Behind the Bar: Red Wine Edition

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Welcome to our NEW series where we breakdown exactly what our pairings mean (aka the tags on our posts) and take you Behind the Bar.

I love me a nice glass of red wine. Get that table wine out of here… or not, I mean, sometimes you just need a drink. For this first feature, I’ll be describing the red wines—from a bold Zin to a nice and dry Rose—that we like to drink with our books. 


This wine is EVERYTHING. Bold and fruit-forward, with a medium-to-full body. My personal fave.

A good example of a pairing would be Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate because of its multilayered story that gives you so much in one go.

Red Bordeaux Blend

With dominant flavors of black currant and plum—we’ll call this plummy—we love reading books with this that are inventive and bold. Can be very dry, but in a good way like a witty prose. 

Books like The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson go well with this one because it’s dark and syrupy. 

Cabernet Sauvignon

The cab sav taste profile: Dry, full-body, with medium tannins (mmm… that mouth feel). On the bolder side and can have great variety. 

These books full of depth make perfect pairings: Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri and The Phoenix Empress by K. Arsenault Rivera.

Pinot Noir

Apparently this is the world’s most popular light-bodied red wine, in case you were unaware. I picture Pinot Noirs are fruity like raspberries and cherries and a little deep, but not too heavy. 

Drink with Grace and Fury by Tracey Banghart and The Queens Rising by Rebecca Ross (just because it’s nice), for example. 


Merlot: the peak of elegance and class. I’d estimate this is most people’s first foray into the red wines—it was certainly mine! Ya know, after the pink Franzia. 

Something light spice, like The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski makes an especially great pairing! Definitely a red wine series.

Unique Blend

For this, I’m not talking about the common blends we all know and love. I’m talking the out-of-left-field unusual reds. The obvious tie for books would be those that surprise or were going one way then ‘BAM!’ (looking at you Kingsbane). 

Little FiresEverywhere by Celeste Ng or, first book to Kingsbane, Furyborn by Claire Legrand is also a good example of a pairing.  

Dry Rose

Mmm… mouth is watering just thinking about it. These are nice and light with the hint of your favorite red and white wines. To be fair, I like them sparkling and sweet occasionally, too.

Read along with books like Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor—something delicious and lovely. 

There you have it! Your mini-guide to what we mean when we pair a book with red wine (or at least some varieties). See more books we’d pair with Red Wine and be on the lookout for more Behind the Bar features.

Comment below: What’s your favorite red wine read?

3 thoughts on “Behind the Bar: Red Wine Edition

  1. Pingback: Behind the Bar: Tequila Edition | Will Read For Booze

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