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Cover Image of My Life by Bill Clinton published by Alfred A. Knopf
Cover Image of Moon and Sixpence (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) by W. Somerset Maugham published by Penguin Books
Cover Image of The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho, Alan R. Clarke published by Harper San Francisco
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Wine & Book Group Pick for Oct-Nov '10

abstract:Take October and November to discover these two great finds matched for the pleasure of Wine & Book Club members here at BookBuffet. When a book is named best work of fiction by the Texas Institute of Letters and long-listed for the Orange Prize (alongside Toni Morrison and Marilynne Robinson) and short-listed for the Orange Prize for New Writers, you can safely assume it will be a worthwhile read. I am referring to Ann Weisgarber's debut novel The Personal History of Rachel DuPree. For the feature wine we've selected a wonderful Zinfandel from Quivira Vineyards situated in a wine growing region called the "Dry Creek Valley" in California near the village of Healdsburg. We passed through this picturesque town on a drive up from LA to Vancouver-Whistler and walked the streets, toured the lovely bookstore, stopped for a delicious lunch. From there it's a short drive up to Quivira, a local family owned estate winery where they make a wonderful Zin and some up-and-coming Sauvignon Blancs as well. Add to that their fabulous estate garden, a 130 year old fig tree and estate sold honey, olive oil and preserves and you get a full terroir experience right there at the tasting room. The BookBuffet Wine & Book Club is a great way to discover new wines and touring destinations. So read the book, taste the wine at home or with friends and share your discussion/tasting notes online. You are in for an incredible reading and tasting experience. We believe in feeding the mind and the body!


October 01, 2010

How To Join The Wine & Book Group

Tell us if you've visited this winery or tasted its wine. We'd love your feedback and comments. How does the wine compliment the book? What did your group think of the pairing? What other wines is it like?
  • Go to the home page
  • Click on JOIN
  • Select "Invited to join an EXISTING group"
  • Type "The Wine & Book Group" (no quotes) in the group name field
  • Fill in the rest of the data fields, or if you are already a BB member, click the check box.
  • About the Author

    Ann Weisgarber was born and raised in Kettering, Ohio. After graduating from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, she was a social worker in a psychiatric hospital before moving to Houston, Texas, with her husband. She earned a Master of Arts in Sociology at the University of Houston and taught high school and later, sociology at a junior college. She has lived in Boston, Massachusetts, and Des Moines, Iowa, but now splits her time between Sugar Land, Texas, and Galveston, Texas. One day she visited the Badlands National Park and toured an original pioneer settlement made of dugout shelters. Later, she came across a photo of a black pioneer woman in front of a dugout. Weisgarber began to imagine the black woman's life, and the story tumbled out. Visit the author's website at

    The Novel

    Imagine yourself transported inside a Dorothea Lang photograph, only this time the setting is not Depression era dust bowls but the desicated Badlands of North Dakota in 1903. Rachel is the strong female protagonist, a black woman working as a cook in a rooming house next to a slaughterhouse in Chicago. When Isaac DuPree comes into her life she realizes he is not like the other men who work at the slaughterhouse. He tells her about the Homestead Act, which offers any citizen 160 acres of free land in the Badlands of South Dakota if they've the determination and gumption to make a living from it. With the promise of a better future, she flees Chicago to stake their claim together.

    The book opens 14 years later, they are struggling against dust, famine and a drought that is destroying not only their relationship, but their children, livestock and land. In an opening scene that ought to be required reading in fiction-writing classes, we join the DuPrees just as 6-year-old, Liz, is being lowered deep into a well to reach what is left of the water.

    Rachel, pregnant with her eighth child, has argued against this moment – and she has acquiesced to her husband Isaac's demand that the child must go. Rachel describes a dust devil, stray clumps of tumbleweed and the turning of the rope that is lowering Liz down, but all that she really sees is her scared daughter "in the darkness, ladling water into the bucket cup by cup."

    From that gripping introduction the reader experiences a unique phenomenon - the scant history of black residents in South Dakota, certainly not the average African American tale. There is an excellent interview with the author at Texas

    Wine Pick

    We had to have a scrappy wine that came from dry terroir and spoke of determination and flavor at all cost. Quivira Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Wine Creek Ranch 2007 is a Zinfandel from the Quivira Winery that is in Dry Creek Valley. It sells for an affordable $18.00 USD/bottle. Reviewers say "Huge nose of tight bright berries. Bright and spicy, lean and acidic. Complex and amazing." Rated: 91/100 in a review by Wine Spectator on 02/28/2010.

    Quivira has 93 acres of vines managed by Hugh Chappelle, vineyard manager and winemaker. It's located along Dry Creek just North of the famous Russian River region in Sonoma Valley. In addition to the vineyard there is a wonderful biodynamic estate garden managed by Andrew Beedy. A visit to this inspiring location is a must for anyone with an interest in the art of food growing. Accommodations in Healdsburg are characteristic of Sonoma Valley hospitality and style.

    Snooth writes, "The valley remains a rural setting for small family wineries, yet at the same time it has become home to the Sonoma wing of Gallo, one of the biggest... wine producers on earth. Zinfandel was the valley’s top red grape a century ago, and its return to prominence during the last 20 years has put Dry Creek Valley back in the limelight. Only Amador County in the Sierra Foothills is as closely identified with red Zin as Dry Creek Valley is today. (Sauvignon Blanc is the valley’s signature white grape.)"

    Previous Book & Wine Picks

  • Aug-SeptThe Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest set in Sweden
  • Jun-Jul Bad Girls Go Everywhere set in New York
  • Feb-MarThe Amazing Absorbing Boy set in Trinidad and Toronto
  • Dec-Jan The Winter Vault set in Egypt and Toronto
  • Mar-Apr Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell set in reality land
  • Jan-Feb Fifty Miles From Tomorrow set Alaska
  • Nov-Dec Distantly Related to Freud set Montreal, Canada
  • Sep-Oct Red Dog, Red Dog set the Interior, British Columbia
  • Jul-Aug A Romance On Three Legs set Toronto, Canada
  • May-Jun The Cellest From Sarajevo, set in Sarajevo
  • Mar-Apr Cellophane set in the Peruvian Rainforest
  • Jan-Feb Eat, Pray, Love set in New York, Italy and India
  • November-December Madonna:Like an Icon,
  • October-November Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, set in New England
  • Aug-Sep On Chesil Beach, set in England
  • July The Last Chinese Chef, set in Shanghai
  • June The Birth House, set in Nova Scotia
  • May Water for Elephants, set in Depression-era America
  • March-April Snowflower and the Secret Fan, set in China
  • February Cloudstreet, set in Perth, Australia
  • January The Good German, set in Berlin
  • December The Historian, set in Eastern Europe
  • November One Good Turn, set in Edinburgh
  • September Lost in the Forest, set in Napa Valley
  • August The Hummingbird's Daughter, set in Mexico
  • July The Devil Wears Prada, set in NYC
  • June Woolf in Ceylon, set in Ceylon
  • May Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living, Australia
  • April The Mermaid Chair, set in South Carolina
  • March Memoirs of a Geisha, set in Japan
  • February Get a Life, set in South Africa
  • January In the Shadow of the Wind, set in Barcelona
  • December Pride and Prejudice, set in England
  • November Beyond Measure, set in Renaissance Italy
  • October Breakfast at Tiffany's, set in New York


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