The end of 2017 is fast approaching. So grab your champagne, put on your 2018 reading glasses, and toast to the New Year with these reads that will go perfect with your bubbly!
For your Demi-Sec: A decidedly sweet, but not sappy story to pair with a champagne that is the only one to pair with a dessert.
The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg
“The sweet, sentimental tale of an elderly man and a teenager coming into each other’s lives at just the right moment . . . In the vein of Fannie Flagg, this life-affirming story is a definite choice for . . . anyone looking for a little break from the darker novels that have been so popular lately.”—Library Journal
For the past six months, Arthur Moses’s days have looked the same: He tends to his rose garden and to Gordon, his cat, then rides the bus to the cemetery to visit his beloved late wife for lunch. The last thing Arthur would imagine is for one unlikely encounter to utterly transform his life.
Eighteen-year-old Maddy Harris is an introspective girl who visits the cemetery to escape the other kids at school. One afternoon she joins Arthur—a gesture that begins a surprising friendship between two lonely souls. Moved by Arthur’s kindness and devotion, Maddy gives him the nickname “Truluv.” As Arthur’s neighbor Lucille moves into their orbit, the unlikely trio band together and, through heartache and hardships, help one another rediscover their own potential to start anew.
For your Cava: An Action-packed Adventure throughout Spain to toast with a Spanish sparkling wine made in the same way as champagne.
Origin by Dan Brown
Bilbao, Spain: Robert Langdon arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough.
But the evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao and flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.
For your Extra-Dry: Dry humor to pair with an extra-dry wine that actually taste slightly sweet.
I’m Fine…And Other Lies by Whitney Cummings
“The funniest cry for help you’ll read this year.”—BJ Novak
“Here are all the stories and mistakes I’ve made that were way too embarrassing to tell on stage in front of an actual audience; but thanks to not-so-modern technology, you can read about them here so I don’t have to risk having your judgmental eye contact crush my self-esteem. This book contains some delicious schadenfreude in which I recall such humiliating debacles as breaking my shoulder while trying to impress a guy, coming very close to spending my life in a Guatemalan prison, and having my lacerated ear sewn back on by a deaf guy after losing it in a torrid love affair.
In addition to hoarding mortifying situations that’ll make you feel way better about your choices, I’ve also accumulated a lot of knowledge from therapists, psychotherapists, and psychopaths, which can probably help you avoid making the same mistakes I’ve made. Think of this book as everything you’d want from the Internet all in one place, except without the constant distractions of ads, online shopping, and porn.”—Whitney Cummings
To Pair with your Champagne:
Champagne Baby by Laure Dugas
Laure Dugas was born into a family of winemakers from two storied regions of France: Champagne and the Rhône Valley. But she wants little to do with the family business. It is only when her uncle offers to send her to New York City to learn English and represent his wines to the American market that Laure bids adieu to her boyfriend and begins her journey of discovery.
The job, it turns out, is both harder and easier than expected. Laure must speak in a new language about a subject in which she has no expertise. With the pedigree of an expert, even as she feels like a fraud, Laure dives into an industry still dominated by men, winning over restaurateurs and sommeliers, diligently developing her palate, and traveling across the vast country that is her new home.
For the first time, Laure is able to distinguish among the famous wines of her native land. She learns to greet a wine by the nose and judge a bottle not by its industry rating but by the balance of its flavors. Overcoming homesickness, culture shock, and the trials of a long-distance relationship, Laure manages to settle into her new milieu, her wine-glass-half-full attitude turning an eight-month stint into a three-year adventure.
For your Prosecco: A sparkling love story that began in Venice to pair with this white wine from the Veneto region of northeast Italy.
The Honeymoon by Dinitia Smith
Dinitia Smith’s spellbinding novel recounts George Eliot’s honeymoon in Venice in June 1880 following her marriage to a handsome young man twenty years her junior. When she agreed to marry John Walter Cross, Eliot was recovering from the death of George Henry Lewes, her beloved companion of twenty-six years. Eliot was bereft: left at the age of sixty to contemplate profound questions about her physical decline, her fading appeal, and the prospect of loneliness.
“Smith’s vivid exploration of the mind of author George Eliot, given name Marian Evans, and her late-in-life marriage to John Walter Cross raises the bar for historical fiction…Eliot fans will certainly inhale every page, but any historical-fiction readers will thoroughly relish Smith’s tale of a remarkable woman and an unlikely Victorian love.”—Booklist, starred review
Become a Connoisseur:
Champagne [Boxed Book & Map Set]: The Essential Guide to the Wines, Producers, and Terroirs of the Iconic Region by Peter Liem
From Peter Liem, the lauded expert behind the top-rated online resource ChampagneGuide.net, comes this groundbreaking guide to the modern wines of Champagne–a region that in recent years has undergone one of the most dramatic transformations in the wine-growing world. This luxurious box set includes a pullout tray with a complete set of seven vintage vineyard maps by Louis Larmat, a rare and indispensable resource that beautifully documents the region’s terroirs. With extensive grower and vintner profiles, as well as a fascinating look at Champagne’s history and lore, Champagne explores this legendary wine as never before.
There are few greater pleasures in life than enjoying a wonderful glass of wine. So why does finding and choosing one you like seem so stressful?
Now, becoming a happier, more confident wine drinker is easy. The first step is to forget all the useless, needlessly complicated stuff the “experts” have been telling you. In The New Wine Rules, acclaimed wine writer Jon Bonné explains everything you need to know in simple, beautifully illustrated, easy-to-digest tidbits. And the news is good! For example: A wine’s price rarely reflects its quality. You can drink rosé any time of year. Don’t save a great bottle for anything more than a rainy day.
Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste by Bianca Bosker
Professional journalist and amateur drinker Bianca Bosker didn’t know much about wine—until she discovered an alternate universe where taste reigns supreme, a world of elite sommeliers who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of flavor. Astounded by their fervor and seemingly superhuman sensory powers, she set out to uncover what drove their obsession, and whether she, too, could become a “cork dork.”
With boundless curiosity, humor, and a healthy dose of skepticism, Bosker takes the reader inside underground tasting groups, exclusive New York City restaurants, California mass-market wine factories, and even a neuroscientist’s fMRI machine as she attempts to answer the most nagging question of all: what’s the big deal about wine? What she learns will change the way you drink wine—and, perhaps, the way you live—forever.
Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack
Red or white? Cabernet or merlot? Light or bold? What to pair with food? Drinking great wine isn’t hard, but finding great wine does require a deeper understanding of the fundamentals.
Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine will help you make sense of it all in a unique infographic wine book. Designed by the creators of WineFolly.com, which has won Wine Blogger of the Year from the International Wine & Spirits Competition, this book combines sleek, modern information design with data visualization and gives readers pragmatic answers to all their wine questions, including detailed taste profiles of popular and under-the-radar wines, a guide to pairing food and wine, a wine-region section with detailed maps, and much more.