Read, Drink, Listen

The monthly must-haves.


At 6 foot 2, Julia McWilliams stood out. She was rejected for military service in World War II, but was accepted by the Office of Strategic Services. Working in Sri Lanka, she learned how to catalogue vast amounts of information and keep secrets. She also met Paul Child. After their marriage, Mrs. Child famously learned how to cook, to create a home out of a bedroom and a kitchen, and to enjoy life as Julia. In Julia Child Rules: Lessons on Savoring Life, Karen Karbo tells Child’s story and how Julia Child embraced who she was and what she loved.

–Maureen Millea Smith is a librarian at Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.

*Available for $24.95 at Barnes & Noble in the Galleria.


When it comes to pairing wine with food, it helps to have the right wine essentials on hand to match most flavor profiles. Three suggestions include: an unoaked chardonnay to pair with light foods such as fish, salads and light pastas; a California or Oregon pinot noir to pair with medium-bodied dishes such as hearty fish and tomato-based foods, or pork and beef dishes with less fat; and a California zinfandel to pair with pizza, rich meat dishes or chocolaty deserts. For the medium-bodied category, I suggest the Planet Oregon pinot noir from the Willamette Valley as a lovely “pair with most anything” kind of wine. Bright with fresh strawberry, cherry and sage, this wine is versatile, perfectly round and smooth.

–Leslee Miller is a certified sommelier and owner of local wine consulting firm Amusée. See their webiste for more info. 

*Available at France 44 for $20.


Award-winning guitarist Will Sumner is a musician’s musician; a virtuoso on guitar, piano and violin, he lays down complex jazz tracks with ease and finesse, never sounding like he’s showing off his musical chops. Sumner’s CD Tracks features songs that are not only reminiscent of the times he performed in local concerts with Tropic Zone, but also brings Minnesota charm to them. “The Lake” features his wonderful artistry with the sound of a loon in the recording, while “Wine Highway” incites an afternoon drive. Sumner has a Latin flair to his playing, mixed with a jazzy background. His music is perfect for a day on the lake or a cruise down Pacific Coast Highway 1. Check out his website for more CDs.

—Patty Peterson, award winning vocalist and Jazz 88, KBEM radio host, shares her CD pick of the month. Visit her at her wesbite

* Available online at iTunes $9.99, Amazon or at