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Wine & Book Group Pick for December '06

abstract:The folks at Women & Wine have made the book selection this month -- they had a burning urge to match wines to Elizabeth Kostova's popular historical novel about vampires -- but better than Rice, with plenty of suspense, romance and intrigue, The Historian  (Little, Brown & Co) 2005. Read about the author, the plot, and the wines you can purchase and enjoy at your next meeting. And don't forget to join our Wine & Book Group!

article:

December 01, 2006

The Author

Elizabeth Koztova was born in New London, Connecticut, and grew up in one of those kinds of families that discuss history at the dinner table and when someone gets stumped, they run off to consult the encyclopedia -- she developed a natural love of history, graduating from Yale and earning her MFA from the University of Michigan.  She has traveled extensively in Eastern Europe and she is a research/library nut, and you have all the ingredients for an excellent historical fiction author.

But why vampires? "Dracula, to me, has eternal cachet," she says. It is one of those legends that fascinated her when her father, a professor who was on a fellowship researching in Bulgaria and took his young family along, told her bedtime stories. Her love of art history was gleaned from a favorite professor at Yale, who brought slides and got worked up into a lather every class despite having been one of the longest-serving lecturers at the university.

The manuscript was so well received by publishing houses that a bidding war ensued and as a first-time novelist, Ms K was offered $2 million with Sony following suit and giving her $1.5 million for the film rights. The producer will be Douglas Wick (Gladiator, Memoirs of a Geisha).

The book is available in paperback and has been printed in 28 languages. Ms K is working on a second novel -- not a gothic piece.

About the Book

Set in four time periods -- the 1930s, the 1950s, around 1973, and the author's "present day," 2008 -- this intriguing book tells the interweaving stories of a young girl in a quest over many parts of Europe to find out about her father's travels in the 1950s and beyond, in addition to those of his mentor, Professor Rossi, in the 1930s; to unravel the secrets her father and Professor Rossi have discovered; and, in the 1970s, to find her father who has disappeared ostensibly searching for her missing mother, about whom she knows almost nothing.→wikipedia

Wines from W&W To Sip With This Book

2004 Muga Blanco 11.99 tax + shipping

Sipping this clean, crisp white wine from Spain’s stellar Rioja region conjures up thoughts of long, luxurious sunny days, and fragrant aromas of lemons, olive oil and spice -- and takes your mind off of vampires in Spanish monastaries. The pale yellow hue belies its lime and mint flavors, which are cut with oak and a hint of vanilla. Extremely food friendly, Muga Blanco pairs well with smoked almonds, roasted chicken with fresh rosemary and gazpacho.
2001 Capcans Val des Calas $21.99 tax + shipping
The passion of Flamenco and the brooding intensity of the matador are two of the many fiery Spanish facets evoked by this full-bodied ruby red wine. Aromas of cassis and licorice, layered with spice and pepper, bring out its sensuality. Superb fruit and an opulent texture mean you can enjoy Capcanes Val Del Calas now or in a year or two. Another wine to enjoy while following The Historian’s heroine to Spain.
1995 Ormus Tokaji Aszu 5 Putanyos $34.99 tax + shipping
When discussing our heroine’s quest for Dracula in Hungary, sip Hungarian Tokaji, a dessert wine that was created in the 17th century but lost its elegance under the Communist regime. Also known as "Nectar of the Russian Tsars" and "King of Wines, Wine of Kings", this high strung, intensely sweet wine delivers tropical fruit flavors of coconut and orange with a long finish of green tea and apricot. How can we not love this Hungarian gypsy?
Previous Wine & Book Group Picks
  • 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 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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