Winter Reads and Reds

As we reach the height of cold winter months in Washington, nothing sounds better than curling up in front of the fire with a good book and a glass (or two) of wine. Our Tasting Room Manager and resident bookworm, Sabrina, helped us come up with some exciting winter reads to pair with Nine Hats red wines.

Looking for some creative inspiration in your kitchen while you’re stuck inside? We recommend diving into Stanley Tucci’s Taste: My Life Through Food, his reflection on the intersection of food and life. And we dare you to try and get through this book without craving a glass of our 2017 Sangiovese, a Columbia Valley representation of the Italian grape. With expressive aromas and flavors of wild strawberry and sour cherry, this wine’s lively character and refined texture carry the tasting experience into a juicy finish with notes of ripe plum and nutmeg. We blend the Sangiovese from Candy Mountain and Boushey Vineyard with a touch of Syrah from StoneTree Vineyard, adding to the wine’s complexity with its richness and spice.

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If you’re looking for a page turner, we recommend The Guest List by Lucy Foley. Light a fire (or put one on your TV), pour yourself a glass of wine, and transport yourself to wedding-gone-wrong on a remote Scottish isle. This Agatha Christie-esque novel begs for an equally dark and juicy wine, like our 2016 Malbec. Known for its distinctive black purple hue, this Columbia Valley Malbec hits the ground running with savory notes of cured meat, muddled blackberry, and baking spice. Sourced primarily from Weinbau Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope, this wine has the structure to carry its weight throughout while softening gracefully with age.

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Maybe whodunits aren’t your thing, but you’re still looking for something with a little bit of mystery. Pick up a copy of Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid and immerse yourself in this multi-timeline story of a wealthy family and their inner secrets, all leading up to one disastrous summer party. This fun and easy read calls for an equally approachable wine, like our 90-point 2019 Red Wine. Multi-layered with intense aromatics and flavors of black cherry, dark chocolate, and oak spice, this red blend has a wonderfully rich but refined texture with vibrant black fruit notes. Composed of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec, this wine delivers complexity, spice, and texture—just like any dysfunctional family.

In the mood for a classic? Check out Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, one of the most famous memoirs of all time. Read about Hemingway’s experiences with art and friendship as a struggling expat and journalist in Paris in the 1920s. And what better way to enjoy his book than with a glass of our 2017 Merlot, the most widely planted grape in France’s Bordeaux region. With classic flavors and aromas of black cherry, chocolate, and tobacco, the mid-palate is supported by soft tannins and rich fruit. We blend this wine with a little Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, making it a true Bordeaux-style wine. We think Hemingway would approve of this pairing.

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While we’re on the subject of France, consider reading Judgement of Paris by Goerge M. Taber. Travel back to 1976 when wines from the U.S. were just getting recognized and learn how Cabernet Sauvignon changed the perceptions of wine lovers around the world during a blind tasting of French and California wines. Naturally, we recommend pairing this piece of history with our 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine opens with vibrant aromas of black cherry, espresso bean, and bittersweet chocolate leading to expressive flavors of red berry complemented by notes of savory spice. With a luscious mouthfeel that persists across a long finish, you will understand why this most notable grape continues to win over wine lovers everywhere.

For something a little more modern, turn to Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart. This book tells the story of a handful of friends that are holed up in a country house during the pandemic and must work their way through it with comedy and tragedy. If this sounds all too familiar, you’re right. Grab a bottle of our 2017 Syrah and escape the seemingly inescapable. This wine boasts beautiful minerality on the nose with a rich mouthfeel of black raspberry, licorice, and roasted coffee bean. A bold yet well-balanced wine, this Columbia Valley Syrah is made from select vineyards that exhibit rich and distinctive varietal character. Just like Shteyngart’s book, this wine brings the drama.

We can’t wait to hear what you think about our book and wine pairing recommendations. Be sure to tag us on social media to show us what you’re reading and sipping.

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