A Guide to Literature Wine

We all have books on our shelves that we have always planned  on getting around to. Big, important books by authors that everyone knows, and if we read them we know we would get measurably more cultured and intelligent. But then you pick the book up and find out that, oh no, it’s 600 pages, and oh no, 70% of it is an outdated scientific study of sperm whales. You may ask yourself: Am I too dumb for the western canon? Has Tiktok and Instagram rotted your brain to the point that you’ve become an illiterate? No! You’re perfectly capable of reading Moby Dick, or any book that people swear is good. You just need the right wine pairing. Read on to find our what literature wine is right for you.

MOBY DICK: Chardonnay

Moby Dick starts off as a homoerotic love story between a depressed sailor and his Polynesian bunkmate, ends as a biblical revenge play enacted between an angry man and a fish, and in between offers a whale fact to page ratio of about 10 to 1. This may seem confusing at first, but it will all make sense after a glass of chardonnay. The oaky notes will place you in mind of a large wooden ship, and the white color and full body will really help you understand the mystique of the White Whale.


Jane Austen is all about courtly drama and quiet humor, and a light red like a pinot noir is perfect for opening up the deep dimensions of her work. She’s marrying WHO? Sip some pinot. He makes HOW MUCH MONEY A YEAR? Sip some pinot. Every page, a little bit of pinot.


The Russian literary tradition is bleak, dour, and often seemingly hopeless, so it’s literature wine should be strong, complex, and dry to balance it out. A syrah is a perfect choice for Dostoyevsky’s masterpiece. After the first glass or two you might be able to look past the senseless murder and general tragedy and find out what few have: Crime and Punishment is really funny!


Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is about a living man created by unconventional means. Rosé is a wine created with red grapes, but also not in the conventional way. They are a perfect match, except that Frankenstein’s Monster is consumed by a tragic angst that destroys all around him, while rosé is delicious, light, and loved by all. Consider the differences as you sip one and read the other!

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