Interview with Laura Dave

Each week, we will post short interviews with interesting people about their thoughts and feelings on women and drinking. There is such a wide array of perspectives about this topic, and we are excited to gain insight into as many as possible and to share them with you.

Laura Dave is the author of the acclaimed novels The Divorce Party and London is The Best City In America. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Self, as well as on NPR’s All Things Considered. Her new novel, The First Husband, will be released in May 2011.

Drinking Diaries: Have you ever had a phase in your life when you drank more or less?

Laura Dave: The ‘less’, surprisingly, was in college.  I  didn’t really have any interest in alcohol, at all, until I was in graduate school, where we’d have these wonderful conversations about writing and reading and books over a cocktail or wine.

What’s your drink of choice? Why?

I’m a fan of a dirty martini with extra olives.  For my money, the dirtier the martini the better.  Put me on a porch with a book and one of those, and I’m a happy camper.

Can you tell us about the best time you ever had drinking?

Just recently, I’d have to say.  My boyfriend and I rented a house in Santa Ynez (California’s southern wine region) with some good friends and we spent a long weekend visiting vineyards and sampling some pretty wonderful wine.

Has culture or religion influenced your drinking?

Drinking was never a big part of my culture, or life growing up.  Food on the other hand…

Do you have a favorite book, song, or movie about drinking?

“A Case of You” by Joni Mitchell.  Does that count? I think that counts.  I also love Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp.  It’s a wonderful book about alcoholism and coming out the other side.

What do you like most about drinking?

I love cooking a big meal for friends –  or going out for a nice dinner – and picking a great wine to complement the food. I really like going to a local wine shop called The Wine House to pick out a good bottle.  The staff makes great suggestions, and they often have wines from around the world that aren’t readily available in the States.

How do you approach alcohol in your every day life?

In moderation.  Especially as I’m getting older, I limit myself to one martini or one glass of wine  – otherwise the next morning isn’t very fun.

If you could be any drink, what would it be? Why?

A really good Tuscan red wine.  Because it brings back so many nice memories.  Plus, that would mean I’d live in Italy!