Wine by the Book!
A pairing of wine and words
In Wine by the Book!, Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach® and author of The Sipping Point: A Crash Course in Wine,
pairs words and wine just for book groups. Laurie explores wines from regions
found in book group picks – and she gives general tips on wine essentials,
including how to order wine at dinner, simplify food pairings, handle awkward wine
moments, and even bounce back the morning after!
For your next gathering, why not pair a book selection from Reading Group Choices
with a wine choice from Wine by the Book!
"Over a bottle of wine many a friend is found" —Old
This month, Laurie suggests some wine parings for your discussion of
the Vine: A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Family in the Heart of Italy
by Sergio Esposito.
Even though the Piedmont region of Italy (covered in Chapter 8) is relatively unknown
to most, it is arguably one of the world’s most important wine regions. Never heard
of Piedmont till now? If you watched the Torino Olympics, you got a glimpse of Piedmont.
Torino happens to be the capital of the prestigious Piedmont wine region, home to
the legendary red wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. There is an old adage from this
region, “Wine is red,” and with an estimated 70% of the vineyards planted with red
grapes, this is a region that knows about making world class red wines. There are
some great white wines coming from this region as well.
Here are my suggested pairings to accompany your book club discussion of Passion on the Vine by Sergio Esposito. Villa Sparina Gavi di Gavi (Retails about $18)
The Cortese grape is one of the few whites that garner attention in a region where
red wines rule. Villa Sparina is considered one of the finest producers of Gavi,
which is light, crisp with wonderful flavors of citrus fruits, almonds and sometimes
hints of grassiness. Villa Sparina makes a sparkling version of this wine, and if
you can find it you just might think you are drinking Champagne! Elio Altare Barbera d'Alba (Retails about $26)
Once the most planted grape in Italy, Barbera continues to flourish in Piedmont.
This red grape is full of red fruit, relatively high in acid, but low in tannin
making Barbera (bar-BAE-rah) popular with a wide variety of wine lovers. Due to
its acidity, Barbera pairs well with tomato based dishes, as well as having the
structure to accompany chicken and meats. While Barolo is said to be a wine of meditation
for special occasions, Barbera is great for everyday too. Ceretto "Zonchera" Barolo (Retails about $36)
Known as the “wine of kings,” Barolo is the most famed wine of the Piedmont region.
Powerful flavors like tar, roses, and white truffles are trademark for Barolo. Firm
tannins give these wines longevity, to which other wines can’t hold a candle. Traditionally,
Barolos needed many years of aging before they were ready for consumption; however,
modern winemakers, like Ceretto, are changing that tradition.
Cascina La Ghersa "Giorgia" Moscato d'Asti NV (Retails about $15)
Moscato is a semi-sparkling dessert wine made from the Moscato Bianco grape in the
Asti region of Piedmont. Fizzy and sweet, it is the perfect complement to
fruit based desserts, as well as Italian specialties like Zabaglione. If you remember
the days of Asti Spumante then you have already tasted wines from Asti!
| || After a successful career in software sales, Laurie decided she was
ready for a life change. Through working with a life coach, Laurie began to realize
that her biggest passions—wine and people—could be parlayed into a new
career. In 2002, she began her wine career in Manhattan where she studied with the
American Sommelier Association to obtain her certificate in Viticulture and Vinification.
Concurrently, she trained as a life coach with Coach U, the leading global provider
of coach training programs and is presently a member of the International Coaching
As The Wine
Laurie creates unique corporate team building events, group tasting seminars and
culinary tours. She is dedicated to demystifying wine—one glass at a time,
helping build successful teams as well as ensuring that everyone has an inspiring
time at her events. She’s a sparkling presenter, highly skilled at engaging every
wine lover—from beginners to wine enthusiasts.
Laurie is a regular columnist in several magazines, a sought after speaker and guest
expert on radio stations across the country. Her weekly radio show “Something to
Wine About®” can be heard on WCEI 96.7 FM and WBAL 1090AM or on demand. Laurie is also serving as national spokesperson
for the “Pour on The Joy” campaign sponsored by Lindemans® Wines where she is
helping people increase their happiness by making the wine-joy connection. Laurie’s
first book The
Sipping Point: A Crash Course in Wine, reflects her fresh
perspective on wine education and has already received rave reviews.