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Are you getting ready for Halloween? Witches and daemons and vampires, oh my! A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is just what need to get you in the mood.
The novel is about a historian, who just happens to be a witch. Diana Bishop, however, is not at all interested in magic or nonhuman creatures. When she discovers a bewitched alchemical manuscript titled Ashmole 782 in the library stacks, she reshelves it and turns her back on it. Unfortunately, daemons, vampires, witches, and magic have not turned their back on her. With the help of geneticist-vampire Matthew Clairmont, will she be able to solve a mystery and recover an ancient treasure? (Viking, January 2011; ISBN-13: 9780670022410.)
So, what does this have to do with Weekend Cooking? Good question. It just so happens that author Deborah Harkness writes an award-winning wine blog called Good Wine Under $20. Just the name of her blog is enough to get my interest.
Harkness's blog has been recognized by major food and wine magazines and offers a wealth of information on vintages, grapes, food pairings, and recommendations. I discovered Good Wine Under $20 only this week, so I haven't fully explored all Harkness has to offer. Here is a sampling of what I found among recent posts: Weekend wines with recipe suggestions • Lessons in wine from France • Wine bought because of its name • Wine bought because of its label • Autumn whites and reds.
These are all fun and informative posts, and I'm happy to know I'm not the only one tempted by a good name or pretty label.
My own current favorite wine under $20 is a Feudo Arancio Nero D'Avola 2009. I was able to get a bottle for $9 at the Pennsylvania state store. We opened it and had it with pasta. It is dry, light, and goes down easy. I went back the next day to buy more but learned that it was sold out. I can get more Nero D'Avola next week, but it will no longer be on sale. She who hesitates is lost.
You might be curious about Deborah Harkness's wine suggestions for the type of creatures you might find around Halloween. Take a look:
I just love Harkness's style and sense of humor. If you're interested in winning a copy of her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, plus a set of the buttons to show your allegiance to each of the magical species featured in the book, fill out the following form. I am really excited about this book and hope you are too.
internationally. One lucky winner will receive the set of buttons right away and a finished copy of the book right after the new year, when it's available. You must fill out the form to enter. A winner will be picked on November 1 when I turn on my computer in the morning. (Add data will be discarded after the winner is chosen.)
For more on the book, visit the A Discovery of Witches website (warning: music plays automatically). Harkness has a Facebook page as well. And don't forget to explore Good Wine Under $20.