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Liz Marable
July 14, 2020 | Liz Marable

Summer Staycation | Wet Reads

The upside to the madness that is 2020? Now you’ve got all the time in the world to dive into that list of books you’ve been meaning to pick up since, well forever. Escape your quarantine doldrums and be transported to faraway people and places with our list of summer must-reads and the wines you should be drinking with them. Ready to be whisked away? I know we are!



Big Summer: A Novel

by Jennifer Weiner

Pair with Beach Please Chardonnay

If you’re looking for a juicy crime with a heavy dose of “Instagram vs. Reality”, pair Jennifer Weiner’s newest novel with a vibrant Beach Please, Chardonnay.

The synopsis: From the author of Mrs. Everything comes this beach-ready peek into female friendship, romance, and some stunning beachside mansions. Daphne has finally escaped the toxic clutches of Drue Cavanaugh and come into her own as a plus-sized influencer when Drue begs her to be in her wedding on Cape Cod. Daphne agrees, but soon finds herself involved in a scandal nobody expected. 

The wine: Enjoy summer-y aromas of tropical fruit and citrus on the nose with vibrant flavors of ripe peach and lush pear. This wine goes down easier than the first chapter of your new favorite book. 

All My Mother's Lovers

by Ilana Masad 

Pair with Fling Gewurztraminer

While it’s not socially responsible to have random flings this summer (#cooties), you can still drink one! We like to consider “All My Mother’s Lovers” a “grown-up” version of Mamma Mia, but less ABBA and, yes, more drama.  

The synopsis: After Maggie's mom dies unexpectedly, she returns home to help with arrangements, and discovers five letters her mom left behind, all addressed to strange men. She sets off to find them and along the way, learns more about her parents' love life than she bargained for. Come for the tear-jerking family scenes, stay for the twist all the way at the end. 

The wine: Enjoy exotic fruit flavors and tropical floral scents that make this wine both luxurious and refreshing. This Fling is long-lasting and the finish is oh so sweet. Plop a handful of frozen fruit in your glass for an extra chill summer treat. (We like to add pineapple chunks to ours).

Such a Fun Age

by Kiley Reid

Pair with Complicated Viognier

You’ve read the articles, signed the petitions and followed the Instagram organizers. Now sink your teeth into Kiley Reid’s best-selling novel that unearths and untangles the complexity of race relations in America. We know, navigating social change can feel complicated. Wine (and good books) help.

The synopsis: In the midst of a family crisis one late evening, white blogger Alix Chamberlain calls her  Black babysitter, Emira, asking her to take toddler Briar to the local market for distraction. There, the security guard accuses Emira of kidnapping Briar, and Alix's efforts to right the situation turn out to be good intentions selfishly mismanaged.

The wine: Enjoy aromas of overripe honeydew and orange blossom that mingle effortlessly with an array of bright fruit flavors. There’s a lot to take in, but this Viognier pulls through with a lasting finish that hangs on glass after glass and page after page.

Normal People

by Sally Rooney

Pair with Foreplay Chardonnay

This book is the slow-burn (sometimes awkward) coming of age love story that every millennial dreams of. It is both incredibly sexy and poignantly written, set against the European backdrop we are longing to visit. Chill the Foreplay and check out the Hulu original series based on the book. Connell Waldron is making us thirsty (and for more than wine). 

The synopsis: Throughout their years in college, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. Then, as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other. Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a story that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the complex entanglements of family and friendship.

The wine: Enjoy rich aromas of golden delicious apples and flavors of meyer lemon and creamy custard that saturate your palate. Careful now, a little Foreplay goes a long way. 


by Lauren Beukes 

Pair with Apres Rosé 

Would a world run by women really be a better place? This post-pandemic (yes, that again) story suggests it just might not be. This book is part thriller, part science fiction, and all amazing. 

The synopsis: Twelve-year-old Miles is one of the last boys alive, and his mother, Cole, will protect him at all costs. On the run after a horrific act of violence-and pursued by Cole's own ruthless sister, Billie -- all Cole wants is to raise her kid somewhere he won't be preyed on as a reproductive resource or a sex object or a stand-in son. Someplace like home.

Apres Rosé: Enjoy notes of exotic lychee fruit, strawberry Jolly Rancher candy, and that moment when good gets even better. Because After is just the beginning.


Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste NG

Pair with Wild & Free Pinot Gris

This book is the 90’s throwback thriller 2020 has been waiting for. With a twist at every turn, you’re gonna need a glass of wine to pair with this page-turner. 

The synopsis: A riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic artist and her daughter who upend their lives. Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood--and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

The wine: Let loose and enjoy aromas of juicy pear, dried pineapple, and unexpected twists and turns. Get swept up in the moment and lean into the indulgence of this everyday sipper. Things aren’t always as they seem. (yes, even for a Pinot Gris)


Save Yourself

by Cameron Esposito

Pair with Gay Rosé 

This entertaining and candid memoir of finding one’s identity will resonate with readers doing the same. Esposito is hilarious, especially when it comes to finding humor in tough moments. I guess what doesn’t kill you, makes for really good comedic material. 

The synopsis: Cameron Esposito wanted to be a priest and ended up a standup comic. She would like to tell the whole, freaking queer as hell story. Her story. Not the sidebar to a straight person's rebirth-she doesn't give a makeover or plan a wedding or get a couple back together. This isn't a queer tragedy. She doesn't die at the end of this book, having finally decided to kiss the girl. It's the sexy, honest, bumpy and triumphant dyke's tale her younger, theology major self needed to read. Because there was a long time when she thought she wouldn't make it. Not as a comic, but as a human.

Gay Rosé: Light and fruity with just a hint of sweetness, this refreshing rosé is a real summer kween with notes of ripe kiwi, juicy strawberry, a touch of lime, and a finish as bright as a rhinestone. Just say “Yas” to another glass!

Time Posted: Jul 14, 2020 at 12:11 AM
Liz Marable
July 6, 2020 | Liz Marable

Summer Staycation: 10 Backyard Essentials

Summer 2020 is a little...different. Your travel plans are likely canceled — but that doesn't mean you can't bring the vacay to your very own home. Let's take these mid-summer lemons and turn them into lemonade with essential backyard upgrades that can put the FUN back in your summer.

1. Hydration

And no, we're not just talking wine. It's super important to keep your cool during the hot summer months — whether that looks like setting up a baby pool, lounging near a sprinkler or just having your pool boy  partner spray you down with a garden hose every few minutes is totally up to you.

2. Shade

Find shade, don't throw it — even if it's just a tiny umbrella for your drink or your most ridiculous pair of glasses. We just put sun sails like these up at our Hood River Tasting Room and are not camplaining.

3. Summer Reading

Just because you're not going to be able to make it to the beach doesn't mean you should ditch your summer reading. We recommend finding your local bookstore and escaping into the pages (without the hassle of airport security). This bottle of Wild & Free can also help!

4. Seating

Whether you're hanging from the trees in the world’s greatest hammock, lounging on the deck in a classic Adirondack chair or chillaxin’ to the max in a blowup lounger you’re gonna need a comfy place to sit for the foreseeable season.

5. Christmas Lights 

Let's face it, Christmas lights are a total vibe. Throw these cheap thrills up just about anywhere and watch your space be transformed into the European courtyard of your Pinterest travel board's dreams.

6. Fuego

Nothing says summer like that first perfectly charred wiener. You didn’t hear it from us. Whether you’re splurging on a wood-fired Solo Stove or opting for the convenience of propane, a backyard fire element 100% a must-have to complete the magic of your warm-weather staycation.

7. Yard games

You can still be social while social distancing. They say Summer 2020 is the season of badminton...but if you need a game you can play with a glass of wine in your hand, we are big fans of cornhole for this exact reason.

8. SPF

Those UV rays are no joke and nothing is less fun than a third-degree sunburn. We recommend a high SPF 30 or higher that is water/sweatproof. So you can spend more time in that baby pool and less time re-applying.

9. Bug Off

There’s nothing worse than sitting down to an alfresco meal only to discover that you are the main course. Put up a giant “do not enter” sign for those pesky critters with some strategically placed citronella candles or a yellow jacket trap near your picnic table.

10. Wine

Let’s not forget the most important ingredients for staycation success...wine! Lucky for you our sparkling, whites, and roses are ALL on sale with home wine delivery right to your door. There’s never been a better time to stock up for all your summer favs. Go ahead—stuff your fridge.

Time Posted: Jul 6, 2020 at 8:05 AM