Book Clubs! Wine! Blog!

Book Clubs and Wine Pairings with Angela Pneuman


A great book, a great bottle… a great night!

Book club night is my favorite night of the month. What's better than sitting around a patio or living room with friends, drinking wine and talking about what we've all just read?

I'd love to join the conversation about Lay It on My Heart at your book club—and after 15 years of working in the wine industry I'm more than happy to make a few pairing suggestions, too.

And if you're casting around for what to read next, I'll be picking a new book—and a great wine to drink with it—every month. Just read below!

Something Wicked This Way Come

Fall is my favorite time of year—even in Northern California, famous for its lack of seasons. Instead we have leaf-roll virus in the vineyards and its beautiful results: acres upon acres of post-harvest vines in red, gold and brown. Sometimes we have early rains, too, and the grass on the hills begins to turn from golden brown to fresh green. I love the wet, green winter grass, but even after years of living here it still strikes me as a delightful reversal.

My favorite fall book never changes: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. I reread it every year, and I wrote about it on my Ploughshares blog awhile back. As you read this with your book club—maybe on a night when the first dry chill of fall is just a clean hint in your nose or at the roots of your hair—pop open a bottle of a hearty, spicy red wine, like Syrah or Zinfandel from Rosenblum Cellars.

Either one pairs great with those frozen mini-quiches you can get in bulk at Costco—the kind of yummy convenience that saves your cooking time for reading. And these wines have a little something unexpected, too—a depth of flavor and character. Syrah will surprise you with black pepper notes, Zin with the lingering power of its jam-like fruit. Every sip reveals a little more, sort of the way every time I read Something Wicked This Way Comes it strikes me a little differently: here the mother’s plight, with her lonely marriage to an older man; here the schoolteacher’s with her fading fantasy of children; here the father, with his ever-mortal breath.