February 14th, Valentine’s Day – we can almost hear the eye rolls. We don’t want you to put up with sappy, insincere cards, overpriced flowers, and the societal pressure to be paired off.
For those who are going to do Valentine’s Day on their own terms, we at Writer’s Plot have some interesting and thoughtful ideas as we acknowledge the one great unifying truth: generally, people love presents. And that includes presents to yourself.
As book lovers and avid readers, we ask – What’s better than a good book? A good book paired with the perfect glass of wine, and favourite chocolate deliciousness of course. However, we also know that all books are best consumed with cheese, but we are leaving that for another day.
Not a wine drinker? Then we have some alternatives further down the page –
There is no wrong or right way of doing this, and here are a few to get you started…
1. Hot Flush by Rosy Fenwicke
The Wine: Chardonnay, to accentuate the light tone and delicious, fun flavours
Chocolate: Dark chocolate over honeycomb (ok – try a Crunchie bar)
A crime -mystery full of twisty fun, as Euphemia (a mid-life super heroine) has the opportunity to find out if the information she was given in her thirties is true, and then she can save Jane and deal to Alison. But suddenly things get complicated…
2. A Moment’s Silence by Christopher Abbey
The Wine: Pinot Noir, for something intense, dark and brooding
Chocolate: Dark chocolate with chocolate centre
A Crime-thriller telling the story of what happens when you accidentally come to the attention of an international terrorist who thinks you ‘shopped him’. Faced with fear for his own survival, Martyn has no alternative but to turn the tables and stalk the stalker.
3. Something Borrowed by Louisa George
The Wine: Sparkling Rose, to bring out the bubbly sense of fun
Chocolate: Milk chocolate covering marshmallow (or how about a chocolate fish)
Chloe is jilted at the altar, is it the family curse or that she just hasn’t found The One yet. Then her business starts failing, and Chloe is forced to swallow her pride and work with the enemy in this contemporary romance.
4. The Jaded Kiwi by Nick Spill
The Wine: Merlot, to bring out the distinguished depth and character
Chocolate: Chocolate covered coffee beans
Set in 1976, this historical crime-thriller love story centres on a cockney criminal mastermind and a creative Police inspector at the start what becomes the war against drugs in New Zealand.
5. Dead is Dead and other stories by Jane Seaford
The Wine: Mulled Wine, perfect for a sweet and warm and chilly book, all at once
Chocolate: Milk chocolate infused with orange
A collection of twenty contemporary intimate stories of complicated, challenging and diverse incidents that make up everyday life. Each story holds a spotlight on relationships.
6. Southern Gold by Jude Thomas
The Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, a bold drink to become engrossed in a mystery
Chocolate: Ginger covered with dark chocolate
Historical mystery set in boom town Dunedin during Otago’s gold fever days when dreamers and vagabonds came to seek their fortune. How does this mystery girl rise from the slums to become a force to be reckoned with?
7. Ballet for Men in Gumboots by Hailey Roussin-Guillemot
The Wine: Champagne, because … oysters
Chocolate: Yes – of course
Jack knows a lot about growing oysters, he’s not a fan of complications, which is probably why he’s thirty-eight and still single. This engaging and entertaining contemporary novel is set in New Zealand full of sea side drama, friendship, romance, and an oyster recipe or two.
For non-wine drinkers – we found some alternatives…
8. Databyte by Cat Connor
Drink: Tequila – cause Special Agent Ellie Conway would want you to
Chocolate: Lime centre or chilli lime chocolate
Wanted for a murder she didn’t commit and on the run, while protecting an actor with ties to Delta A, Special Agent Ellie Conway has a lot to contend with, as well as trying to clear her name.
9. The Thirsty Rooster by Colin Crump
Drink: Beer – it’s a country pub … that is all.
Chocolate: Chocolate covered peanuts or a Peanut slab – kiwi as.
A darkly amusing first novel, Peter is caught between trying to win Liz and building his own business, things turn sinister, while Peter’s friend Martin has only one question – how is he supposed to choose between an exotic dancer and God?
10. Mesquite Smoke-Dance by Andrew Grant
Drink: Bourbon – it’s survived temperance, prohibition and war, so what better way than to catch a serial killer
Chocolate: Dark bitter
With more twists than a sidewinder’s sand trail, Mac Benton, Inspector for the Texas division of the National Homicide Task Force, attempts to bring a serial killer to justice while he fights his own demons along the way in this psychological thriller.
We have more… so keep an eye out for new blogs –
Written with thanks to –
‘Chocolate Therapy’ by Murray Langham from Schoc Chocolates (http://www.schoc.co.nz/) and
Charotte Ahlin blogging on Bustle (https://www.bustle.com/articles/123495-9-book-and-wine-pairings-that-are-perfect-for-a-boozy-book-club)