Great Wine Literature…Or Not
A crew of us wine geeks were gathered for the purposes of enjoying our geekishness when one of our gathering was provoked to ask:
"Can someone tell me why there is not really good literature that has wine as its focus or at least as its setting?"
This led us to think if the premise was correct and we decided it was. But the answer to the question couldn't be that it was a boring subject matter since we all agreed, further, that good writers can make any subject interesting.
It was then that one of us declare the following:
"I can tell by reading the first sentence of any book whether or not I want to read the rest of it. The problem is that there aren't any books about wine with really good first sentences."
This makes no sense on the face of it, most of us realized, but it also inevitably led us to taking the challenge:
Write a compelling first sentence for a book about wine or set in the world of wine.
And so, despite the faulty premise, we set out to do just that. For your consideration, here are the agreed upon 10 best sentences that we could create, in no particular order. I'm not sure any of the assembled group will be writing novels, let alone about wine, any time soon:
1. The last thing they expected to find was a severed foot in the barrel of Merlot.
2. The wine critic knew in his heart he was wrong.
3. The 2000 Chateau Latour did its job, Michael thought, as he surveyed her clothes strewn about his living room
4. I knew there was no God when realized the last thing I'd see in this world was a tipped over, empty bottle of $2 chardonnay.
5. "Take the Syrah, but leave the body."
6. Surveying the remains of her life, it never occurred to Carole that the answer to her prayers were contained in the bottle of Chardonnay she clung to her chest.
7. At the time, no one questioned Luther's decision to order the Riesling instead of the Sauvignon Blanc—he'd always been eccentric.
8. Napa Valley turned Ted's head, but it couldn't turn him into a solid citizens.
9. Lecter enjoyed the time he spent in the wine cellar with his prisoners.
10. It's hard to hide a body in the vineyards after harvest.
Would you keep reading any of these books?