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Wine & Book Group Pick for Nov-Dec '08

abstract:Distantly Related to Freud (Cormorant Books 2008) is Ann Charney's delicious novel about a Montreal girl named Ellen and her drive to control her destiny amidst generational codes and ethics. Set in the 50s and 60s this book explores the sexual morays of post-war European immigrants to Canada. "Sex is power," Ellen states after giving up her virginity with clear-eyed purpose. Distantly Related seemed like the perfect match for deep and delicious reds from the Niagara Wine Trail, which formally consists of twelve different wineries in the Niagara escarpment. We've singled out just three selections for you to track down and taste when you and your group discuss this book.

article:

November 05, 2008

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  • About the Author

    Ann Charney is a novelist, essayist and journalist. She was born in Poland and lived there during WWII. She was liberated by the Russians in 1945 and immigrated to Canada. She studied at McGill University and the Sorbonne, and now lives in Montreal. Charney has been a columnist for Maclean's Magazine, a frequent contributor to Saturday Night, Ms. magazine, and other leading publications. Her first novel is titled Dobryd, and her second is Rousseau's Garden. Distantly Related to Freud is her third novel. She has won the National Magazine Award both for her fiction and non-fiction. The government of France named her Officier de líOrdre Arts et des Lettres.

    The Montreal Review of Books writes this review: "With its winsome protagonist and the palpable interplay between innocence and the shadows that encroach on it, Charney has written one of the most endearing novels of the season."

    Niagara Escarpment Wines

    Niagara County celebrates its bicentennial this year. Thatís 200 years of farming, growing fruit and feeding Western New York. Suddenly it has a fast-growing wine industry. The wines of Niagara County run a gamut from bland to sensational. There are dinner wines, ice wines, dessert wines, casual dining wines and silly wines. Some are in part made from grapes trucked in from elsewhere, and all include grapes that have been analyzed, grafted, and otherwise improved since Cornell University began its exhaustive studies of the Niagara Escarpment as a grape-growing region in the 1960s.

    The Niagara Gazette sent one intrepid taster missioning out on the Niagara Wine Trail and the encapsulated version of his tastings at all twelve vineyards can be found at the link provided. My curiosity was piqued with his description of The Schultze Vineyard and Winery.

    Ed Adamczyk writes, "The Schultze Vineyards and Winery required all the maps and notes of a road rally to find, off the main roads in Burt, but its opulent tasting room and quality samples made it an early favorite. This farm has a long-standing presence in Niagara County, and its experience shows in its densely flavored cabernet sauvignon and in a sweet, lightly carbonated white wine called Crackling Niagara

    After trying a sweet wine named Ruby that made me think of jelly beans, their dry rose, appropriate with salmon or something like it, was a nice surprise. If a wine enthusiast enjoys California or Australian wines, these compare favorably."

    Previous Book & Wine Picks

  • Sept-Oct Red Dog, Red Dog set the Interior, British Columbia
  • July-Aug A Romance In Three Languages set Toronto, Canada
  • May-June The Cellest From Sarajevo, set in Sarajevo
  • March-April Cellophane set in the Peruvian Rainforest
  • January-February 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
  • August-September 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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