Picture your perfect evening in: What do you see? A nice big book? A glass of wine? Yeah, us too. Miriam Parker, author of The Shortest Way Home, is very much on the same page. In Parker’s novel, a woman named Hannah gives up her glamorous life in Manhattan to go work at a winery in Sonoma. Here, Parker shares the wines she’d pair with some of her own favorite novels. Read on for some excellent pairings.
The only thing better than reading a book in a comfy chair or by a pool is having some wine to pair with it. My novel is set in a fictional California winery and is about finding the path you’re meant to follow. The path you are meant to follow this summer is drinking some delicious wine and reading some great books.
Champagne: No Angel by Penny Vincenzi
This is the first book in a trilogy. The Lytton family is composed of British aristocrats keeping themselves busy by publishing books. The book is full of fabulous homes, parties, meals, and of course, Champagne. Keep the bubbly flowing as you devour this book, and then inevitably the entire series.
Sauvignon Blanc: Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
Many know Kristin Hannah for her recent bestsellers The Nightingale and The Great Alone. But her best book (in my opinion) is Firefly Lane. It is a heartbreaking story of two friends: one who becomes famous and one who chooses a more traditional path. They’re brought back together by a terrible twist of fate. This is a total weep-fest that you will need an entire bottle of white wine to get through. But you’ll be happy you did.
Provence-style Rosé: The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton
Maybe you read Ethan Frome in middle school and hated it, and immediately put Edith Wharton on your “most boring author” shelf. Think again. The Custom of the Country is a super dishy book basically about cheating and gossip in turn-of-the-century New York and Paris. Undine Spragg is on the run from a sketchy past and moves to New York with the hopes of moving up in the world. She basically bankrupts her parents and a few other rich families before finding her true destiny. An anti-heroine for the ages. You can’t put this one down. It’s light and frothy, just like rosé. A perfect summer read that will also make you look smart.
Pinot Noir: Heartburn by Nora Ephron
If you love You’ve Got Mail or When Harry Met Sally this book is a must-read. It’s a novel that is very closely based on Nora Ephron’s real life. It’s funny, touching, heartwarming and there are even some recipes that feel totally doable (although I haven’t made them myself). You’ll even recognize a few key lines from Ephron’s movies within the pages. I’d pair this with a pinot noir because it goes so well with food and this book will make you hungry while it makes you laugh.
Nebbiolo: Goodbye Vitamin by Rachel Khong
A bittersweet novel about a woman who moves home to help her dad, a brilliant history professor, through the process of him losing his memory. This book is funny, but also touching. It’s a great portrait of a family. One of my favorite recent reads, it’s short and charming and also oddly makes you feel like a better person. Nebbiolo is a tannic wine that has a bit of bitterness on the tongue, so it’s a perfect pairing for this novel that is both sweet and sad.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
This is a big meaty book that needs a big meaty wine. Maybe also a steak. It goes back to World War II-era Brooklyn and follows Anna Kerrigan, whose life is irrevocably changed by the disappearance of her father and the onset of the war. Jennifer Egan also did incredible research in Brooklyn. This is a book that you should take out to dinner and treat well: Buy it a good steak and a great glass of cabernet. It’ll keep you way better company than any person.