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Rachel’s Reads – February 2024

“Great wines are like great books. Once you take your first ‘sip’, they’re hard to put down.” – James Laube

To me pairing books and wine makes perfect sense. They both involve a process of discovery, and they both create a rich and sensory experience. Good wines, like good books, are well-crafted or have a lovely complexity where each sip reveals new nuances and flavors. Wines engage the senses through color, aroma, taste, and texture, while through books we visualize scenes, imagine the characters, and immerse ourselves into new worlds. It’s wonderful to enhance a reading experience through a delicious glass of wine. To celebrate Black History Month, I have paired four wonderful reads by Black authors with four wines (all available locally) that are Black owned or produced. I hope you find something to delight all of your senses. 




Quietly Hostile by Samantha Irby
This essay collection is hilarious and heartfelt. It is a portrait of a person through all of the good, the bad, and the depression memes. It is relatable and poignant and so much fun. 

Paired with: Longevity Wines Sparkling Blanc de Blanc
Full of vibrant acidity, this wine has notes of green apple and citrus with a delightful effervescence through its tiny bubbles. It feels just right to be paired with everything from a special occasion to a chat with an old friend, which is why I think it makes a great accompaniment to Samantha’s essays. 






Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
This emotional story is set in Nigeria and is about a modern African marriage. It contrasts old and new traditions and what happens to the people who are stuck in between them. 

Paired with: FLO Chardonnay
With notes of lemon and tropical fruit, this wine will take you on a journey which is why it felt so right with Ayobami’s book. There are so many interesting things happening with chardonnay that a couple stuck between the old and the new felt like a perfect pairing. 






Black Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood
In this older read (it came out in 2001), a Black girl from Alabama travels to Paris to follow in the footsteps of James Baldwin. It explores the idealization versus reality of living in the famous French city. 

Paired with: McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Rosé
Rosé has blown up recently but there are still plenty of people with preconceived notions about this pink wine. With notes of pomegranate and strawberry, this wine will leave you wanting more and helps (at least the drinker) explore the reality of this delicious wine. 





Passing by Nella Larsen
This classic is powerful and thrilling. It’s about the fluidity of racial identity and continues to resonate today. Check out the adaption on Netflix. 

Paired with: Brown Estate Zinfandel
Like the book it’s paired with, this Zinfandel is a classic. Medium bodied with notes of spices and hibiscus, this wine is immersive and drinkable.