Dust off your bookshelves, and make space for these vino page-turners.
The weather is getting warming and it’s the perfect time to freshen up your personal library for spring and summer reading. From true crime-meets-wine to science fiction with a terroir-twist, here are six intoxicating books you won’t be able to put down.
- Thirsty Dragon: China’s Lust for Bordeaux and the Threat to the World’s Best Wines
By Suzanne Mustacich (Henry Holt and Co., 2015)
Thirsty Dragon provides a detailed look into the pitfalls and pratfalls involved when the world’s most famous wines become sought-after commodities in China. Culture clash and corruption color a story that goes beyond the bottle, concluding with a look at Western investment in Chinese vineyards and wine production.
- Vintage: A Novel
By David Baker (Touchstone, 2015)
A former best-selling writer, undone by a bottle of Vacqueyras and a resulting pink slip from his newspaper job, sets off to Europe in search of a “lost” wine vintage and a chance at redemption. And maybe a book deal.
- American Wino: A Tale of Reds, Whites, and One Man’s Blues
By Dan Dunn (Dey Street Books, to be released April 5)
Buckle up and hitch a ride with Dunn as he embarks on a 15,000-mile cross-country road trip to understand wine…and himself. American Wino is a confessional romp tied together by numerous encounters with (and lessons from) winemakers, celebrities and the occasional police officer.
- Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California
By Frances Dinkelspiel (St. Martin’s Press, 2015)
Fans of true crime will be transfixed by this compelling tale of arson that destroyed 4.5 million bottles of wine worth more than $250 million. Among those lost? Bottles made in 1875 by Dinkelspiel’s great-great-grandfather. This inspires her to investigate the history of wine in 19th-century California via its unlikely center: Los Angeles.
- American Wine: A Coming-of-Age Story
By Tom Acitelli (Chicago Review Press, 2015)
Travel through time and space, from 1948 to present-day, via American Wine. Acitelli’s tales of developments in the wine world—from the subtle to the momentous—provide bursts of knowledge and history. The story culminates with the 2014 news of the United States becoming the world’s biggest wine market.
By Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals, 2014)
What does the second book of The Southern Reach Trilogy, a science-fiction tale of the mysterious (and deadly) “Area X,” have to do with wine? You may be surprised that in the midst of enthralling suspense, terroir is posited as a possible explanation for what occurs within this forbidding landscape.
By James Fink, @jamesonfink