What to drink whilst reading The Vegetarian

June 13, 2017

The Vegetarian may well be one of the most distinctive books you'll read this year. Deborah Smith's translation of Han Kang's tale of a Korean woman becoming vegetarian won the Man Booker International Prize in 2016 for it's unnerving refusal to look away from the issues of shame and desire. It is a book that demands to be read. As my mother put it when recommending it, "I'm not sure that I enjoyed every minute of reading it, but I was glad that I had". It is a book that feels important, unbending, revealing.


So when I tasted one of the most distinctive wines I had sipped all year, this was not a pairing that I ruminated on or considered. It simply was the pairing. It demanded it.



Akashi-Tai Junmai Ginjo Sparkling Sake is a delicious glass of fizz that will never quite let you decide if it is sweet or savoury. It is light, refreshing, a soft bubble in the mouth with a savoury kick that leaves behind a sweet syrup.


Please don't fall into the trap of thinking that I paired these wines because they happen to be from the same continent. As I say, this had so much more to do with the demanding distinctiveness that this drink and this book have. It's powerful thing and I highly recommend that you try both. Preferably together.


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