5 Literary-Themed Wines to Pair With Your Summer Reading

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Ready to curl up with a good book and a large glass of wine? Here are five literary-themed bottles to finish before the bell rings.


Arkenstone, Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (Howell Mountain, California) $65

Tolkein fans may recognize the Arkenstone as a mystical gem from The Hobbit, also referred the “Heart of the Mountain.” The name proves fitting for a winery situated on Howell Mountain, one of Napa Valley’s most treasured regions. Here, the vines struggle on steep, rocky slopes, resulting in wines of remarkable concentration. Opulent and mineral-laden, Arkenstone’s sauvignon blanc certainly gets to the heart of Howell Mountain’s magic. 

Educated Guess, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (Napa Valley, California) $18

Making great wine is as much a science as it is an art. Educated Guess appeals to the left-brained among us, with a label that diagrams the five essential chemical processes in wine production. But wine lovers of all sorts will adore the rich, juicy cabernet inside. Bursting with flavors of black cherry, boysenberry and mocha, it’s also a remarkable bargain for Napa cab. 

Ovid, Napa Valley 2011 (Napa Valley, California) $225

Named after the ancient Roman poet best regarded for the Metamorphoses, Ovid is quickly gaining a reputation as one of Napa’s most sought after wines. Earthy, spicy, and savory with notes of graphite, violet, and cassis, Ovid’s eponymous cabernet blend exhibits extraordinary length and tremendous aging capacity. For every vintage the winery also offers a recommended reading to pair with the wine. For Ovid 2011, they suggest George Sinclair’s Historic Maps and View of Rome.

Realm Cellars, “The Tempest” 2012 (Napa Valley, California) $85

In Richard II, William Shakespeare described England as “this blessed plot, this earth, this realm.” The team at Realm Cellars found the Bard’s passage fitting for their winery as well. They release three Shakespeare-themed blends each year, sourced from some of the most prized vineyards in Napa. “The Tempest,” dominated by merlot and cabernet franc, draws inspiration from Bordeaux’s Right Bank. Tasting of blackberry, plum and baking spices, “The Tempest” is dark and brooding, much like Shakespeare’s famous storm.

Siduri, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2012 (Russian River Valley, California) $30

Perhaps the coolest ancient deity, Siduri is the Babylonian goddess of wine and beer, most notably depicted in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Today, Siduri Wines produces over two dozen pinot noirs from the grape’s most important appellations in California and Oregon. With flavors of maraschino cherry, raspberry, cola and Christmas spices, their Russian River Valley pinot is worthy of the goddess herself.

Need a good book reccomendation? Try the Big Read: 75 of our favorite books about the Bay Area