Romance author Candis Terry knows that the only thing better than having a book in your hand is having a glass of wine in the other. Her latest novel, A Better Man, is even set at a vineyard. In the book, Lucy Diamond is reunited with Jordan Kincade, a man who broke her heart when he left her behind in Sunshine Valley while he chased his dreams of becoming an NHL star. This is the first in Terry’s new Sunshine Creek Vineyards series, so there is plenty of more romance and wine in the future. But, if you’re craving a bit of both right now, Terry is here to share her recommendations for which wine you should pair with your favorite romance subgenre.
I often see articles about the joys of sipping a marshmallow-topped cup of hot chocolate while reading a good romance novel. Me? I prefer a nice red or white wine. Doesn’t matter, you say? Maybe not. But I believe the right wine with the right romance can definitely enhance the reading experience (as long as you don’t drink the whole bottle before you finish the book). Pairing your books with vino brings together two worlds where basically the same lingo is used: Velvety, spicy, and hot can be used when discussing both wine and romance.
Let’s take a deeper look at what I mean.
If your preferred romance genre is paranormal and you just can’t get enough of J. R. Ward, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, or Kerrelyn Sparks, you can’t go wrong with a nice cabernet sauvignon. Even if there’s no neck biting in the book, the wine’s flavor is dark like the world you’re reading about, and full-bodied like those sexy, muscular heroes who can shift into dragons, tigers, and bears (oh my). The wine leaves a taste on your tongue that makes you want more—of both the romance and the wine.
Port or moscato is the perfect match for a regency romance. Imagine all those handsome gentlemen in their crisp waistcoats and cravats doing everything in their deliciously wicked power to win over the pure of heart (but not necessarily always of mind) heroine with a glass in her hand. Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, and Sarah MacLean write the most wonderful, rousing stories that are as tasty and deeply satisfying as the wine.
On the other end of the spectrum there’s Champagne and sparkling wine. In my mind, these effervescent beverages pair perfectly with romantic comedy. If I’m lucky enough to have a glass of the bubbly in my hand, there really are no better authors to read than Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jill Shalvis, or Kristan Higgins. The wine tickles your nose while the book tickles your funny bone. And even though the climax seems to come a little early with the popping of the cork, it’s completely forgivable. Just think of it as a sensually exploding love scene in the first chapter that you know will lead to much, much more.
New adult romance is one of my favorite genres, and I always seem to prefer a nice crisp chardonnay or sauvignon blanc when I’m deep in an Abbi Glines or Jennifer Armentrout book. Sure, when I was a young adult Strawberry Hill or apple wine were the big thing. But I’m an adult now, and while I love to indulge myself in the younger set, I no longer have to drink wines that are a guaranteed hangover.
If I’m deep in a dystopian romance by Veronica Roth or a zombie apocalypse by Gena Showalter, I want a syrah (or shiraz) where the taste is a bit wild, spicy, and unpredictable. Just like those carefully created worlds of the unknown, this full-bodied wine can have spicy undertones. Perfect to go with those heroes and heroines who fall in love in dark, mysterious, and unforgiving places.
So you see, it’s not that I’m a lush (yet); it’s just that a bottle of these adult beverages beg to be opened and shared with a dark, lively, or juicy romance. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
Candis Terry was born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California and now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers. Only one thing has remained the same: her passion for writing stories about relationships, the push-and-pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own happily-ever-after.