Leora Madden, the owner of Pearl Wine Co., and Candice Huber, the founder of the New Orleans literary blog Fleur de Lit, aren't afraid to liken fine wine pairings to compatible book choices. "When I have a wine tasting, I don't just serve one wine," says Madden, a self-professed "book nerd" who worked in publishing for nearly a decade before opening her shop. "It's the same with authors. It's important to show people the different flavors of novelists."
The friends will merge interests in a new monthly reading series, Reading Between the Wines, which launches Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Pearl Wine Co. (3700 Orleans Ave., 483-6314). The monthly event will feature $5 glasses of wine, food from the pop-up restaurant Indochow and readings and signings from three or four authors at a time. It will be held on the first Wednesday of each month, with a set of authors chosen to reflect a particular theme. Wednesday's kickoff will be a little bit of everything, with George Bishop Jr., who will read from his second novel, The Night of the Comet, David Armand, who will read from his book, Harlow and Chuck Hustmyre, author of The Axman of New Orleans. December's theme will be cooking and entertaining, and January's will feature New Orleans histories.
Huber had the idea to start the series, she says, because most of the literary events in New Orleans were clumped together at Uptown bookstores. After the Mid-city Maple Street Book Shop closed earlier this year, Huber wanted to reinvigorate the neighborhood's literary scene. She says she also wants to let people in on conversations between writers, the way that book festivals do. "They'll be able to see the perspectives of different writers on form and process," she says. "There will be something for everyone."