The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse

If you’re looking for a book to curl up with this holiday season, look no further. The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse is perfect Christmas reading.

the christmas cafe

Bea is 53, and she’s just lost her husband after 30 years of marriage. To distract herself from grief, she throws herself into her work running the Reservoir Street Kitchen in one of Sydney’s most fashionable districts. But then an email from a cafe-owner in Edinburgh prompts her to take a trip to Scotland in the depths of winter. Her journey will be one of self-discovery, as she is drawn back to a secret past—and a secret love—that she has tried to forget.

It’s charming, it’s sweet, and it’ll warm your heart.

Still chilly? I’ve got a recipe that will warm you right up. I first heard of whipkull on an episode of Booze Traveler and decided to try it out myself. With one success under my belt I can assure you this Shetland Island eggnog will be a hit wherever you serve it and great alongside this book (which is set in Scotland).

WHIPKULL
One dozen Yolks of Eggs(fresh)
One pound of Castor Sugar.
one pint of Rum or Mead.
One quart of sweet cream.
method--Beat the yolks and sugar together till thick
and creamy,add cream and rum or any spirit.
Allow to stand for some time until ingredients are 
thoroughly blended;pour into glasses and serve.

– Recipe from Cookery for Northern Wives

Book: The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse
Pairing: Whipkull

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Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn

wineromance-alexada

In the near future Alex has been gifted with an android. He names her Ada and that’s the start of this graphic novel. Alex is conflicted about “owning” an android and the politics surrounding robots. There’s a huge tragedy alluded to early on and it’s easy to see why people are suddenly very uncomfortable about living their lives with androids.

alex ada vol 2

A few months ago I noticed a lot of people adding this on Goodreads and I’ve always had an interest in robot love stories. No, I love robot love stories. If you’ve read it, you’ll know why I’m choosing a Bellini (specifically this Peach Thyme Bellini) made with La Marca Prosecco ($14) for this pairing. If you haven’t read it yet, pick it up and whip up a batch of Bellinis to get you through the three volumes. They are quick reads and it was announced that issue #15 is the last, so there’s a conclusion.

la marca prosecco

Book: Alex + Ada (Vols. 1, 2, and 3) by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn
Pairing: La Marca Prosecco


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

wineromance outlander

Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser isn’t one to turn down a glass of wine when her host kindly offers it during dinner at a castle in 18th century Scotland. You probably wouldn’t either if you had recently taken a tumble 200 hundred years into the past.

It’s Scotland and whisky is everywhere, but it’s wine Claire is drinking at Castle Leoch. There’s Colum MacKenzie’s Rhenish and later a little port to get her through a spur-of-the-moment wedding in hopes of saving her skin from our villain, Jack Randall.

Marrying. Oh, God. Buoyed temporarily by port wine and cream lace, I had momentarily managed to ignore the significance of the occasion.

Last fall, when the Outlander TV series first premiered here in the US, I wandered through my local wine shop looking for something to drink during one of the episodes. I considered Colum’s Rhenish and what that might look like today. Knowing anything of the sort was unavailable in my area, I decided to stick with something German and dry and my search produced this:

blue fish riesling

Blue Fish Riesling ($12-17) is crisp and aromatic and goes with almost anything. I think it would be particularly nice with Claire’s Tortellini Portofino from Outlander Kitchen (Warning! There are excerpts from Dragonfly in Amber in that post.). When I first saw it in the shop the colors caught my eye and reminded me of the cover of Outlander and that was all she wrote. Into my basket it went and a few hours later I was enjoying it during the wedding episode, where Claire is dragged, kicking and screaming, into a wedding she does want, but…oh, hi Jamie.

…whether it was the result of the late hour, the wine, his own attractiveness, or simple deprivation, I wanted him quite badly.

claire wedding outlander wine

Bottoms up!

Book: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Pairing: Blue Fish Riesling