If you’re anything like me, you will take a good wine over a beer any day.
I’m not knocking beer, it’s just not my cup of tea (no pun intended). And when I settle down with a cozy book for the evening after a long hard day, it’s a glass of wine I pour. So we already know what books you are reading, but what wines should you choose? After all, like a pairing with a good meal, a wine can make or break the experience of a good book. So I present to you, a list of all of Jane Austen’s novels, from Love and Freindship all the way to Sanditon, and the most perfect wines to go with them.
Love and Freindship
This piece of work, one of Austen’s earliest, calls for a light and fruity wine: A Chardonnay. The fruity, bubbly flavors will bring out the youthfulness of Isabel and Laura’s antics and remind you of that one night that you and your girlfriends got super silly while drinking. Remember, drink wine as often as you chuse, but do not faint!
Lady Susan is neither one thing nor another, constantly changing her opinion of herself and others so that she can get herself an her daughter ahead in life. Therefore we cannot pick a red wine, nor a white wine, and will settle for something in the middle (Much as Lady Susan did when she married Mr. Martin): A Sparkling Rosé, perfect for when we read about her wavering loyalties. And it has to be sparkling to suit Lady Susan’s sparkling personality!
“She is clever and agreeable, has all that knowledge of the world which makes conversation easy, and talks very well, with a happy command of language, which is too often used, I believe, to make red wine appear white.”
Sense & Sensibility
Something as heartfelt and dramatic as Marianne’s sensibilities demands a serious drink. I recommend a Mulled Wine: A drink of spices and red wine, made to soothe your soul and inspire you to write verses of poetry, sipping by the fireplace as you long for your lost lover, Willoughby… Just remember to try and enunciate once you’ve had a few too many glasses… “No voice divine the storm ALLAYED! No light propitious SHONE! When snatched from all effectual AID!…”
Pride & Prejudice
Surely than can be no other wine for this masterpiece than the Sauvignon Blanc: A crisp, acidic wine to accentuate the witty, pointed barbs that flow between Darcy and Elizabeth while their courtship takes every tumble possible. Nearly every character in this book is like a fine Sauvignon Blanc — witty, crisp, with a dry humor that always keeps us on our toes, even though we all know how their love story ends. This wine — like this novel — will bewitch you body and soul.
A dry wine for a dry character, but with hidden depth of flavor and character: I suggest a fine Merlot. The book is delicate, dark at times, and meant only for a fine palate. Fanny Price is not everyone’s favorite character, and neither is a Merlot everyone’s favorite wine. These two misfits go perfectly well together though, if you’re a true aficionado of both literature and vino… a glass of Merlot is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of!
I can suggest nothing but a light and fruity Pinot Grigio for this one-of-a-kind novel. Emma’s machinations thwart everyone, leading to Shakespearean tragedy and happiness, all corked within Austen’s longest novel. A “Peen Greeg” will keep things light when it starts to get dramatic at Box Hill, and remind you of Emma’s good nature as she attempts to play matchmaker so very, very poorly! Like Emma, our indomitable heiress, remember that you always deserve the best wine, because you shouldn’t put up with any other!
Our long-lost love has returned home but loves another… and there is no other drink for us but the deep and rich Cabernet Sauvignon. This regal, luscious drink (with a high alcohol content!) will help you get lost in the memories of years gone by. Like Anne Elliot, our heroine, this is the sort of wine you start longingly over the rim with, at the man on the other side of the dinner table.
“My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have had a great deal of wine; that is what I call good company.’ ‘You are mistaken,’ said he gently, ‘that is not good company, that is the best.”
For a dark and mysterious novel, full of ghosts, squeaking floorboards and a murder mystery… can we suggest anything but the Pinot Noir for Catherine Morland? The very name recalls something dark and seductive, just like Mr. Tilney’s ancient familial castle. Take care not to spill any on your good muslins, though.
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good wine, must be intolerably stupid.”
Austen’s last, uncompleted novel, we must toast to with a glass of Champagne. Not because it is a particularly celebratory novel, but because if you have read this book, then you are a true Austen aficionado, and I raise my glass to you!