Food & Drinks

5 Summertime Reading Suggestions For Wine Lovers

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister heads our list of summertime reading suggestions for wine lovers. As mentioned in the first post of this mini-series, this book immerses readers in the sense of smell, and invites us to expand our awareness of fragrance and aroma. For me, that makes it the kind of book that improves the experience for wine lovers.

Here are four additional suggestions, with some commentary on the various reasons why they’re recommended reading for wine lovers this summer.

Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen, by Katie Button with Genevieve Ko

Orienting our book choices around the senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, sound. That was my suggestion as I introduced this mini-series of book recommendations, and the list would be incomplete without a book on preparing and enjoying food. This particular book is included for its ability to evoke. To evoke the classic flavors and the innovative appeal of Spanish food, for example. To evoke the experience of the Spanish coastline. To evoke Spain’s history and its influence on the cuisine. And to evoke the sounds, at the group scale, of preparing paella.

The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig

“We don’t have to have tried every variety of grape from every vineyard to know the pleasure of wine,” the author writes. “We just have to close our eyes and savour the taste of the drink in front of us and listen to the song as it plays.” It’s a direct quote from the author that conveys the sense of intention behind this book: that not every book is worth reading, or every wine worth trying, or every life worth living, except for the ones that are in front of us to experience.

Finding Freedom: A Cook’s Story, Remaking a Life from Scratch, by Erin French

Wine’s role in this narrative is supportive at best, relegated largely to the ancillary beverage that washed down the author’s pills or helped to wind down the adrenaline after service. Occasionally it punctuated a celebratory moment with a few popped corks of something sparkling, or it underscored vermentino’s particularly appealing pairing with a dish of delicately prepared seafood. Finding Freedom is included on this list for its role in the evolution of the author’s mother’s character, and how she found redemption (and freedom) after assuming stewardship of the restaurant’s wine cellar.

28 Summers, by Elin Hilderbrand

This book, set on the island of Nantucket, comes very close to the category of “beach read” despite the caveat about that phrase that I inserted at the beginning of this mini-series. Its position on this list has less to do with wine per se than it does with the repeat experience of a simple pleasure — the same style of wine, the same summer house revisited, the same menu, the same movie viewed — and our own relationship to it over time.

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