Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Unique Wine Pairings from Natalie MacLean

This past weekend, I connected with author and wine guru Natalie MacLean via none other than Twitter.

I started following her a while back when I'd been looking for a wine pairing to go with my famed maple mango salmon (original recipe taught to me by my dear friend, Kim) and stumbled across her website. With Natalie's handy--and easy-to-use--Wine & Food Matcher, I was able to compile a solid list of options. So, of course, I began to follow her on Twitter.

Several weeks and numerous reTweets later, Natalie responded to one of my Twitter replies, reaching out to me through this very blog. Funnily enough, the moment I received her email was the same moment I was researching her publishing history on my BlackBerry en route to NJ (I could see a fun and unique cookbook in her future!).

In the emails that followed, I learned that Natalie's first book Red, White, and Drunk All Over (Bloomsbury 9/06) looks fantastic and will be an upcoming review title (keep your eyes peeled!), that she's from my dear beloved town of Ottawa, and that in addition to loving wine (as do I), she also loves reading. So much so that she's gone ahead and paired some fabulous wines with some classic--and some not-so-classic--literature:
What are ten wines to drink with ten classic books?
Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Bronte with California chardonnay
The Scarlett Letter
by Nathaniel Hawthorne with red burgundy (pinot noir)
War and Peace
by Leo Tolstoy with vintage port
Wuthering Heights
by Emily Bronte with British sparkling wine or champagne
A Tale of Two Cities
by Charles Dickens with a southern France cabernet/merlot blend
Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen with Chilean chardonnay
The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck with California zinfandel
The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald with Washington merlot
he Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger with cognac (or rye whisky)
The Good Earth by Pearl Buck with New York riesling

What are ten wines to drink with ten current books?
DaVinci Code
by Dan Brown with Italian chianti
ats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss with New Zealand sauvignon blanc
The World is Flat
by Thomas L. Friedman with Spanish rioja
The Glass Castle
by Jeannette Walls with Canadian riesling
A Year of Magical Thinking
by Joan Didion with South African sauvignon blanc
by Toni Morrison with Argentine malbec
Memoirs of a Geisha
by Arthur Golden with saké
The Tipping Point
by Malcolm Gladwell with a German riesling
The Devil Wears Prada
by Lauren Weisberger with Californian cabernet
Running with Scissors
by Augusten Burroughs with Canadian icewine

What are your ten favorite food and wine books to read with any wine?

The Omnivore's Dilemma
by Michael Pollan
by Bill Buford
A Year in Provence
by Peter Mayle
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
The Vineyard: A Memoir
by Louisa Thomas Hargrave
Wine & War
by Don & Petie Kladstrup
The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher
Comfort Me With Apples
by Ruth Riechl
The Man Who Ate Everythin
g by Jeffrey Steingarten
The Tummy Trilogy
by Calvin Trillin

Check out more fun pairings, as well as podcasts, videos, tips, restaurant recs (A shout out to Nat for some great Ottawa suggestions for my upcoming trip!) on her website HERE
I can't wait I've ever thought about pairing wine with my reading material any more specifically than deciding to drink some while reading. But I'm loving this idea! There are number of books on these lists too that I've been wanting to read--among them War and Peace, Kitchen Confidential, The Tipping Point, and A Year of Magical Thinking. It also makes me want to re-read those which I've already experienced, if for no other reason but to figure out why Natalie chose to pair each book with the corresponding wine.

I can guarantee you one thing though--I'll certainly be giving Natalie's suggestions a whirl one of these days!

But before I do, I wonder what wine I should drink while reading her book...


  1. You didn't have to read The Tipping Point in grad school? I have a copy if you want to borrow :) (Though in my personal opinion, that one's better while drinking anything.)

  2. I'd pair this blog with a rosé.