Fifty Shades of Wine
Best-selling erotic novel filled with wine references
If you stay in touch with literary trends, you have probably heard — or read — about the Fifty Shades phenomenon.
The books — Fifty Shades of Grey, its sequel Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed — are written by British author E.L. James. The first book — the fastest-selling paperback of all time — was released in 2011 and has already sold more than 31 million copies.
But, ahem, these books aren’t for everyone. They deal with erotica and, specifically, bondage/discipline and sadism/masochism. And they revolve around the less-than-conventional relationship between a young woman named Anastasia Steele and a rich fellow named Christian Grey.
Dubbed “mommy porn” by some media, because of its appeal to married, middle-aged women, the trio of titles has spawned knock-offs and parodies, and the entire series is now being adapted for the screen. (The producers of the film The Social Network have signed on to be part of the action.)
And wine. Did we mention wine? Sure, there’s sex, but as wine writers, we at Wine Access couldn’t help but notice a whole lot of references to our favourite beverage sprinkled throughout the novels.
We haven’t included every reference here. We don’t want to wreck the plots if you haven’t yet read the series. But here’s a small taste of what we found — and a sidebar of some wines to go along with your reading this summer.
A few wine-related highlights from Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James:
Let the fun begin:
“Pouilly Fumé okay wih you?”
“I know nothing about wine, Christian. I’m sure it will be fine.”
At one of Christian’s favourite restaurants:
“The Pinot Grigio here is a decent wine. It will go well with the meal, whatever we get,” he says patiently.
Check out this collection of handful of pinot grigio reviews to pair with your meal.
Anastasia graduates, so they celebrate in style:
He picks up the champagne, takes off the foil top and cage, twists the bottle rather than the cork, and opens it with a small pop and a practiced flourish that doesn’t spill a drop…..
“Bollinger Grande Anné Rosé 1999, an excellent vintage,” he says with relish.
Teacups are fine…for tea. How about splurging on some decent glassware for your fine wine.
Some situations call for something stronger than wine:
“I’ll have a gin and tonic,” Christian says. “Hendricks if you have it, or Bombay Sapphire. Cucumber with the Hendricks, lime with the Bombay.”
When you need something stronger, here's how to make the perfect G&T.
After a long night:
“More wine?” Christian asks, gray eyes glowing.
“A small glass, please.” The Sancerre is crisp and delicious. Christian pours one for me and one for himself.
Pour yourself a glass of Sancerre, the refreshing wine made from sauvignon blanc grapes in the eastern part of the Loire Valley. These reviews will point you in the right direction.
Check out Part Two of this series here.
Written by Shelley Boettcher and Amanda Allison. Photo by M31