Friday, May 13, 2016

Decanting a Murder

To celebrate the release of Nadine Nettmann's first novel, Decanting A Murder, we're taking a little departure from the usual Drinks with Reads format, and delving into the wonderful and wild world of wine pairings. Nadine is a certified sommelier and so is her protagonist, Katie Stillwell, so I know we are in great hands. 

So get yourself a glass and enjoy...

In Decanting a Murder, wine is a huge part of Katie Stillwell’s life. She’s a sommelier, she uses her deductive wine skills to solve a mystery, and she compares people in her life to wine. For example, her best friend Tessa is a Merlot because like Merlot, her reputation was damaged in 2004.

Every chapter in the book is paired with a wine that reflects the events or timing of that chapter. For example, Chapter One is paired with Champagne because it’s “ideal as an aperitif to get you started.” 

Due to the variety of wines listed in the book – thirty-two to be exact – it would be tough to recommend one perfect wine to pair with Decanting a Murder so I’ve listed some ideal pairings to complement life situations as well as dishes:

For salty circumstances and salty foods, such as sushi, turn to bubbles and open a bottle of Champagne.

If you like keeping things light, and also enjoy light seafood like white fish or trout, choose a Pinot Grigio or a Sauvignon Blanc.

When life gets a little spicy, or you like hot sauce and Indian food, try a Riesling or a Gew├╝rztraminer which will help cut the heat.

When things start to get a little rich, or you want chicken in a cream sauce or strong seafood such as lobster and crab, turn to Chardonnay.

If you’re looking to stay grounded, or like earthy meals with mushrooms and truffles, go to Pinot Noir.

When it’s time to be strong, or you like strong meat such as steak or lamb, stick to bold reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

My recommended wine to drink while reading Mystery Playground would be a Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara, California. This wine pairs well with a wide variety of foods and stories, from earthy to bold, from light-hearted to dramatic. Perfect for an excellent blog like Mystery Playground.  

About Decanting a Murder:

Can Katie Solve a Case of Chateau Murdeaux?

Katie Stillwell focuses on two things in her life: work and practicing for Sommelier Certification with her blind tasting group. The exam was supposed to be the hardest part of her week, but that was before a body was found at an exclusive Napa Valley winery party.

When all the evidence points to Katie’s best friend, the outspoken and independent Tessa, Katie drops everything to clear Tessa’s name. Using her deductive wine skills, she tries to track down the real killer. But when repeated attempts are made on her life, Katie discovers that everyone’s secrets must be uncovered―including her own.


  1. This book sounds unique and amazing. I love the idea of pairing each chapter with a different wine. I have to read this one!

  2. Thanks for the wine recommendations!

  3. I was wondering about those notes at the beginnings of the chapters. I was thinking, ok, so there's the wine...with what is it paired?

    1. LuAnn - Are you reading the book? What do you think so far?