A glass of Malbec sets the tone for an evening in. And it’s a wonderful headliner for a “Bev-Talk.”
Malbec’s full-bodied, deep purple, smokiness just appeals to me. There’s a reason why it’s my chosen namesake.
Paoletti’s 2017 Malbec, from Napa Valley, is bold and lush with a hint of mystery-an element of surprise. For food pairings, envision a beautifully plated meal of filet mignon with a side of buttery mashed potatoes and lightly seasoned broccolini.
For a book pairing, however, an unassuming classic might be the perfect match.
All Passion Spent is a novel I return to from time to time. It holds a special place in my heart. Its author, Vita Sackville-West, was a close friend of Virginia Woolf. (According to more recent reporting their connection extended beyond friendship, https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2016/03/09/a-thing-that-wants-virginia/.)But unlike the much-heralded works of her friend, Sackville-West’s contributions to the world of literature aren’t as frequently recognized. That may be due to the fact that she only produced two novels in her lifetime. One of those works, The Edwardians, I found difficult to get through. It’s a turn of the century story of English high society life and privilege. Not necessarily my cup of tea (or glass of wine). But her other novel, All Passion Spent, is pure gold.
The main character, Lady Slane, is an 88 year old widow who has decided it’s time to do things a little differently. No longer encumbered by her duties as the wife of a respected statesman, she packs up her elegant home in London, and rents a small cottage in the country. By leaving, she escapes the demands of an irksome life, as well as the annoying chatter of her adult children. Lady Slane’s newly acquired freedom allows her time and space for introspection, self-discovery, and the gentlest touch of romance.
This novel is a gem, and an inspiring reminder that it’s never too late to make a change.
If you like All Passion Spent you may also like, https://booksandbevs7.org/2022/06/10/book-review-time-cassandra-at-the-wedding/