Guest Blogger: Laura Dave

Click to purchase

Click to purchase

I am delighted to welcome guest blogger Laura Dave. Her new novel, Eight Hundred Grapes, is the top Library Reads pick for June. Read on to see what Laura has to say, and to find out how you can win your own copy.

Bringing A Little Wine Country Home With You

In my new novel, EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES, Georgia Ford finds out a devastating secret about her fiancé’s double life the week before their wedding. She flees to her family’s vineyard in Sonoma County seeking refuge.

One of the nicest compliments I’ve received about the novel is that it makes people wish they could hop a flight to Wine Country for a little refuge of their own.   But, if a weekend getaway isn’t in the immediate cards, I thought it would be fun to bring a little wine country to you.

Here’s what you’ll need for a great wine country evening in the comfort of your own home.

A Trio of Great Wine

Wine tasting is the name of the game in Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Usually a tasting involves small pours of several delicious wines. For your tasting, you want to make sure to drink the wines in the right order, starting with the lighter whites and moving into he heavier red, so you can appreciate all three.

To that end, I created a sample wine pairing for you that will elevate any wine country evening—and, most importantly, it will do so without breaking the bank.

Great food pairing

Wine is meant to be enjoyed with food. If you pair it well, the wine complements the exotic tastes of what you’re feasting on, and the food helps the wine open up on your palate.

For your wine country evening, it’s fun to prepare tapas—in order to give each wine you’re drinking it’s own course.

For the prosecco, you want to think crisp and spicy. A citrus salad with a warm vinaigrette would work beautifully as would roasted almonds with fresh herbs.

For the chardonnay (or whatever yummy white you have on hand), pair it with a fresh and quick shrimp cocktail, or a creamy garlic pasta.

For the zinfandel, you want to get creative with something heavier and richer, like a spicy burger. A charcuterie plate would also be a lovely (and painless) way to end your meal.

Dining Al Fresco

The other key your wine country eve is to enjoy it outside. Serve your wine and your treats on your front steps or in your backyard. Light some candles. And make sure to relax on the porch afterwards with your last glass of wine, a gorgeous sunset and your copy of EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES—which will transport you the rest of the way to gorgeous Sonoma County.

 About the book

As any good book club knows, nothing pairs with a great read like a terrific glass of wine. This is especially true when the novel is set against the lush backdrop of California’s wine country. 

The breakout new novel from bestselling author Laura Dave is a heartbreaking, funny, and deeply evocative book about love, marriage, family, wine, and the treacherous terrain in which they all intersect.

The story opens on Georgia Ford, who is a week away from her wedding when she discovers that her perfect, British fiancée has been keeping a devastating secret. So she does what she has always done in times of trouble: she flees to her family’s Sonoma vineyard, hoping to find comfort and escape in the familiar routines of the grape harvest. When she arrives, she finds things are anything but routine.

Dave’s story moves seamlessly from the present to the Ford family past, revealing how Georgia’s formidable parents fell in love, founded The Last Straw Vineyard, raised their children and ultimately, drifted apart, arriving at a place where they would consider leaving behind their legacy—and each other. As Georgia attempts to fix her family’s problems, she realizes that all is not what it seems, and sometimes you have to let go of the way things are.

Eight Hundred Grapes is the perfect companion for one of those quiet summer afternoons spent reading on the porch with a glass (or two) of a bright, chilled white (Laura recommends a Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley’s Duckhorn Vineyards).

 About the author

Laura Dave is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The First Husband, The Divorlauradave2011ce Party, London Is The Best City In America, and the forthcoming Eight Hundred Grapes. Dave’s fiction and essays have been published in The New York Times, ESPN, Redbook, Glamour and Ladies Home Journal.

Dubbed “a wry observer of modern love” (USA Today), Dave has appeared on CBS’s The Early Show, Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends and NPR’s All Things Considered. Cosmopolitan Magazine recently named her a “Fun and Fearless Phenom of the Year.”

Three of her novels have been optioned for the big screen with Dave adapting Eight Hundred Grapes for Fox2000.

Laura reveals the secret to the Ford family’s legendary lasagna

Joy in a Glass: A special wine pairing for Eight Hundred Grapes

Reading Group Guide

To win your own copy of EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES by Laura Dave, please send an email to with “800 GRAPES” as the subject.

You must include your U.S. street address in your email.

All entries must be received by May 30, 2015. One (1) name will be drawn from all qualified entries and notified via email. This contest is open to all adults over 18 years of age in the United States only. Your prize will be sent by the publicist.

One entry per email address. Subscribers to the monthly newsletter earn an extra entry into every contest. Follow this blog to earn another entry into every contest. Winners may win only one time per year (365 days) for contests with prizes of more than one book. Your email address will not be shared or sold to anyone.

EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES by Laura Dave. Simon & Schuster (June 2, 2015.) ISBN 978-1476789255. 272p.

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