Drinking Rosé with Katherine Reay

Lately, I’ve been teaching myself how to cook (more on that in a later post!). Because of my new found love of cooking, I have been gravitating towards fiction and non-fiction books with food and cooking at their core.

This week I finished reading Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay.  As a die-hard fan of Jane Austen, I was originally drawn to the book because of the connection to Austen’s Pride and PrejudiceKatherine Reay‘s books tend to be inspired by classic novels, especially Austen.

Lizzy and Jane couldn’t be further from Jane Austen’s famous sisters for whom they are named.

Elizabeth left her family’s home in Seattle fifteen years ago to pursue her lifelong dream—chefing her own restaurant in New York City. Jane stayed behind to raise a family. Estranged since their mother’s death many years ago, the circumstances of their lives are about to bring them together once again.

Known for her absolute command of her culinary domain, Elizabeth’s gifts in the kitchen have begun to elude her. And patrons and reviewers are noticing. In need of some rest and an opportunity to recover her passion for cooking, Elizabeth jumps at the excuse to rush to her sister’s bedside when Jane is diagnosed with cancer. After all, Elizabeth did the same for their mother. Perhaps this time, it will make a difference.

As Elizabeth pours her renewed energy into her sister’s care and into her burgeoning interest in Nick, Jane’s handsome coworker, her life begins to evolve from the singular pursuit of her own dream into the beautiful world of family, food, literature, and love that was shattered when she and Jane lost their mother. Will she stay and become Lizzy to her sister’s Jane—and Elizabeth to Nick’s Mr. Darcy—or will she return to the life she has worked so hard to create?

-http://www.katherinereay.com/

I loved the focus on food and how a good meal can bring people together. At first, I thought the book would be more of a modern take on Pride and Prejudice, but it was nothing like the beloved Austen novel.  However, I could see the inspiration of Jane Austen’s writing and loved the references to her famous characters and novels.  I was happy that Katharine Reay’s story was genuine and her own, instead of re-writing Pride and Prejudice for a modern audience. It was a perfect book to usher in the spring, combined with my love of cooking and new found appreciation of food.

Because it’s been getting warmer in New Jersey (finally), I’ve been on a rosé kick. There is nothing I love more than a wonderfully chilled rosé on a warm spring day! Rosé wines can be tricky.  They are NOT the same as a white zinfandel, which is not grape variety, but rather created from processing Zinfandel grapes. I prefer my rosé with a dry, lightly fruity taste with a little bit of tang.

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While I was in Grand Cayman this past January for the Cayman Cookout event that I work every year, I had the opportunity to try a rosé from Jean Luc ColomboCape Bleue Rosé. After one sip I was hooked.  It was one of the best tasting rosé wines I have ever had. Plus the color is just beautiful. I knew once I returned to the states, I needed to find and purchase it!  Luckily, it’s available at several local wine stores, as well as online at wine.com (love this site!).

I chose Cape Bleue Rosé to pair with Lizzy and Jane because it’s light and refreshing. Much like Reay’s novel. Plus all of Lizzy’s cooking brought me back to Cayman Cookout and made me crave Cape Bleue Rosé. It turned out to be a great pairing!

Do you have a favorite rosé? Comment below and let me know what I should try!

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Someday, Someday, Maybe, I’ll Visit San Francisco

Two months ago I moved into my sweet little condo and a couple weeks later I had friends over to celebrate. I am a HUGE fan of the band, Train, and one of my friends brought me a bottle of wine from their winery, Save Me San Francisco Wine Co. It happened to be one of my favorite types of wine, Sauvignon Blanc – Bulletproof Picasso Sauvignon Blanc, to be exact (named after their most recent album). I was ecstatic, so naturally I had to find a fun book to drink with my new wine!

As an avid fan of Gilmore Girls, I have been following the updates on the new season (coming to Netflix later this year) with the utmost fervor.  So when searching through my extensive “To Read” list to find a title to pair with my new wine, I instantly gravitated to Someday, Someday, Maybe by none other than Lauren Graham (aka Lorelai Gilmore)!

Both my book and wine choice incorporated my tastes in music and TV.  I love when that happens.  It promised to be a perfect combination.  And it was.

After struggling to finish a memoir that I had lost interest in (more on that in a later post), I decided to abandon the book and craved a fiction piece (and subsequent wine) that was light and would catch my attention immediately. Someday, Someday, Maybe was that book. And Bulletproof Picasso was that wine. Both did exactly what I wanted them to.  The combination got me out of my book funk and re-launched my love of reading with blazing intensity.

I say this often in my posts, but I enjoy characters that are relatable and could be someone you meet on the street.  But what I LOVE more, are relatable characters with wit, eccentricities, and big hearts. Lauren Graham’s main character, Franny, has all of those qualities and more. The book follows Franny, a struggling, young actress trying to keep it together and get ahead in her career.  Taking place in NYC, Graham focuses on following your dreams and allowing yourself to hope for “someday”.

It’s January 1995, and Franny Banks has just six months left of the three-year deadline she set for herself when she came to New York, dreaming of Broadway and doing “important” work. But all she has to show for her efforts so far is a part in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters, and a gig waiting tables at a comedy club. Her roommates―her best friend Jane, and Dan, an aspiring sci-fi writer―are supportive, yet Franny knows a two-person fan club doesn’t exactly count as success. Everyone tells her she needs a backup plan, and though she can almost picture moving back home and settling down with her perfectly nice ex-boyfriend, she’s not ready to give up on her goal of having a career like her idols Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep. Not just yet. But while she dreams of filling their shoes, in the meantime, she’d happily settle for a speaking part in almost anything—and finding a hair product combination that works.

Everything is riding on the upcoming showcase for her acting class, where she’ll finally have a chance to perform for people who could actually hire her. And she can’t let herself be distracted by James Franklin, a notorious flirt and the most successful actor in her class, even though he’s suddenly started paying attention. Meanwhile, her bank account is rapidly dwindling, her father wants her to come home, and her agent doesn’t return her calls. But for some reason, she keeps believing that she just might get what she came for.

Someday, Someday, Maybe is a story about hopes and dreams, being young in a city, and wanting something deeply, madly, desperately. It’s about finding love, finding yourself, and perhaps most difficult of all in New York City, finding an acting job.

-Penguin Random House

As for the wine, if you love a crisp, dry white.  This is definitely a bottle you need to pick up.  I am a huge fan of wine that is fermented in stainless steel barrels, versus Oak.  I love a good crisp, tart, dry wine. And Bulletproof Picasso has all three of my favorite wine characteristics.

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Both the wine and the book are fun, light, and refreshing.  Graham’s writing is charming, eloquent, and funny.  It’s perfectly matched with Bulletproof Picasso. If you are looking for a great book to read outside on a warm spring day while sipping a delightfully chilled glass of white wine, definitely check out Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham and Bulletproof Picasso Sauvignon Blanc from Save Me San Francisco Wine Co!

 

2016, you got me by the pen.

Happy New Year, friends!

As New Year’s Eve approached, I started to think a lot about resolutions.  I decided that this year I would prefer to focus on goals in relation to my writing.

As 2015 came to a close, I realized that my writing had taken a backseat throughout the year.  And I was not OK with that.  No wonder the year had been a difficult one! I felt like I had turned by back on what I love most. This revelation broke my heart and made me realize that my writing must come first.

Tonight I dedicated my evening to working for myself to plan out my 2016 writing goals.  I decided the on 7 goals (7 is my favorite number).

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Every Monday, like clock work, Pour Me Another Novel will publish new content.  That means a lot of great books and great wine are coming your way!

January’s menu has been planned out and focuses on non-fiction, so take a closer look at what is coming up this month!

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This is my happy place. I’m looking forward to all of the words I will be both reading and writing this year!

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Cheers!

 

 

My Favorite Wine and Enjoying First Frost

I recently had the opportunity to travel to the Cayman Islands for work.  It was my first time in the Caribbean! I was working at the Cayman Cookout event, a food and wine festival that attracts some of the best chefs and wine makers in the world.  Enjoying the Caribbean during winter AND sampling some food and wine, all while staying at The Ritz?! I am one lucky girl. Aside from the memories of sandy beaches and sunshine, along with meeting famous chef Jose Andres, I left the Caymans with a favorite wine from Justin Winery.

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It was the best Sauvignon Blanc I’ve ever had.  Since I’ve been back in the states, no Sauv Blanc has even come to close to my love of this Justin wine.  Luckily I was able to find it on wine.com and ordered a bunch of bottles! It’s even available at a decent price! I’ve also found it at Gary’s Wine and Marketplace.  Can’t wait to pick up a couple of bottles this week! It’s even on sale!

Clearly I couldn’t just pair ANY book with my beloved Justin Sauvignon Blanc, so I chose the latest release from my favorite author, Sarah Addison Allen, First Frost.

Those who are familiar with Addison Allen’s work will recognize some beloved characters from one of her other novels, Garden Spells.

The Waverley sisters are back and faced with new challenges. With the impending first frost, the sisters are restless. Claire’s candy has become so successful that her magical garden cannot keep up with the popularity and demand of her magical candy.  She begins to fear that her magical ability isn’t really magic at all. Sydney’s daughter Bay falls in love for the first time and Sydney yearns to have another baby. As they prepare for the first frost celebration, tensions are high when a stranger enters Bascom with a very un-Waverley desire.

The Waverley sisters are probably two of my favorite characters in fiction. Reading stories that focus on their sisterly bond and their family dynamic is comfortable. I feel like I’m reading about two friends and that I’ve come to know their family and their idiosyncrasies. I really hope that this is not the last time Sarah Addison Allen writes about the Waverleys!

I would love to be invited to Claire and Sydney’s first frost party. I’d be sure to bring a bottle of Justin Wine with me!

Need a little “Sneak Taste”?!

I’m back and ready to read and drink!  Need a “sneak taste” of what I’ve been reading and sipping?

Here’s what’s on tap for Pour Me Another Novel over for the next few weeks!

Once Upon a Vine wine and the Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling

Independent Chenin Blanc and Autumn in the Vineyard by Marina Adair

Redux Sauvignon Blanc and The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

Sequin Pinot Grigio and Taking the Lead by Derek Hough

The Light Grape White Blend and What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman

The Proper Etiquette of Wine Tasting with Your Own Winery

Demarest Farms Wine Festival and the fabulous Auburn Road Winery

Online Wine Clubs: Club W Profile

Yoga in the Vineyard at Cava Winery

The Grand Harvest Wine Festival in Morristown

Dandy Chardonnay and The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel

Blog Tour: Everything You Want (or Don’t Want) to Know About My Writing

A little late to the blog tour, but better late than never, as the old cliché goes!  Thank you to Tiffany Dailey for involving me in the project.  Check her out; she’s awesome:  http://trdailey.blogspot.com

Also, thank you to Kelley Harvey and the Blog Tour for the great opportunity! Check Kelley out here: http://www.kelleyharveywrites.blogspot.com/

For those who are finding your way to my blog for the first time, welcome to Pour Me Another Novel! A writer by heart and soul, I was raised in rural northern New Jersey and have been a purveyor of the arts since a young age. In high school I cultivated a passion for writing. The realization that books and stories could not only change my world, but the world around me, lead me to study literature in college. My first novel, My Song, debuted in May 2012 and is currently available on amazon.com and lulu.com. When I’m not writing I can be found singing, reading, traveling, and/or drinking wine.

Currently I am working on two projects. The first and most important is my second novel, The Year of the Butterfly. I’m not sharing too much about it yet, as I’m still enjoying the beginning phase of getting to know my characters and their emotions. But trust me, it’s going to be a good one. I feel it deep within my bones. My second project is enhancing and expanding my blog, Pour Me Another Novel, which is a recent project. The premise is simple: I talk about the books I read and pair them with an awesome wine! Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks for This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper with Harvest Moon wine from Warwick Valley Winery (deep in the heart of the black dirt region of NY state), and The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand with Woodbridge White Zinfindel. This blog combines my love of reading and my love of wine into one perfect package. I mean, really, what is better than reading a good book with a glass of delicious wine? Not much, if you ask me!

While my blog may be light, fun, and filled with wine, my fiction writing goes a lot deeper.When I’m writing my novels and short stories, I definitely key in on my characters emotions.  I focus heavily on how and why my characters feel the way they do. I think there is more conflict deep within ourselves than with outside forces. The journey from beginning to end shows how they deal with themselves and their environment. I find that my writing is deeply affected by emotion and my plots are heavily driven by what my characters feel, their morals, and their conscience. My books and short stories tend to be an emotional immersion.

I write the books and stories I do because I fell in love with writing as a way to deal with my own emotions. I find that there is healing in writing from the heart and putting feelings on paper. There is vulnerability in writing and how I feel and I honestly, I think it has made me a better person. Writing is therapy and my sincerest hope is to touch readers on a personal level, to tug at their heart strings.

My writing process is a bit scattered (in my experience, most writers’ processes are!). Usually, inspiration hits while I’m driving, when I have no ability to physically write anything down. That’s when Siri and I become best friends and I tell her to take a note of my idea. And she does with minimal grammatical errors that I decode when I am finally behind my desk and not the wheel. I have journal that is brown with the word COURAGE stamped across the front. It’s more important to me than any of my possessions. I use it to write scenes, ideas, stories, and letters. When I need inspiration, I need only to ready past entries. And usually a glass of good wine helps me relax and get the creative (grape) juices flowing. I type a lot of first drafts on my trusty computer and don’t think about editing until I’ve finished a scene or chapter. Then I like to go back and tighten the language and make sure all necessary, powerful emotion is present. I find inspiration wherever I go, whether I’m traveling, visiting vineyards for my blog, or just talking with friends or strangers. Parts of me and my life are always prevalent in my writing. Even if it’s the smallest detail, like a dog-eared page of a book I didn’t finish because I had looked up and met someone who changed my life forever at that moment. The details are important to me because they say so much in their simplicity. I am a person who has been profoundly impacted by those around me – the good and the bad. I continue to learn and grow and I leave that page dog-eared to remind me of a life changing moment, that I will never forget, but continues to influence everything I do, everything I’ve become, and most importantly, everything I write.

Getting Lost with Lost Lake and Ceci Bella Wine

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Recently I read Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen.  She is one of my favorite authors.

Because of Allen’s magical ability to let her readers taste the food and drinks she writes about, I knew I had to find a flavorful wine to pair with her latest novel.  Picking a wine for this book was an easy decision.  I knew I had to drink Ceci Bella Acai Raspberry Cabernet Sauvignon by Cava Winery, a local New Jersey winery.

Usually I am not a red wine enthusiast, but I absolutely ADORE Ceci Bella Acai Raspberry Cabernet Sauvignon.  I think I may even go as far as to say that this is my favorite wine. Ever.  That’s how delicious it is.  The taste is smooth, fruity, a little tart, and full of amazing, sweet, robust flavors.  I like to drink my Ceci Bella cold (unlike most red wine).

It was the perfect wine to drink with Lost Lake, because the wine is quirky and different, much like Allen’s characters.  I have read every one of her books, and each has an absolute mystical quality.  It’s easy to relate to her characters, but they usually have some strange magical quality, which I find intriguing.  What I loved most about Lost Lake was its focus on each character becoming stronger within their own self.  It was a search for meaning and a life lesson that it’s OK to be lost sometimes.

I thought it was appropriate that I finished Lost Lake on the beach of Lake George over Memorial Day weekend!

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This is the perfect summer read.  So chill your favorite fruity wine, and grab Lost Lake because you’re not going to want to put the book or your glass down!

Check out Lost Lake here!

Chardonnay and Pride & Prejudice

Happy belated Easter to all those who celebrate!  I hope everyone enjoyed a wine filled weekend!  

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Photo credit to Auburn Road Vineyard and Winery’s Facebook page.

I still have a little under 40% left in Pride & Prejudice (or so my Kindle says!).  I will be finishing it this week.  But like a good wine, I’m really enjoying savoring my favorite (thus far) Jane Austen novel.  

This past week I’ve paired my novel reading with Cupcake Vineyards Chardonnay.  I’ve tasted quite a few variations of Chardonnay, but this one is my particular favorite.  I mean, just the website’s description of its flavor will make you salivate! 

When I think of a classy glass of wine, I think of Chardonnay.  What better type of book to pair it with, than a classic by Jane Austen! There are many things that I enjoy about Pride & Prejudice.  The drama and gossip between the sisters is like a soap opera.  I find it so fun and humorous at times, yet extremely poignant and brilliant.  Elizabeth Bennet is the crowning jewel.  She is such a strong female character.  I find myself admiring her wit, energy, and determination.  She stands above the other the female characters in Austen’s novel.  She’s poised, yet incredibly stubborn.  And so is Darcy.  Even though he’s arrogant, he’s multidimensional.  I love complex characters.  Austen does an amazing job unfolding this complicated, yet lovingly honest relationship between Darcy and Bennet.  All relationships are complicated. Most of the time, couples don’t fall in love immediately.  It’s a journey.  Much like finding a favorite wine!

One of the reasons I love Chardonnay is because your taste buds experience a variety of flavors, very much like Pride & Prejudice. It’s dry, yet sweet, rich, yet light, with a hint of citrus sourness.  I like it best chilled.  I find that the citrus really pulls through when the wine is cold.

It was the perfect treat while reading about Elizabeth’s travels through London and her run-ins with Mr. Darcy. 

I think Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet would definitely share a glass of Chardonnay on the grounds of Pemberley, don’t you?

 

Download and read Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

 

Welcome to Pour Me Another Novel!

There are few things I love more than settling in with a good book and a delicious glass of wine.  In fact, I am enjoying a glass of Beringer White Merlot as I type.  Literature and libations = a perfect combination.

I read a lot and drink a lot of wine.  It’s as simple as that.

Through Pour Me Another Novel I want to share the books I read and the awesome drinks I drink (alcoholic or not!).  I believe that a good book and the right beverage can make a perfect pair, just like wine and cheese!

Each week I will be discussing books, drinks, and everything in between.

Currently I’m re-reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  Classic books are the comfort food of literature!  I find the best beverage pair with Jane Austen is a glass of white wine or a cup of tea.  Both warm the soul, just like Jane Austen.

Stay tuned Monday for my first book post!