Book Reviews

Book Review: Pairing food and wine for dummies.

There are hundreds of book about matching wine and food. Why then has a master sommelier decided to write another one?

The answer is relatively simple. Most of the literature is either too complicated for the average consumer, or too inconsequential repeating worn clichés.

The author has a profound knowledge of wine, regions of production, and, loves food. It is here that the reader gains most insight into the “mysteries” of matching wine and food.

He is well travelled, and possesses an in-depth knowledge of how winemakers approach their wines every vintage, knows enough about wine lists and pricing to guide you to wines that present good value while shopping, or in a restaurant.

He goes even further and tells you how to select a restaurant in an unfamiliar city.

The book has six parts, starting with Appreciating the Marriage of Food and Wine, continuing with Nuts and Bolts, Sorting out the World of Wine, Uncovering the Best Wine Bets with World Cuisine and Cheese, and Party Time.

The explanation provided in the first chapter lay the foundation and logic behind the concept of matching food and wine, and the second chapter deals with all important factors of texture, aromas, and others that play important roles in “successful matches”.

There is one chapter that explains the effects of barrel aging, which will help anyone understand why it is important and what actually happens in the process.

A novel approach to matching food and wine is the design of “pairing trees” where a style of wine in the centre becomes the focal point and branches that contain foods best suited for it, i.e full bodied soft wood aged wines – rich textured foods, yakitori, Jager schnitzel, chicken in chanterelle cream sauce etc.

In chapter 19 there are a few spelling errors of a few dishes, but they are minor.

Overall, this is a well conceived, well researched and written book thoughtfully laid out to help a wine “novice”, but also seasoned drinkers cum gourmets as to how to proceed in their endeavours of matching the right food with the right wine.

Highly recommended.

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