The Bone people by Keri Hulme

Wine and Book Pairing

The Bone People book and wine pairing









Twenty years in the writing, ”The Bone People” was turned down by virtually every major New Zealand publisher. The book won the New Zealand Book Award for Fiction, the Mobil Pegasus Prize for Maori Literature and Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize in 1985.  An unusual story of love. It is brutal, touching, emotionally complex, and above all captivating. A powerful read, and perhaps an exhausting read. I recommend it.
Set in a rural town along the coast of the North Island of New Zealand, The Bone People follows three main characters—Joe, a Maori man; Kerewin, a part-Maori woman; and Simon, a child of European heritage. The three are first brought together when Simon, after injuring his foot while playing truant, sneaks into Kerewin’s house-tower. A mute child of indeterminate age (Kerewin guesses somewhere between five and seven), Simon wears a pendant stamped with his name and address, and is able to communicate via hand gestures and writing. Inclined at first to throw him out, a sudden storm softens Kerewin’s heart, and she ends up allowing him to stay while she attempts to reach his family. The local telephone operator tells Kerewin that Simon’s father is “a nice bloke” but “won’t be home till late. … If he gets home, that is” (the suggestion being that he’s out drinking). As Simon’s other relatives are also unavailable, the operator suggests Kerewin call the police if she wants to be rid of the child right away: “They know what to do….” Despite her professed desire for isolation, Kerewin lets the child stay. There is something about him she likes.
”The Bone People” is most effective when it is not trying to address large social and spiritual questions, but when it is simply chronicling the complicated relationships that develop among three outcasts brought together by chance: Kerewin, a painter, who leads a hermetic, solitary life, convinced that art, not people, is sufficient to sustain her and that friendships can only lead to pain; Simon, a mute child of 6, who apparently has suffered some terrible wound in the past, and his adoptive father, Joe, a laborer with a nasty temper.


Toscana , Mosdus Ruffino – Italy
A blend casually known as a “Super Tuscan”. This combo of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot is delectable. Medium-bodied, with enticing aromas and flavours.
Cabernet Sauvignon , Edge Winery , Alexander Valley – California 
Edge is a big, lush, complex Cabernet Sauvignon produced from grapes which were carefully selected from the great old vineyards in the heart of Napa Valley. Simply a delicious wine.
Chenin Blanc , V & T Careme Terre Brulée , Swartland – South Africa
It is produced from 40 years-old plus vines and making great wine as a result. Impressive white, delightful, nicely balanced with a zippy mineral finish.
Happy Reading while Swirling!


An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears


Wine & Book Pairing

An Instance of the Fingerpost book and wine









An Instance of the Fingerpost is a historical mystery.
An absorbing thriller set in 17th century. It is a tale of murder, political, faith, and betrayal.

A murder in 17th-century Oxford, England The setting of the novel is 1663, just after the restoration of the monarchy following the English Civil War, when the authority of King Charles II is not yet settled, and conspiracies abound. A young woman is accused of his murder, and the incident is recalled from the point of view of four witnesses: an Italian physician, the son of an alleged Royalist traitor, a master cryptographer who has worked for both Cromwell and the king, and a renowned Oxford antiquarian. Each tells his own version of what happened, but only one reveals the truth.

Wine Pairing

Pays d’Oc Viognier – Paul Mas, Southern France
Elegant flavours of pear, tropical fruit peach and citrus with a hint of vanilla. Smooth texture with a decent finish.Price range $13.00

Campofiorin Ripasso – Masi, Veneto, Italy
Jammy raisin, spicy black cherry, cedar and toasty vanilla dominate the palate and the finish is round and harmonious.Price range $20.00

Segredos de Sao Miguel, Alentejano, Portugal
Medium-bodied with plum and currant notes; quite an understated bold wine. It has a Velvety mouth feel. Price range $15.00

Happy reading & swirling!





Perfume by Patrick Süskind

Wine & Book Pairing

Perfume by Patrick Süskind – The Story Of Murder

perfume book and wine pairing

In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift–an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. But Grenouille’s genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and fresh-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the “ultimate perfume”–the scent of a beautiful young virgin. Told with dazzling narrative brilliance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity. One of my top 10 books that I have read in the last 10 years.


Super Tuscan – A blend of Cabernet, Merlot, and Sangiovese that will please the most discerning wine lovers. Average price $22.99 + tax


This wine capture the distinctive elegance, finesse and vibrant fruit flavours of one of the world’s most celebrated wine regions. Welcome to the Barossa Valley. Average price $22.99


Full-bodied, rich with perfumed apricot nectar, ripe peach, quince jam and a voluminous buttery texture. Average price $23.99

Happy reading & swirling!


Exile – Richard North Patterson

Book & Wine Pairing

book and wineExile from Richard North Patterson

Not your typical lawyer goes to trial novel.
The book in a nutshell: American Jew defends Palestinian Muslim Arab charged with planning the suicide bombing assassination of the Israeli prime minister. The book looks at the many different factions within each side of the Muslim and Jewish worlds and how they interact, or kill each other. Exile tackles a serious topic, the story has twists and turns, and Mr Patterson put forward convincing arguments for both side of the conflict. Human drama with 100 shades of grey. I liked this book but you gonna need a serious wine!

All wines under $30.

Rhone white blend, Moon Curser Afraid Of The Dark, British Columbia   SKU#866152

Merlot, Charles Smith the Velvety Devil, Washington States  SKU#745299

Malbec blend, Clos De Los Siete, Mendoza Argentina  SKU#128710

Neverwhere Book by Neil Gaiman

Drinking Wine While Reading

neverwhere book and winesNeverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Published in 1997, Neil Gaiman’s darkly hypnotic first novel, Neverwhere, heralded the arrival of a major talent and became a touchstone of urban fantasy. Over the years, a number of versions were produced both in the U.S. and the U.K. Now Gaiman’s preferred edition of his classic novel reconciles these works and reinstates a number of scenes cut from the original published books.

Neverwhere is the story of Richard Mayhew, a young London businessman with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he discovers a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her—an act of kindness that plunges him into a world he never dreamed existed.

Slipping through the cracks of reality, Richard lands in the Neverwhere—a London of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth. The Neverwhere is home to Door, the mysterious girl Richard helped in the London Above. Door, a noblewoman whose family has been murdered, is on a quest to find the agent that slaughtered her family and thwart the destruction of this underworld kingdom. If Richard is ever to return to his former life, he must join the journey to save Door’s world—and find a way to survive.

Neverwhere is one of my favourite books, and on my top 100. It is an easy read, page turning with unique characters. This engaging story is a blend of Edward Scissorhand, Beetlejuice, and Princess Bride.



Literary Wine Lovers

Binge Reading blog



I would like to share my reading list on the subject of wine.

1. The Accidental Connoisseur by Laurence Osborne

What is taste? Is it individual or imposed on us from the outside? Why are so many of us so intimidated when presented with the wine list at a restaurant? In The Accidental Connoisseur, journalist Lawrence Osborne takes off on a personal voyage through a little-known world in pursuit of some answers. Weaving together a fantastic cast of eccentrics and obsessives, industry magnates and small farmers, the author explores the way technological change, opinionated critics, consumer trends, wheelers and dealers, trade wars, and mass market tastes have made the elixir we drink today entirely different from the wine drunk by our grandparents.

2. The Billionaire’s Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace

If you’re getting your morning jollies reading about the amazing collapsing Ponzi schemes of investment wizard Bernie Madoff, you’ll love The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Story of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine. It’s all there: fraud on a grand scale; apparently smart people who should have known better committing serial stupidities; rich people doing pratfalls in public. It’s like a bottle full of schadenfreude; what more could you ask from a wine book? It makes you wonder about those wine experts!

3. Judgement of Paris by George M. Taber

The only reporter present at the mythic Paris Tasting of 1976—a blind tasting where a panel of esteemed French judges chose upstart California wines over France’s best—for the first time introduces the eccentric American winemakers and records the tremendous aftershocks of this historic event that changed forever the world of wine. The Paris Tasting of 1976 will forever be remembered as the landmark event that transformed the wine industry. At this legendary contest—a blind tasting—a panel of top French wine experts shocked the industry by choosing unknown California wines over France’s best. You might also want to read ‘To Cork Or Not To Cork’ by the same author.

4. The Wine Savant by Michael Steinberger

A savvy and opinionated tour of the contemporary world of wine. Today’s dynamic wine culture calls for a different kind of wine book. The Wine Savant is just that: punchy, polemical, and brimming with insights to educate and entertain beginning wine drinkers and seasoned oenophiles alike.

5. Bacchus & Me by jay McInerney

Jay McInerney on wine? The best-selling novelist has turned his command of language and flair for metaphor on the world of wine, providing this sublime collection of nontraditional musings on wine and wine culture that is as fit for someone looking for “a nice Chardonnay” as it is for the oenophile.