Toast this reading list

Instead of breaking out the Kindle or iPad for reading books at the beach or on the patio this summer, why not grab the actual book?

A glass of wine or a craft beer, your snack of choice paired with one of these reads, and you’re all set.

Icon: Flagship Wines from British Columbia’s Best Wineries, by John Schreiner – This is a gorgeous hardcover book. Keep it on the coffee table as a reference point or for guest to pick up and thumb through while sipping a glass.

Dozens of wineries are profiled, following a detailed introduction by Schreiner that explains the selection process for the book. Several wines per winery are included with tasting notes and a handy “drink now” note.

Need a wedding gift this summer? Start the happy couple’s wine cellar with this book and a few bottles highlighted in it.

Lure: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the West Coast, by Ned Bell with Valerie Howes – Chef Ned Bell is a champion of the sustainable seafood movement and responsible management of the bounty our oceans provide, as reflected in this well-organized cookbook.

The book is organized by white fish, shellfish, fatty fish, and sea greens, and by course (salads, soups, sandwiches and so forth). It also includes a handy “back to basics” section with fun charts, and, of course, a primer on how to cook fish.

The Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking, by Rod Butters with Kerry Gold – Okanagan-ites will be familiar with the growing restaurant portfolio under the guidance of Chef Rod Butters (RauDZ, micro bar – bites, Terrafina, and Sunny’s).

It's filled with mouth-watering photos and recipes sorted by the time of day, like “sunrise” and “twilight." The recipes also embrace the flavours and freshness of the Okanagan with an occasional twist. The Cauliflower and Saffron Wedding Soup is divine.

One of the best parts of the book is a list of local farmers, producers, and suppliers.

The Wandering Vine: Wine, the Romans and Me, by Nina Caplan – A lyrical journey through wine regions, from England to France to Italy, that at one point were part of the Roman Empire. This book is part travel journal, part personal exploration, and part wine writing.

It may make you want to retrace the writer's route, or simply let this transport you to another realm that explores what wine can do for each of your senses, and what memories a certain wine can make or revive.

Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California, by Frances Dinkelspiel – The title just about sums things up.

This is the true story of a day in 2005 when a warehouse of wine in California went up in flames, the costliest destruction of wine in history. If you like true-crime stories, this meticulously researched book is for you.

It addresses many things in the underbelly of the wine industry, from personal tensions to wine fraud.

Next on my reading list? Eating Local in the Fraser Valley by Angie Quaale, and Food Artisans of Alberta by Karen Anderson and Matilde Sanchez-Turri.

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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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