We all know the joke that some book clubs only read wine labels, but a new collaboration is embracing the idea of curling up with a good book and an equally good glass of wine. Sonoma’s Simi Winery is partnering with Reese’s Book Club (RBC), the online, app-friendly book club from Hello Sunshine founder, actress and our imaginary best friend Reese Witherspoon. It’s being called a “novel” partnership because book puns are um, bound to happen in such events. But best to leave those to the prose …
The Editor’s Collection is a limited-edition, holiday box set of Simi wines: a Sonoma County Chardonnay 2019 and Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 ($55 for two bottles) in a gift box that resembles a book, including an inscription dedicated to “page-turning, glass-filling women.”
The partnership celebrates strong female leaders between the two companies. Witherspoon founded RBC in 2015, focusing on books that place women at the center of narratives. Simi Winery was founded in 1876, and has a legacy of female winemakers, including Isabelle Simi, Zelma Long, current winemaker Lisa Evich and current director of winemaking Melissa Stackhouse. Stackhouse points to parallels between books and wine, especially people’s passion for both. “I hope you’ll create a moment for yourself while reading a book and tasting wine,” she explains.
While the wines weren’t selected to be paired with a specific book, the book of the month for November is Elif Shafak’s The Island of Missing Trees. One of the book’s “narrators” is a fig tree, so it’s not difficult to make a connection to wines, and the stories the grapes and terroir tell from within bottles.
Sarah Harden, CEO of Hello Sunshine, explained that the community of RBC had been expressing an interest in enjoying books with wine. “We’re always looking for ways to deepen our relationship with our wonderful reading community,” she says. The limited release of wines is expected to sell out, and the two companies are hinting at continuing with more releases in the future.
“We’re in the early chapters of what we’re doing here,” says Mallika Monteiro, EVP of Simi’s parent company, Constellation Brands. “We’re going to see how the book community responds,” she adds. “Our story is not yet fully written.”
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