought a Malbec.

This is getting long, so I’ll just list the rest:

So that was WASTED and Literature. I think it went well, overall. People were a little nervous about reading, but the whole group was really supportive, lots of clapping and cheering after people finished their readings.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) November 21, 2010, 11:15 am

    What a fun club! I wish I could have joined you!

    • Kim November 22, 2010, 8:32 pm

      bermudaonion: It is a lot of fun! I can imagine book bloggers having a good time with something similar to this 🙂

  • Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy) November 21, 2010, 11:25 am

    That sounds like so much fun!

    • Kim November 22, 2010, 8:33 pm

      Melissa: It was! I wasn’t sure if people would get into the literature theme, but I was happy that everyone seemed to find a book they enjoyed that would work for the theme.

  • Ash November 21, 2010, 12:00 pm

    This sounds like so much fun! I really want to do something like this with my friends because we’re all crazy readers and love wine.

    • Kim November 22, 2010, 8:34 pm

      Ash: It would be really easy to organize. The only tip I’d suggest is to keep it to around 15 people — more than that and it gets to be a lot of wine, or not everyone gets to taste each one.

  • Amy November 21, 2010, 2:37 pm

    The event sounds like an awful lot of fun! Lots of great books and lots of great wine 🙂

    • Kim November 22, 2010, 8:35 pm

      Amy: Yes, it gets to be a lot of fun! I’m glad it was at our place and Boyfriend and I didn’t have to arrange driving home this time 🙂

  • Jeanne November 21, 2010, 3:09 pm

    Chiming in to say how much fun that does sound like. Also, I love champagne and quote DP on it frequently. Another quote is Cunegonde from Candide: “I have no strong objection to champagne–a ha ha ha!”

    • Kim November 22, 2010, 8:35 pm

      Jeanne: That’s a funny quote – I like it!

  • Maphead November 21, 2010, 7:10 pm

    I was just about to pour myself a big ole glass of red wine when I saw your post. How’ THAT for timing !

    • Kim November 22, 2010, 8:36 pm

      Maphead: Ha ha, so funny! I hope you got a good glass 🙂

  • Trisha November 22, 2010, 7:52 am

    That just sounds like so much fun!

    • Kim November 22, 2010, 8:36 pm

      Trisha: It really was. I wish I’d taken pictures, but I’m terrible about doing that.

  • Steph November 22, 2010, 9:30 am

    This sounds like so much fun… I may appropriate the idea for a party in the future! I love the idea of mixing books and wine, and choosing wines based on books themselves is just to cool. Plus it sounds like you got to try tons of great new wines. Brilliant!

    • Kim November 22, 2010, 8:37 pm

      Steph: If you do borrow the idea, the only requirement is that you post about it after! Just kidding, although that would be awesome. We get to try tons of new wines every time the group meets, I just love it. I think I’m starting to develop a taste for different types, which I never expected would happen.

  • Erin November 22, 2010, 12:33 pm

    This sounds like so much fun! I’m glad it was successful.

    I wonder what the “heady wine” everyone in The Odyssey keeps drinking is? Perhaps all us readalong participants should share a bottle when we reach the end!

    • Kim November 22, 2010, 8:38 pm

      Erin: I was wondering that myself – I actually considered doing The Odyssey, but was already too excited about Margaret Atwood. If you can figure out how to share a bottle across the internet, I am in! 🙂

  • Lisa November 22, 2010, 7:50 pm

    What a great idea! Although will all of those drinks, I’m surprise you remembered what you talked about!

    • Kim November 22, 2010, 8:39 pm

      Lisa: Well, Lindsay’s notes got more and more unreadable as the evening went on, so sometimes it’s hard. Luckily, I remembered all the books, even if the wines were a bit fuzzy 🙂

  • Michelle November 28, 2010, 2:25 pm

    What a fun idea!!! I would love to have a dinner party with a theme like that. In fact, you’ve given me some ideas…

    • Kim December 5, 2010, 11:02 am

      Michelle: I think it’d be very cool do to this theme as a dinner party – I suspect “food in books” would be easier, and a lot of fun.