Officially, from September 15 to October 15 each year, the nation celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month and the achievements, histories, traditions and cultural diversity of Hispanic/Latino/Latinx people whose heritage is rooted in 20 Latin American countries and territories: Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. However, we see no need to wait. On our shelves, we like to celebrate the contributions of the Hispanic and Latinx community all year round. With that in mind, we're extra stoked for this month's #GGBookClub, as we're highlighting some of our favorite Latinx makers and authors. ¡Salud!
Set in a fictional Dominican neighborhood in New York City, Neruda on the Park tells the story of how the Guerreros family finds tension rising amongst themselves as Eusebia, an elder in the community, devises increasingly dangerous schemes in an effort to halt the development of luxury condos in her neighborhood, while her daughter, Luz, strives to live a bougie lifestyle as an associate at a Manhattan law firm. Luz also finds herself tangled in a romance with one of the condo developers. A beautiful portrait of family, friendship, and love in all its forms, our pairing for this novel is this classic rich Bonarda, with notes of red and black cherries, smoke, and spice. Bonarda is the second most widely planted grape in Argentina, but it's not one to sleep on. This wine has loads of flavor and complexity, just like the characters in Natera's sparkling debut.
It's 2017, and Olga and her brother, Pedro “Prieto” Acevedo, are "boldfaced" names in their NY hometown. Prieto is a popular congressman representing their gentrifying neighborhood in Brooklyn, while Olga is the wedding planner for Manhattan’s power brokers. Despite their high profile lives, behind closed doors things are far less rosy. Sure, Olga can orchestrate the love stories of the 1 percent but she can’t seem to find her own, until she meets Matteo, who forces her to confront the effects of long-held family secrets just as Olga and Prieto’s long-estranged mother, Blanca, comes barreling back into their lives. The story explores family dynamics and the very notion of the American dream through Gonzalez' insightful writing. For this novel, we chose RGNY "Scielo" Tinto 2019, a gorgeous Bordeaux Blend with plenty of its own dynamic. This elegant and sinuous Bordeaux blend, produced in New York's North Fork wine region by the Rivero-Gonzalez family, is filled with notes of raspberry, black and red plum, vanilla, and spice.
Set in a fictional small town on the Texas-Mexico border, it tells the funny, sad, and quietly outrageous saga of the children and grandchildren of Mama Chona the indomitable matriarch of the Angel clan who fled the bullets and blood of the 1911 revolution for a gringo land of promise. In bold creative strokes, Islas paints an unforgettable family portrait of souls haunted by ghosts, magic, and madness, lust, and dangerous desires. The lush aromatics and incredible flavor of Tequila Cabeza Blanco mirrors the fearlessness and richly drawn characters in Islas' writing. A true growers tequila, Tequila Cabeza is also a family affair; the vivanco family has been cultivating agave in the Los Altos region of Jalisco for generations. The Jimadores pick the agaves for this single-estate tequila at seven to nine years of age and ferment it slowly during the winter months for added depth and character. The result is a magical spirit with a nose that captures the earthy, honeyed notes of highland agave, backed by balanced acidity and a velvety texture.
Luz Lopez, a tea leaf reader and laundress, is left to fend for herself after her older brother, Diego, is run out of town by a violent white mob. As Luz navigates 1930s Denver, she begins to have visions that transport her to her Indigenous homeland in the nearby Lost Territory. She bears witness to the sinister forces that devastated her people and their homelands for generations. In the end, it is up to Luz to save her family stories from disappearing into oblivion. A transfixing novel filled with an unforgettable cast of characters, all of whom are equally special, memorable, and complicated.
Stolpman Vineyards' "La Cuadrilla" Red blend is a great partner and match to Fajardo-Anstine's latest. A Syrah-driven red blend, the wine is lush and complex, with dark red fruit, chewy tannins, and subtle spice. It is also proof of what happens when winemakers and vineyard workers work together. He asked vineyard manager Ruben Solorzano to employ vineyard workers year-round, so the team members could have a steady job, a career, and raise families with security. Ruben started a training program in which he gave one Cuadra, a small vineyard block, to his team so could learn how to manage vines and make wine for themselves. The resulting red was so delicious, it entered the market and became an instant critical and commercial success.