Wine Books Worth A Read
Wine Books Worth a Read
With the gift giving season approaching here are some newly released wine-inspired books that will bring hearty good cheer.
Wines of South America by Monty Waldin, (Mitchell-Beazley, Mitchell-Beazley.com) was clearly written by a wine insider who sees the tremendous promise of South American wines. Waldin, who is also the author of the Organic Wine Guide, shows us the beauty of
It’s hard to gauge what kind of reaction you might get if you left someone a copy of The Official Guide to Wine Snobbery under the Christmas tree(Barricade Books, barricadebooks.com.) The author Leonard S. Bernstein, not to be confused with the conductor, takes the view that “the wine drinker is trapped by the choreography of wine. Every question that he asks, every movement he makes, has the appearance of affectation.” What can a wine drinker do then? One answer, according to Bernstein is to embrace the role of a wine snob. “There is something elite about those people who really know which wine to order with ris de vean—or can fake it. Their friends often hate them, sometimes love them, but always secretly envy them. Wine snobs, sensing that this knowledge (or posture) commands a certain respect, seek to secure their privilege status.” Bernstein anticipates the gnarly challenges facing the wine snob, like having to survive blind tastings, and what to say if you don’t actually have a wine cellar, and how to send back a bottle in a restaurant.
I immediately wanted to open Cellaring Wine: Managing Your Wine Collection to Perfection when I saw that the author dedicated the book to “the vineyard workers, who toil so that we may drink wine”(Storey Publishing, storey.com.) The author, Jeff Cox, is based in
The fifth edition of Hugh Johnson’s Wine Companion: The Encyclopedia of Wines, Vineyards, & Winemakers (Mitchell Beazley) has been revised and updated by Stephen Brook. This is a tome chock full of otherwise hard to find information like the leading Rhingau producers, the wines from Cyprus, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and the leading Cava producers. Chose the Wine Companion for a recipient who has a general wine book collection and is looking for a lot of information densely, but neatly summarized in one place.
A practical and tasty choice to give a wine lover who knows his or her way around the kitchen is the Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Cookbook by Dolores and Jack Cakebread, (10 Speed Press, tenspeed.com) The Cakebreads, based in Napa, have a chef on the premises and with his input compiled 120 recipes designed to celebrate “every season’s harvest.” At the winery they hold seminars and the American Harvest Workshop where they aim to inspire visitors to create simple and elegant dishes that incorporate fresh herbs, and nature’s bounty. Included are recipes for carrot soup with garam
Cooking With Merlot (Rayve Productions) by Barbara and Norm Ray celebrates the marriage of Merlot and food. Why not enhance that mushroom and shallot bisque with a dash of merlot? Those who are more daring can whip up a merlot and chocolate ragout of stewed beef, lamb and pork. Personally, I plan to make the flaming cherries with merlot over the holidays.
If you have someone on your list who is new to the world of wine introduce him or her to Jancis Robinson and her latest book Jancis Robinson's Wine Course, A Guide to the World of Wine, (Abbeville Press, abbeville.com.) Robinson, who is a wine columnist for the Sunday Times, distinguishes herself from the pack by writing in a style that shows her range of knowledge of old world wines, but also acknowledges and then knocks down prejudices about the qualities of the wines made in the new world like California and New Zealand. The book itself is nicely wrought with an appealing vibrant cover. Its size made it easy to slip into a file which I carried to court over a few days. On each occasion my colleagues and adversaries clamored to let them skim through it while we waited for our cases to be called.
Elisabeth Frater is an attorney who practices in