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Wine & Book Group Pick for Sept-Oct 2008

abstract: Step into Interior BC, Canada for this month's Wine & Book Pick. Red Dog, Red Dog by Patrick Lane is available in bookstores Sept 30th, 2008 but available online here. McLeland Stewart publishers write, "[This is] an epic novel of unrequited dreams and forestalled lives. Set in the mid-1950s, in a small town in the interior of BC in the unnamed Okanagan Valley. The novel focuses on the Stark family, centering on brothers Eddy and Tom, who are bound together by family loyalty and inarticulate love." It's shortlisted for the 2008 Giller Prize for fiction. We've matched local wines from the same region where this virtuoso debut novel is set. Road 13 Winery is owned by Mick Luckhurst and located near the town of Oliver, just across the way from the renowned Tinhorn Creek Winery which shares the same terroir. Enjoy these surprisingly true and tasty, "earthy" wines—a brilliant match for your October book group and tasting.


September 21, 2008

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  • About the Author

    I met Patrick Lane at a reading and was impressed by his soft voice, gentle manner and sincerity - traits befitting a poet of some renown. Patrick has received numerous awards for his poetry, short stories and criticisms, including the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, and his acclaimed memoir, There Is A Season: A Memoir, won the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence and the inaugural British Columbia Award for Canadian Non-fiction. Lane lives near Victoria, B.C. with his poet wife, Lorna Crozier.Red Dog, Red Dog is his debut novel. Patrick Lane's website.

    About the Book

    There is Tom and Eddy’s father, Elmer Stark, a violent man with a troubled past, and Lillian, who married as a girl to escape life on the farm with her widowed mother, and now retreats into her own isolation. Unrepentant, bitter, older brother Eddy speeds freely along, his desperate path fuelled by drugs and weapons, while Tom, a loner, attempts to conceal their secrets and protect what remains of the family. Eventually, an unspeakable crime causes him to come face to face with something traumatic that has lain hidden in him since he was a boy. Narrated in part by one of the dead infant daughters Elmer has buried, the story unfolds gradually, as it weaves in family stories that reach back to the depression days and the harsh life of settlers in the 1880s West.

    This is also a novel about a small community of people, about complicated loyalties, about betrayals and shifts of power. Filled with moments of harrowing violence and breathtaking description, of shattering truths and deep humanity, Red Dog, Red Dog is about the legacies of the past and the possibilities of forgiveness and redemption. With this astonishing novel, one of Canada’s best poets propels himself into the forefront of our finest novelists.

    About the Wines

    Guests arriving at Road 13 Winery are welcomed by two miniature dachshunds named Fil and Meg, affectionately known as the “wienery” dogs. Owners Mick and Pam Luckhurst were initially enticed by Road 13’s scenic setting. Through research and an association with viticulture consultant, Richard Cleave, it quickly became clear that the area known as the “Golden Mile” is a unique terroir. The two vineyards that surround the winery, Home Vineyard and Castle Vineyard, are situated on east-facing sloped benches up against mountains and have slightly different soil conditions with high mineral content, high moisture and nutrient-holding capacity, and an open southeast exposure that provides all-day, extended sunlight.

    I recently enjoyed a tasting of the currently produced wines that are ready for retail. You will be pleased both in taste and in the price of their house white, labeled Honest John. Both it and the red Honest John are blended wines named as a tribute to Honest John Oliver, BC Premier from 1918–1927. Honest John epitomized British Columbians’ pioneering values: hard work, self-reliance, dependability and neighbourliness. His greatest achievement was the construction of the irrigation canal that transformed the (Golden Mile) South Okanagan and areas into outstanding farmland. $16.99/bottle

    Next is their delicious Old Vine Chenin Blanc - not a shy wine confined to summer drinking at all! At over 40 years of age, these vines are among the oldest in BC. Their big, gnarly, beautiful old trunks are a sight to behold. The gravelly, sandy soil they grow in, called Ratnip, is a classic bit of Okanagan dirt. With its thrilling intensity and bracing acidity, this wine is a case study in balance and cellarability. $18.99/bottle

    We round off the offering with the Road 13 Cabernet Sauvignon which offers blueberry tones and a hint of tobacco is intriguing, fresh, and delicious. $27.99/bottle

    Previous Book & Wine Picks

  • July-Aug A Romance In Three Languages set Toronto, Canada
  • May-June The Cellest From Sarajevo set in the 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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