This month may very well be the month that I–Cleo de la Torre, curator of the Reading Cru–become a mother, so as I “prepare” for motherhood, I have decided to select a collection of true stories written by mothers about motherhood. You do not need to be a mother to enjoy this text, but get ready for some mom talk in this month’s discussion. I, personally, look forward to it, assuming that I won’t be in active labor when the time comes! Feel free to invite your mother or any other mother to read this text with you and to invite her to the meeting.
Motherhood is dirty and smelly and intense and exhausting and terrible and wonderful, and sometimes all at once. We mothers are conditioned; however, to pretend it’s all easy, it’s all love, and it’s all joy. The narratives in this collection vary as much as the women who wrote them, and they demonstrate the weight and responsibility of motherhood. These are stories of conception, pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting as a means of sharing honestly in a time when such honesty is fleeting.
Since the theme for this month is motherhood, I have selected wines from three dynastic wineries. You can’t have a dynasty without a mother, and these longstanding Napa Valley wineries are excellent examples of the power mothers perpetuate in the wine industry.
First up, we have a classic, oaky “California Chardonnay,” from Artesa in Napa Valley. If you grew up drinking silky, buttery Napa Chardonnays a few decades ago, this one is for you. You can trust that Artesa–a winery whose history begins in 1551 in Spain–makes a divine California Chardonnay fit to pair with some fine roasted poultry this month.
Next up is another classic style of Chardonnay for those who may like the more ripe peach and honeysuckle flavors that Chardonnay can express. The Grgich Hills Estate winemaker, Milijenko “Mike” Grgich, is known for putting California on the wine map in the 1976 “Judgement of Paris” with his Chardonnay. This “mother of California Chardonnay” certainly deserves your attention this month. If this is in your glass come Thanksgiving, be sure to toast to your mother.
Lastly, we have a Cabernet Sauvignon from Chappellet winery in Napa Valley. Owners, Molly and Donn Chappellet, have operated the Chappellet vineyard for more than 50 years, and with six kids under her belt, Molly is quite the mother to honor this month. Pick up a bottle of their classic, robust Cabernet Sauvignon to share with the equally strong mother in your life this holiday season.
Cheers and happy reading!
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About Reading Cru
What do we read?
Our club curator selects a range of literature, both fiction and nonfiction
What do we drink?
Three suggested wines that pair with the book based on themes and flavors.
What & where do we meet?
Join us virtually the last Sunday of each month at 5pm via Zoom or Google Meet.