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Monday, April 30, 2012

April 4/12: Bourchard Pere st Fils Burgundy Tasting at RCYC

 The Date and Time: Wednesday, April 4, 2010  11AM to 3 PM

The Event: Annual Bouchard Pere et Fils vintage tasting, 2010 this year.

The Venue: RCYC St. George Location

The Target Audience: clients, wine media, sommeliers.

The Availability/Catalogue: everything is available through the usual distribution channels or through private orders. About 100 wines were listed, but not all were available for tasting before buying.

The Quote/Background: 2010 was a minuscule production year in Burgundy, but what is available has both fragrance and charm.

The Wines: we began with a toasty (four star) Henriot Brut Souverain NV ($63.95 consignment), the company which owns Bouchard Pere et Fils, William Fevre, and Villa Ponciago


**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune 1er Greves Vigne Enfant Jesus 2010, $124

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Pommard 1er Cru 2010, $72

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Meursault 1er cru Genevrieres, $96

-William Fevre Chablis Bourgros Grand Cru 2010, $81

-William Fevre Chablis Les Preuses Grand Cru 2010, $94

-Villa Ponciago Fleurie Grand Cuvee La Roche Muriers 2009, $48


***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (8890 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Macon Lugny St. Pierre 2010, $14.95 +51573 GL

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune du Chateau 1er cru 2008, $36.95 Vintages

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Le Corton 2010, $124

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Les Cailles 2010, $118

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 2010, $55

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Corton Charlemagne Blanc 2010, $192

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune 1er Cru Saint-Landry 2010, $61

-William Fevre Chablis Montmains 1er cru 2010, $49

-Villa Ponciago Fleurie Cuvee Les Hauts du Py 2010, $30


*** GOOD -- Three Stars (8587 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Pouilly Fuisse 2010, $27 +56580

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Bourgogne La Vignee Pinot Noir 2010, $16.95 +605667

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune 1er cru Marconnets 2010, $58

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Monthelie 1er Cru Champs Fuillots 2010, $48

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Savigny Les Beaune 1er Cru Lavieres 2010, $51

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets Ancienne Cuvee Carnot 2010, $87

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Puligny Montrachet 1er cru Champs Gain 2010, $97

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Meursault Les Clous 2010, $52

-William Fevre Chablis Champs Royaux 2010, +276436 $21.55

-William Fevre Chablis Le Clos Grand Cru 2010, $107

-William Fevre Chablis Vaillons 1er cru 2010, $49

-Bouchard Pere et Fils Petit Chablis 2010, $19.95 LCBO

-Villa Ponciago Fleurie la Reserve 2010, $24


The Food: gourmet cheeses, served at room temperature, breads.

The Contact Person:

The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing
Creator of Canada's award-winning wine satire site at My Internet compendium
"Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net" is a guide to thousands of news
items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, at since 1994. My tastings are based on MVC (Modal
Varietal Character); ratings are QPR (Quality-to-Price Ratio). Prices
are LCBO retail. Only my top rated wines are here. NOTE: The LCBO does
NOT put out all of the wines of the release for wine writers or product
consultants. Corked wines are not normally available for a re-tasting.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $20 or so.
1.Flat Rock Cellars Riesling 2010 VQA Twenty Mile Bench Niagara:
sipper, off-dry, but enough finishing acid for first course foods.
10.5% ABV. +43281, $16.95, QPR: 89.
2.Malivoire Riesling 2010 VQA Niagara: very good, true to MVC, dry
mode, traditional. +277483, $15.95, QPR: 90.
3.Calina Chardonnay 2010 Aconcagua Valley Chile: buttery and rich,
modest finish, better as sipper. 13.5% ABV. +640912, $14.95, QPR: 89.
4.Lawson's Dry Hills Gewurztraminer 2009 Marlborough: gorgeous
interpretation of New World Gewurz, great MVC with finishing
bitterness. +60129, $17.95, QPR: 91.
5.Willy Gisselbrecht Tradition Riesling 2010 Alsace: another great
Riesling food wine, orchard drops and minerals, 12% ABV. +169011,
$15.95, QPR: 90.
6.Chateau de Navarro Blanc 2010 Graves: ab fab price, zest but fruity
enough for sipping. Typical Graves minerality and earth. +264739,
$14.95, QPR: 90.
7.Henri Bourgeois Petit Bourgeois Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Vins de Pays du
Jardin de la France: basic entry level wine from a master, very zesty,
good price, 12.5% ABV.
8.Vinea Garganega 2010 IGT Veronese: half of this is briefly wood aged,
13% ABV. Quality character, some slight creaminess.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $20 or so.
1.Folie a Deux Menage a Trois Red 2010 California: good wine for a wine
tasting ringer. BBQ all the way, something for everybody. 13.5% ABV.
+665158, $17.95, QPR: 90.
2.Los Haroldos Reserva de Familia Malbec 2008 Mendoza: plummy soft
fruit, some mocha tones, BBQ, North American appeal, finishes with
toasted oak. +269068, $14.95, QPR: 89.
3.Niquen Antu Cabernet Sauvignon/Carmenere 2010 Colchagua Valley Chile:
another full-flavoured exception BBQ wine, 14% ABV. +59329, $16.95,
QPR: 89.
4.Escapade Southern Cross Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 WO Bottelary-
Stellenbosch: full body, black fruit, long finish, BBQ, maturing nicely
now (5 years old). +26721, $17.95, QPR: 92.
5.Domaine de Rochebin Clos St. Germain Vieilles Vignes Bourgogne 2009:
overripe red fruit, good for North American market, good depth, 12.5%
ABV. +264549, $17.5, QPR: 89.
6.Chateau des Aladeres Corbieres 2008: black fruit, depth, some caramel
from toasty wood, BBQ, 3.5 years old already, 14.5% ABV. +276063,
$16.95, QPR: 90.
7.Canonica a Ceretto Chianti Classico Riserva 2007: wood aging shows
vale. +275867, $17, QPR: 89.
8.Stefano Accordini Acinatico Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore
2009: "Ripasso of the Month", +85159, $19.95, PR: 89.
9.Bodegas Olarra Anares Reserva 2005 Rioja: exacting quality of the
basics (Tempranillo, US oak, traditional style), yet 13.5% ABV and
under $20. There's value here. +244723, $17.95, QPR: 90.
Restaurants should consider offering these FINE VALUE wines at a $10
markup over retail; the wines are READY to enjoy right NOW. Consumers
should buy these wines to bring to restaurants with corkage programs.
1.Le Clos Jordanne Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard Chardonnay 2009 Twenty
Mile bench VQA Niagara, +33910, $40 retail.
2.Cuvaison Chardonnay 2009 Carneros Napa Valley, +988261, $29.95.
3.Two Rivers of Marlborough Convergence Sauvignon Blanc 2011, +277707,
3.Domaine Bachey-Legros Vieilles Vignes Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot
1er Cru 2009, +268508, $53.95.
4.Summers Andriana's Cuvee 2007 Knights Valley Napa, +275719, $26.95.
5.Chateau des Moines 2009 Lalande de Pomerol, +206789 $21.95.
6.Marziano Abbona Terlo Ravera Barolo 2006, +67918, $42.95.
7.Brancaia Tre 2009 IGT Toscana, +164715, $22.95.
8.Tommasi Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2008, +356220, $49.95.
Dean Tudor, Ryerson University Journalism Professor Emeritus
Treasurer, Wine Writers' Circle of Canada
Look it up and you'll remember it; screw it up and you'll never forget it.
Creator of Canada's award-winning wine satire site at

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 2/12: California Wine Fair in Toronto

 The Date and Time:  Monday, April 2, 2012

The Event: California Wine Fair 2012 Canadian Tour: Toronto stop.

The Venue: Fairmont Royal York

The Target Audience: wine trade

The Availability/Catalogue: most wines are available through the usual distribution channels and/or agencies.

The Quote/Background: There are 3519 wineries in California; about 180 of them participated in the Canadian tour. 90% of US wine exports come from California.

The Wines: There were about 400 wines; I could not taste them all. Prices were sometimes difficult to ascertain. Schramsberg J Schram 2000 Sparkling Brut North Coast $99.95 was my FAVE of the Day!


**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):


-7 Deadly Zins 2009 Zinfandel $24.95

-Bogle Vineyards 2008 Phantom $26.95

-Vina Robles 2009 Red4 $17.95

-Elyse Winery 2007 C'est Si Bon $29.95

-Bliss Vineyard 2008 Zindandel

-Silverado Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Napa Valley $59.95

-MacRostie Winery Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay 2008 Sonoma Coast

-Bonny Doon Vineyard 2007 Le Cigar Volant

-CA'Momi Wines 2010 Zinfandel $25.00

-Nichols Zinfandel 1999 Cienega Valley $51.95

-Elyse Winery 2008 Morisoli Zinfandel $39.95

-Grgich Hills Cellar Fume Blanc 2010 Napa Valley $29.95 Vintages June

-Grgich Hills Cellar Chardonnay 2009 Napa valley $54.95 Vintages June

-Ravenswood 2007 Pickberry Red Blend

-Thomas Fogarty 2009 Pinot Noir

-Ramey Wine Cellars Chardonnay 2009 Russian River Valley

-Dry Creek Vineyard 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon $24.95

-Elyse Winery 2007 Tietjen Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

-C.G. Di Arie Vineyards 2008 Sierra Legend

-Justin Winery 2009 Isosceles $73.95

-Pine Ridge Vineyards Chenin Blanc + Viognier 2011 $19.99 Lifford

-Perry Creek Vineyards Cobra Zin Zinfandel 2009 El Dorado $42.95

-Justin Winery 2009 Savant

-Star Lane 2007 Happy Canyon Red $44.95

-Bacio Divino 2008 Pazzo Sangiovese Blend

-Bliss Vineyard 2007 Brutocao Hopeland Ranches

-Bliss Vineyard 2010 Chardonnay $16.99

-Cliff Lede Vineyards 2010 Breggo Cellars Pinot Noir $48.00

-Cliff Lede 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon $74.00

-Simi 2008 Landslide Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon $45.00

-Deerfield Ranch Winery 2007 Red Rex $27.50

-Rosenblum Cellars XXXII Zinfandel Cuvee

-Foppiano Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir

-Peter Franus 2006 Red Bordeaux Blend

-Thomas Fogarty 2006 Lexington Meritage

-Thomas George 2009 Cresta Ridge Pinot Noir

-World's End 2009 Crossfire Cabernet Sauvignon

-Zaca Mesa Winery 2009 Chardonnay

-Zaca Mesa Winery 2009 Syrah


***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (8890 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Oakville Ranch Oakville Ranch Cabernet Franc 2007 $94.95

-Foley 2009 Pinot Noir Rancho SR

-Lucas & Lewellen 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon $39.95

-Vineyard 7 & 8 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

-Dry Creek Vineyard 2006 Mariner $45.00

-Bacio Divino Cellars 2008 Janzen Beckstoffer To Kalon Cabernet Sauvignon

-Conway Vineyards 2008 Deep Sea Pinot Noir

-Deerfield Ranch Winery 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon $29.95

-Deerfield Ranch Winery 2006 Old Vine Zinfandel $56.75

-Nichols Pinot noir 2002 Edna Valley $51.95

-Perry Creek Chardonnay 2009

-Perry Creek Altitude 2401 Petite Sirah 2008 El Dorado

-Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Napa $19.95 Majestic

-Rutherford Ranch Zinfandel 2008 Napa $19.95 Majestic

-Thomas George 2009 Starr Ridge Chardonnay

-Thomas George 2009 Estate Pinot Noir

-Vina Robles 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

-World's End 2009 Little Sister Merlot


*** GOOD -- Three Stars (8587 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Cuvaison 2010 Chardonnay $29.95

-MacRostie 2010 Chardonnay $29.95

-Aquinas 2009 Pinot Noir $17.95

-Freakshow 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon $27.95

-Esser Vineyards 2009 Merlot $16.95

-Pedroncelli 2009 Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel $21.95

-Bennett Lane 2006 Maximus $43.35

-C.G. Di Arie Vineyards 2009 Red $40.95

-James Judd & Son Vineyards 2006 Malbec-Verdot $26.00

-Bacio Divino Cellars 2008 Cabernet Blend

-C.G. Di Arie Vineyards 2009 Breakaway Zinfandel

-Carneros Wine Company 2010 Fleur Pinot Noir

-Justin Winery 2009 Syrah

-Laurel Glen Vineyard 2009 Counterpoint Cabernet Sauvignon

-Paul Hobbs 2009 Chardonnay

-Peter Franus 2009 Brandlin Zinfandel

-World's End 2009 Against the Wind Cabernet Franc

-Zaca Mesa Winery 2010 Viognier


The Food: the Luncheon has always been well attended. This year the speaker was Evan Goldstein, MS, who talked about the impact of California wine on the economy. The menu was devised by Collin Thornton, Exec Chef. Wines were provided by host wineries at the tables; my hosts were Perry Creek and Rutherford Ranch. We began with a jumbo sea scallop and arctic char served at room temperature. The meat course was a venison medallion and a shortrib. These were followed by both an Ontario and Quebec cheese platter, highlighted by Monteforte (sic) Tuscano (sic) [it was Monforte Toscano] and petit fours.

The Downside: The Pinot Noir seminar went on without me.

The Upside:  the media room which we had all to ourselves.

The Contact Person:

The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89

Sunday, April 22, 2012


...all reflect a boom in the cookbook publishing business. A paperback
reprint will lower the cost to the purchaser, and also give a publisher
a chance to correct egregious errors or add a postscript. Some will
reissue a book in paper covers with a new layout or photos. Others will
rearrange existing material to present it as more informative text
while keeping the focus tight. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
22. 150 BEST VEGAN MUFFIN RECIPES (Robert Rose, 2012, 192 pages, ISBN
978-0-7788-0292-1, $19.95 CAD paper covers)
23. 150 BEST GLUTEN-FREE MUFFIN RECIPES (Robert Rose, 2012, 192 pages,
ISBN 978-0-7788-0291-4, $19.95 CAD paper covers) are both by Camilla V.
Saulsbury, a freelance recipe developer and writer who has won several
US cooking competitions and cook-offs. She's also got about 15
cookbooks under her belt. These two books are complementary; most
purchasers, especially those with medical issues, will want both. Many
of the preps were previously published in the giant 750 Best Muffin
Recipes (also from Robert Rose, in 2010), so you may not need this book
if you have that huge compendium. These books are for the secondary
market, for the people really need gluten-free or vegan food. Both
books are similarly arranged, beginning with equipment and ingredients
special to gluten-free and vegan. The arrangement is about the same
too: her top muffins (20 vegan, 15 gluten-free), followed by breakfast
muffins, coffeehouse muffins, lunch and supper muffins, and "global"
muffins – her takes on international specialties such as five-spice
Asian pear muffins or sesame ginger muffins. There's minimal
duplication, in that some recipes sound the same but call for different
ingredients. For example, there's a five-spice pear muffin that is
either gluten-free or vegan (but not both). Most of the gluten-free
recipes have casein-free alternatives, so you can use the book as a
"dairy-free" book, but still maintain eggs and honey. Preparations have
their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements
(always a strong point with Robert Rose), but there is no table of
equivalents. Quality/price rating: 90.
24. A CARAFE OF RED (University of California Pr., 2012, 280
pages, ISBN 978-0-520-27032-9, $21.95 US soft covers) is by Gerald
Asher, who has written many books about wine. By profession he was an
international wine merchant. He also served as Gourmet magazine's wine
editor for 30 years. Here, he has selected some more essays published 
in Gourmet but with one dealing with cabernet sauvignon from another
source as well (The Book of California Wine). He did another one last
year (2011), "A Vineyard n My Glass". The essays (mainly from the
1990s) reflect wine regions: he has 8 for France, 8 for California
(plus one on Missouri), 6 for other European countries, and some
general ones on food and wine. And, believe it or not, there is
actually an index, which rarely happens with anthologies or reprints.
His book is definitely terroir-driven as he relates talks with
winemakers, wines and the meals he has had, along with growing
conditions. And each article is just about perfectly written with his
eye for detail. In France, he visits Bordeaux, Cote Rotie, Champagne,
Beauolais. There is also Malmsey, Barbaresco, and Sherry, and for
California, Santa Cruz and Zinfandel, amongst others. After each essay,
he pens a swift update since the original writing. Well-worth a read or
as a gift. Keep them coming, Mr. Asher…Quality/price rating: 90.

25. PLATTER'S SOUTH AFRICAN WINES 2012; the guide to cellars,
vineyards, winemakers, restaurants and accommodation (John Platter SA
Wine Guide Ltd; distr. by Wines of South Africa Canadian Office,, 618 pages, ISBN 978-0-987-0046-0-4, $30CAD
(includes shipping) hard cover) is the recognized authority on South
African wines. It has been published for 32 years. For this latest
edition, there are now 15 tasters – all identified, and with initials
after tasting notes. Some of the tasters have changed over the years.
More than 6000 wines are here evaluated (about 800 are new to this
edition), along with new wineries. One-quarter of all top ranking 5
star wines are now being made by mom-and-pop operations, a remarkable
achievement. Even the large co-ops are making more credible, limited
collections of superior wine. The contents of the guide are
straightforward: there are chapters on the wine industry, vintages and
styles, touring (accommodation and food, all in some 75 pages) followed
by some 500 pages of dictionary-arranged wineries, detailing most
aspects. To quote, "Wines are entered under the name of the private
producer, estate, co-operative winery or brand name of a merchant, and
listed alphabetically. Entries feature some or all of: producer's name,
address, phone/fax number, email address, website; wine name, colour
and style, grape varieties, vintage, area of origin; selected recent
awards and star ratings. Where applicable, other attractions to be
enjoyed on the property, such as meals and accommodation, are
highlighted." The book also has an indication of organic wines
available for sale and sketch maps to show the location of all the
wineries. The index at the front is by grape, so you can see at a
glance what is the top performing pinotage, or cabernet sauvignon, or
sparkler. Quality/price rating: 95.

(Robert Rose, 2012, 192 pages, ISBN 978-0-788-0404-8, $27.95 CAN
paperback) is by Sunil Vijayakar, a UK food author and stylist. It was
originally published in 2010 by Hamlyn as "Slow Cooker Curries". This
is it North American debut. Each recipe has a heat rating, and there is
advice on how to lower or increase the spicy heat component. These are
mostly curries, with an assortment of 40 pilafs, accompaniments and
chutneys. And of course, you don't actually need a slow cooker to do
the dish: they can all be modified for oven use. There is a good range
here, with preps from three different regions, foods from meats to
seafood to veggies, and all with differing heat levels. Try goat xacuti
curry, Cambodian pork and lemongrass curry, or sindhi beef curry.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
And, of course, the large type is extremely useful in the kitchen.
Quality/price rating: 89.
27. THE EDIBLE BALCONY; growing fresh produce in small spaces (Rodale,
2011, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-60961-410-2, $21.99 US paperback) is by
Alex Mitchell. It was also published in the UK by Kyle Books. She has
been writing about small space gardens for many British publications.
The attraction here, of course, is the remote possibility for growing
your own fresh produce, no mater how limited your space. But there must
be some kind of sunlight too, whether it is cast on a fire escape or
window box or rooftop or small deck. It's a good how-to book, with
plenty of information and tips on such thing as choice of pot, compost
and mixes, seeds and seedlings. There are side bars on the best crops
for grow bags, for a window box, and for hanging baskets. There's a
listing of the ten best "easy" crops, and other "top ten" listings for
"not-in-the-store" veggies, crops that keep coming by renewal, and
fruit trees. There are also a handful of recipes, and a lot of special
projects that should keep people busy. Quality/price rating: 88.

28. THE MAPLE SYRUP BOOK (Boston Mills Pr, 2006; distr. Firefly, 2012,
96 pages, ISBN 978-1-77085-033-0, $19.95 CAN paper covers) is by Janet
Eagleson, a naturalist. It was originally published in 2006, and is now
reissued. It is an A – Z primer on the hows and whys (including sugar
shacks) of maple syrup, along with eight recipes, including one for
maple syrup chicken wings (yummy). Rosemary Hasner contributes a lot of
colour photos on nearly every page. There's an illustrated flavour
wheel for maple syrup, but it should have been on a full page by
itself: it's a little hard to read at one one-third of a page.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 87.

29. THE BEST OF THE BEST AND MORE; recipes from The Best of Bridge
Cookbooks (Robert Rose, 2012, 304 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0299-0, $29.95
CAN spiral bound)
30. THE REST OF THE BEST AND MORE; recipes from The Best of Bridge
Cookbooks (Robert Rose, 2012, 304 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0400-0, $29.95
CAN spiral bound)
are new reprints from 1998 and 2004 respectively. The original
collations, of course, are collections of preps from the long series of
The Best of Bridge cookbooks. The story began in 1975 when the bridge
club of eight decided to produce their own cookbooks. "The Ladies of
the Best of Bridge" eventually sold 3.2 million copies of their books
over a 30 year period. These two books should be viewed together. The
BEST contains about 70 new recipes, while the REST has about 100 new
preps. All new recipes are highlighted in the index. The original
format of hand lettering has been retained. Preparations have their
ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but
there is no table of equivalents. It is all pretty standard reference
material, but all of it is useful. There was some light updating when
the books were first published (I don't have the resources to cross-
check 1998 edition against the 2012), and certainly the new recipes
will have been updated through 2012 – all to reflect current trends in
fresh eating. Quality/price rating: 88.

31. THE BEST STEWS IN THE WORLD; 300 satisfying one-dish dinners, from
chilis and gumbos to curries and cassoulet (Harvard Common Press, 2002,
2012; distr. T. Allen, 388 pages, ISBN 978-1-55832-747-4, $19.95 US
paper covers) is by Clifford A. Wright, a cooking teacher and food
writer who has authored some nine cookbooks, including the Beard Award
winner A Mediterranean feast. It was originally published in hardback a
decade ago, and here it is given its paperback reissue. Not much
changes in the world of stews, so his 2002 take is still valid today –
as written. It's international in scope, of course, and arranged by
major ingredient, leading off with beef. There's veal, lamb, pork,
fowl, small game, seafood, veggies, and "mixed meats". There are
materials for slow cookers, tajines, couscous, chilis, ropa vieja, and
more. There's a duck wing stew from the Languedoc, a Turkish chicken
and okra stew, fish dumplings from Morocco, a Lebanese fish stew,
Sardinian vegetable stew, and an Andalusian chickpea and veal tripe
stew. His last stew ("no-name stew") has all the leftovers after he
finished testing the recipes. Worth a try, but hard to find all the
exact ingredients. Preparations have their ingredients listed in
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 89.

32. WEIGHT WATCHERS NEW COMPLETE COOKBOOK, 4th ed. (J Wiley, 2011,2012,
436 pages, ISBN 978-1-118-11683-8, $21.99 US spiral bound edition) is
an update of the 2007 edition, which was also released in a plastic
comb binding. The book was originally published in hardback in 1993.
The new, fourth edition, has many changes, such as a separate chapter
on slow cooker meals and new sidebar advice. The new PointsPlus™
program is explained. Recipes have been labeled for skill level, and
there are more preps for grains and veggies. Plus, of course, the new
design: loose leaf allow for better recipe display in the kitchen. Once
again, the emphasis is on healthy eating for family meals and for
entertainment meals. The book has always been 500 recipes in length,
but they are always changing. There are some helpful technique photos,
as well as the usual technique tricks and tips. Quality/price rating:

33. CANADIAN LIVING. The One Dish Collection (Transcontinental Books,
2012; distr. Random House Canada, 288 pages, ISBN 978-0-9813938-9-6,
$26.95 CAD paper covers) is by the test kitchen at Canadian Living
magazine. It's in the style of the other books from the kitchen, such
as The Vegetarian Collection, The Slow Cooker Collection, The
International Collection, and The Barbecue Collection. The arrangement
begins with soups, stews and salads, moving on to casseroles, baked
items, simmer food, stir-fries, pasta and risotto. As always, it is a
basic book with plenty of tips and advice, There's a black bean and
chorizo soup, beer-simmered steaks, vegetable barley soup, mushroom-
bacon-swiss chard with gemelli pasta, tex-mex casserole with Monterey
jack cheese – about 250 of them. There's nutritional data for each
recipe, as well as some tips and advice. There's one prep per page, and
so the typeface could have been a bit larger since there's plenty of
space. Preparations have their ingredients listed mainly in avoirdupois
measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 87.

34. HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING: the basics, all you need to cook great food
(John Wiley & Sons, 2012, 486 pages, ISBN 978-0-470-52806-8, $35US hard
covers) is by Mark Bittman. Every book he creates has many things to
say about food, and this one is no different. It was originally
published in 2003, with 100 basic recipes plus 30 others. Now Bittman
has moved on to "hands-on" cooking. This edition of the book has 185
"building-block recipes and 1,000 instructive photographs". This is
great for beginners, but I'm sure that Bittman fans already have his
recipes and do not need the pix. Nevertheless, with the 2003 book out
of print, this is the basic Bittman that new cooks will want. And it is
dirt cheap on Amazon and The Book Depository. There's a chunk of primer
data here, such as stocking the pantry and kitchen, specialized
ingredients and equipment, and about 30 different skills for preparing
foods. Still, the publisher has added a lot of log rolling from Oliver,
Batali, Colicchio, and Chang. Preparations have their ingredients
listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric
equivalents. Quality/price rating: 90.

35. PROFESSIONAL CAKE DECORATING. 2d ed. (Wiley, 2012, 402 pages, ISBN
978-0-470-38009-3, $65US hard covers) is by Toba Garrett, a well-known
multiple award winner of cake decorations. She's at the Institute of
Culinary Education in NYC, a nd has also written many other cake and
cookie decoration books. It was originally published in 2006 at 368
pages, so this second edition has added some 40 or so more pages. The
first edition said: "Professional Cake Decorating is the first
guidebook, reference, and at-your-fingertips resource to the special
methods and techniques unique to cake decorating." There's a
comprehensive set of lessons designed to teach the skills needed in
cake decorating, including basic, intermediate, and advanced piping
skills; hand modeling; and gumpaste flowers. She also deals with the
overall look and design of cakes, and it is a useful training handbook
and resource for bakers and decorators. The second edition has been
revamped, with additional photography and additional techniques and
patterns (such as a marzipan bridal coupe, variations on a closed
tulip, more variations on writing, more marzipan such as jalapeno
peppers, heirloom tomatoes, and mangoes). Also new are floating collars
for suspending cakes and a pillow cake. Using hundreds of step-by-step
and finished cake color photographs and many illustrations, this highly
visual book covers a wealth of techniques for cake borders, piped
flowers, cake writing and piping, royal icing designs, marzipan fruits
and figurines, rolled icing, floral patterns, petit fours, gumpaste
floral art and design, etc. Thorough coverage also includes such
foundation skills as making shells, rosettes, reverse shells, zigzags,
fleur-de-lis, rope, garlands, scrolls, rosebuds, and other
confectionary designs (plus templates). There are also 35 recipes.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 90.
Chimo! AND

Friday, April 20, 2012

FOOD BOOK OF THE MONTH!: Salad for Dinner

SALAD FOR DINNER; complete meals for all seasons (Rizzoli, 2012;
distr. Random House Canada, 208 pages, ISBN 978-0-8478-3825-7, $35US
hard covers) is by Jeanne Kelley, a food writer (principally Bon
Appetit) and cookbook author with an urban homestead (bees, chickens,
veggies). Here she succeeds in making the salad the centerpiece of
every main meal. Here's a couple of dozen pages devoted to a salad
primer, including a pantry for the vinaigrettes and dressings. She's
got a salad code: most of 11 items that you may have in the fridge or
pantry that can be added to create a salad – stuff like an egg,
avocado, meat, cheese, fruit, nuts, dried fruit, croutons, onion plus
of course the dressing/vinaigrette and salad greens. You don't need
them all but you can incorporate what you have beyond the greens and
the dressing. The preps have their own contents listings, and run from
vegetarian salads through fish, seafood, poultry, and meat. It is a
pretty book, specializing in contrasts of colour, flavour and texture.
Personally, we eat few salads in winter – their coolness is not
appealing except for winter salads of radicchio/cabbage/endive/fennel
(not included in this book). But spring/summer/fall is a different
story at our home, with salads galore as main courses. Preparations
have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is
a table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: salad lovers looking for new turn.
Some interesting or unusual recipes: roasted acorn squash and brussels
sprout salad; brown rice grape leaf salad; fennel with roasted beet and
smoked whitefish; seafood-stuffed avocado salad; grilled kale with lamb
and garlic.
The downside to this book: no chopped winter salads using non-greens,
the kind you find in a cooler climate outside of California.
The upside to this book: good salad ideas incorporating protein and
Quality/Price Rating: 90.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


1. THE FINEST WINES OF BURGUNDY; a guide to the best producers of the
Cote d'Or and their wines (University of California Pr., 2012,
320 pages, ISBN 978-0-520-27201-9, $34.95 US paper covers) is by Bill
Nanson, a chemist with no connection to the wine trade, but he
regularly visits (for more than 15 years) the region and works the
harvest. He also publishes the Burgundy-Report (http://www.burgundy- a website which, since late 2002, has a slowly expanding
library of domaine and village profiles, comments on the market and
vintage challenges plus, of-course, discussion of the wines. His site
allows you to learn about the region and its wines, peruse notes from
many bottles or even discuss with other people. So the current book is
like a hard copy of the website. The book actually is one of an
illustrated series created by The World of Fine Wine magazine; it is
Number 6. These are guides to the classic regions and their producers,
vineyards and vintages. As Hugh Johnson, one of the editorial team,
would say "These are the wines most worth talking about". Thus far, the
company Fine Wine Editions has looked at Champagne, Tuscany,
California, Rioja, and Bordeaux. This book is co-published with Quarto
Group in the UK. The format for all the books in the series is pretty
straight-forward at this point, with Hugh Johnson giving many of the
forewords their lustre. There's material in about 50 pages on history,
culture and geography, along with winemaking, grapes, and viticulture.
Next there is the biggest section: producers and their wines, sub-
arranged by region. The 250 pages here cover the Cote de Nuits and Cote
de Beaune, leaving aside the Macon, the Beaujolais, and Chablis. Then
there is a final 25 pages on wine appreciation, vintages, top-ten
tables for the finest 100, glossary, and bibliography. The photography
is mainly centred on the producers, so there are lots of portraits and
pictures of walls and gates. Overall, it's an excellent guide to the
region, and sure to please many Burgundy lovers, especially since it
comes with a red ribbon bookmark.
Audience and level of use:  the serious wine lover who also loves to
read, reference libraries and wine schools.
Some interesting or unusual facts: best-ever Domaines in Burgundy
include Leroy, Ramonet, Romanee-Conti, Rousseau, and Bruno Clair.
Quality/Price Rating: 90.