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Wine & Book Group Pick For Aug-Sep '10

abstract:My girlfriend was excoriating me the other day for not having read any novels by Swedish blockbuster crime writer, Karl Stig-Erland Larsson. On and on she went about the gripping plot, the insights into Swedish history, politics and culture. The sordid scandals and speculation over the author's sudden death at age 50. (Was it a heart attack or murder? Had he been offed by a Swedish right extremist group?) Then the fact that the first two books in the trilogy have been made into foreign feature films, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo starring a cast of people with an impossible number of consonants in their names. I admitted my guilt. I begged off with vague references to... something I refer to as "The Dan Brown Phenomenon"; as soon as I see a blockbuster novel/movie, I run the other way. I do anything I can to avoid exposing myself to mass culture and hysteria. I'm still receiving therapy over Da Vinci Code, truth be told. Then I looked up Larson's book sale statistics: He was the second best-selling author in the world in 2008, behind Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini, who admittedly I enjoyed. His Millennium Trilogy Bundle, : The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, has sold 27 million copies in more than 40 countries. And the English language version of the "Tattoo" is currently under production starring Daniel Craig, Robin Wright, Stellan Skarsgård scheduled for release in 2011. So, in deference to my dear friend who is trying to save me from turtling into an elitist literary shell, I thought I'd place the last of Larsson's trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest up for our Wine & Book Club pick over the summer. After all, don't we all love a good hornet's nest during a summer picnic? I bought the 3-book pack and my husband bought the audio book and we've been listening to it here at the ranch after our work day, with great anticipation. For all you book and wine people, we recommend some cool Ice Wine from Sweden to accompany your meeting.


July 30, 2010

About the Author

"The Swedish journalist and crime fiction writer whose most successful books were published after his death. He was a leftist, a feminist and the editor of an investigative magazine called, Searchlight that exposed fascism. The Guardian editorial wrote that "he raged against exploitation, cruelty, the unchallenged power of institutions and individuals against the meek and the poor. He understood the brutal non-ethics of global capital."

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  • Wine Pairing

    Hallands Fläder NV from Sweden is a wine that's taster claims to have when she wants to conjure memories of the years she lived in Stockholm. "There are few better things in life than sharing a good drink like this with good friends on a midsommar eve."" International Wine Spirits Competition rated Hallands Flader Rating: 76.6/100.

    Although not traditionally a wine-producing country, Sweden has, for centuries, produced wines made with fruits other than grapes. In recent years, many small vineyards have appeared which produce wines from grapes through both conventional and innovative methods.

    Many northern countries do not have climates suitable for grape cultivation, so they make wines from local fruits. In Sweden, the fruits traditionally used to make wine included apples, peaches and berries.

    Mead is a wine made using honey, water and yeast. Swedes and other Europeans have been drinking it since medieval times. In Scandinavian mythology, the warriors of Valhalla enjoyed a limitless supply of mead from the udders of a magical goat named Heidrun.

    During the winter, Swedes and other Scandinavians drink mulled wine called glogg. Glogg is a warmed red wine mixed with cinnamon, ginger and sugar. Sometimes raisins and almonds are also included.

    Blaxsta wine
    Blaxsta Vineyard located in Södermanland was Sweden's first commercial vineyard. It produces Chardonnays and Merlots, but also ice wine from Vidal grapes. Ice wine is made from grapes harvested and pressed following the first frost.

    Wannborga wine
    The Wannborga Vineyard on the island of Oland produces not only traditional wines made from grape varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but it also cultivates grapes that thrive in chillier climes like Rondo, Regent and Solaris.&emdash;Martha Browzna, 2009

    Previous Book & Wine Picks

  • Dec-Jan The Winter Vault set in Egypt and Toronto
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  • 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
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  • May-June The Cellest From Sarajevo, set in Sarajevo
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  • November-December Madonna:Like an Icon,
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  • 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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