Wine & Book Group Pick for December
There has been a general trend in western society toward political apathy to the point where both the US and Britain have gone down on the "democracy index" as compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a think tank that examines information collected on countries around the world. Evidence shows poor voter turnout, bounding cynicism, young people like those of the occupy movement disenfranchised with the political system, the candidates running and disgust for the collusion between big money and big government. The US is frustrated by political gridlock and a seemingly backward mandate by fully 50% of the political combatants. The Euro debt crisis further shows government mangling our collective economic future.
As a timely respite, Canada Reads —the countrywide competition to choose the next book that Canadians will read en mass, discuss and possibly become influenced by—was announced yesterday. The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis is a great way for folks on both sides of the 49th parallel to enjoy a political satire addressing all of the above.
November 25, 2011 — The Globe writes:
"[Best Laid Plans is a] political satire about a crusty old engineering professor named Angus McLintock who agrees to run as an MP because he's certain to lose. He is accidentally swept into office and decides to see what good an honest MP, who doesn't care about being re-elected, can do in Parliament and hilarity results."
Ali Velshi, the CNN journalist who defended Best Laid Plans, said Canada needs people like [the fictional character] McLintock. "This book is about the current thing that affects us now in our world, which is the people who make decisions for us," he said. The book "speaks to frustration and disenfranchisement around the world."
Former NHL enforcer Georges Laraque agreed, saying the book could inspire interest in the political process in younger readers. "Today, in Canada, people don't vote and we live in a democratic country. If people read this book, they would want to vote. We need this," he said.
Best Laid Plans also won Canada's Stephen Leacock Award for Humor. We're picking a wonderful Canadian winery for the spirit side of things: Laughing Stock Winery in BC has some fabulous choices. Join the group, purchase the wine and discuss this book with your group!
About the Author and the Wine
The author's website
is the place to start your browsing. Full details of his bio, summarized here, show his sense of humor and lifelong commitment to politics starting at McMasters University when he graduated from Engineering. Long stints with the LIberal party in various positions eventually led to a independent consultant agency where he has "councelled corporate and government clients on various fronts including crisis communications, media relations, issues management, marketing communications, public opinion polling, public affairs, stakeholder relations, etc. He has also written speeches for CEOs, cabinet ministers, and other community leaders." Before he could drive he designed and built a hovercraft - the basis of which turns up in his book
Wine Pick: Laughing Stock
Located on the picturesque Naramata Bench, Laughing Stock Vineyards
is "a serious enterprise with a lighthearted attitude." The name derives from the wine makers former business as a stockbroker in Vancouver and the whole theme from the ticker tape label to the varietal bottle names and stock market metaphors with wine show a family with a great attitude and a great product. Their winemaking philosophy is focused on "super premium, small production wines using techniques that showcase the very best from the fruit we harvest. To that end, we built a leading-edge winemaking facility: a 4,600 sq. ft. gravity feed facility on our sloping site complete with an underground barrel cellar. Thus we aim to produce the highest quality small production wines from the burgeoning Okanagan Valley."
Check out the Portfolio 2009 vintage at $42/bottle. It combines the five Bordeaux varietals: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot to create a multi-layered complex wine. In any new vintage, blending must showcase the strongest varietals and in 2009, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc came from behind to be the darlings.
I"m a fan of their Viognier $26/bootle, it's the second release (sold out) and one of the new grape varieties planted at their Perfect Hedge Vineyard in Osoyoos. Viognier is a unique white varietal combining the weightiness on the palate of Chardonnay and the amazing floral aromatics of Gewurtz. We are excited to be working with this varietal.
The distinctive Viognier nose of orange peel and honeysuckle really opens up on the palate with apricots and tropical fruits. The luscious mouthfeel has great weight, but still nicely balanced with enough acidity for a long but fresh finish.
How to Join the Wine & Book Group
Go to the www.bookbuffet.com 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.
Previous Book & Wine Picks
Aug-Sept The Magician King set in an urban fantasyland
Oct-Nov The Personal History of Rachel Dupree set in the midwest of USA
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
Sept-Oct Red Dog, Red Dog set the Interior, British Columbia
July-Aug A Romance On Three Legs 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