Wine Fictions: Wine Writers that Jump Genres

I along with many upon many thousands of readers were looking forward to yesterday when Deborah Harkness, Wine Blog Awards double winner for Good Wines Under $20, saw the release of her second in the All Souls Trilogy, "Shadow of the Night"—the follow up to the wildly popular "Discovery of Witches". I've downloaded it and as soon as I finish "The Long Earth", I'm on to Deborah's latest.

But it was the release of her second book of fiction that go me thinking about Wine Writers that turn to fiction. I wish I had an exhaustive list of these folks who turn inward toward the imagination after spending so much time looking outward into a glass and describing what they taste. But I don't. However, I do have a short list of Wine Writers that Turn to Fiction that is pretty interesting.

Deborah's latest, Shadow of the Night, debuted at #6 OVERALL on the Amazon Best Sellers list and I suspect we will find this new release on the New York Times Fiction Best Seller's list somewhere in the Top Ten. Deborah's Good Wine Under $20 isn't undated as often as it once was. Such is the fate of wine blogs written by America's best selling authors. But what's wonderful about Deborah's leap recent and highly successful leap into Supernatural Fiction where witches and Daemons rule the pages is the regularity with which she slips in references to wine. And at least in her first huge success, Discovery of Witches, the wine references are loving references

Lew is the publisher of Wine Industry Insight, a very influential wine news aggregator as well as the place where he publishes many financial stories concerning wine. Lew is also the founder of Wine Business Monthly and the author of "The French Paradox", an influential book about the health related aspects of wine famously introduced to America on 60 Minutes. Lew's bio is fascinating. But the part of that bio that bio that touches the most people is in his fiction writer. Lew's current work of fiction, Die By Wire, follows in a long list of upwards of 10 mysteries that he has written, some of them very popular. Lew's pen is often trained on religious mysteries and high tech. I've read many of his works, my favorite being "Daughter of God", which many of you will note is very familiar to a more popular book of a similar vein. And it should be. It appears that Lew's book formed the foundation for many of the ideas in this more popular religious mystery.

James is best known as the chronicler and investigative reporter that turned his eye on Napa Valley in the 1990s. His willingness to uncover a good deal of Napa eccentricities, personalities and impacts left him with fewer friends here than when he began is investigation that led to two books on the subject. However, his fields of interest and areas of reporter go well beyond Napa. You can read an interview with him that I conducted. But James gets his name in this list of wine writers turned fiction writer due to his release in 2013 of "The Language of Cabernet", a return to fiction for Conaway that will be published by Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin's Press. A work set in the wine industry, I am told it will include wine blogging characters.  In the mean time, however, you can get your ongoing taste of Conaway at his wine blog, "Nose".

Richard is a prolific wine and food blogger who publishes at The Passionate Foodie. He is also a Certified Sake Professional that teaches classes and hosts dinners around the country introducing folks to this drink. And it is that drink that has led Richard to publish two works of fiction, each with a Japanese bent. The most recent fiction work of Richards, "The Ghost of a Ninja", has only recently been published on July 8th.  "Ghosts" is a murder mystery that, while I have not read it yet, I am sure includes notable references to Sake.

Tony Aspler is an internationally known and recognized wine writer that makes his home in Canada and has been one of the most important chronicler of Canadian wines, not to mention wines from around the world. I include him in this list because, although he has not of late published fiction, he has in the past published what most folks would suspect a wine writer would do if given to works of the imagination: write  mysteries about wine. "Blood is Thicker than Beaujolais" was originally published in 1995 and revised and re-released in 2000. "Death on the Duoro" was published in 2000. As was, "The Beast of Barbaresco". As you might imagine, it is set in the world of wine and in vineyards across the globe where the hero is…a wine writer. Awesome!

I am sure I've missed a number of wine writers that have made the leap into or from fiction writer. DO ENLIGHTEN ME AND THE READERS if you are familiar with others and name them in the comments section of this post..

As for me, I'd love to do such a thing…write ficiton. But what I've found is that I don't seem to possess the kind of creative edge that is required for making up stories. But this is just fine. I am superbly happy reading.

6 Responses

  1. The Sediment Blog - July 11, 2012

    To say nothing, of course, of those who travelled in the opposite direction, from fiction to wine: Jay McInerney, Kingsley Amis…

  2. Jason - July 11, 2012

    I can confirm that “The Ghost of a Ninja” does not disappoint on the sake front (or the narratological front, for that matter). I’ll have to check out some of these others.
    And following from The Sediment Blog’s comment…Kingsley Amis’ Everyday Drinking is probably the closest thing I have to a bible.

  3. Chicago Pinot - July 12, 2012

    “As for me, I’d love to do such a thing…write ficiton.”
    Tom, you could write something for the SWRA; I’ve heard they are always looking for new talent in the fiction writing genre!

  4. Sondra - July 12, 2012

    Great piece and where is our wine drama on TV. If Dallas can return, what about Falcon Crest or something like it. My fantasy to write a wine drama for the masses. Anyone want to join me? LOL.

  5. tommyterroir - July 13, 2012

    To write a great novel about wine is really simple. First you write a great piece of fiction, then you go back and change the name of the protagonist to an Italian surname and set the novel in the wine country.

  6. Off Licences in Essex - July 15, 2012

    want more info about this novel and much more if you have……

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