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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

* DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH! Wine & Food (Parkinson, Ryland Peters & Small)

WINE & FOOD; perfect pairings every time (Ryland Peters & Small, 2017, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-825-3 $21.95 USD hardbound) is by Jane Parkinson, a UK wine writer with experience on magazines (eg, Decanter) and BBC TV. She's also a Roederer Award winner in 2009. Here she covers the newest wine trends with deets on grape varieties and wine styles. Red, white, rose, fortified and dessert wines plus sparklers combed over. But the emphasis is on what goes with what, using practical examples. She is au currant with cheeses, moving on from the default red wines to white wines (soft cheeses) and fortified wines (hard cheeses). Goat cheese? Savvies and Rieslings. Sweet wines are needed for blues. Cheesy pasta? Depends on weight, moving from Italian white to Merlot. There are sections on matching cheeses with a country's wine (eg, brie and Loire rose, comte and Pinot noir from Alsace, Roquefort and Sauternes). She also does this for English, Italian, and Spanish cheeses and wines. Ultimately, though, there is more material on describing wine as food-friendly and what that means – and not enough on food textures and tastes (just the last 40 pages). Most people I know, especially dining out, really have a food dish in mind before contemplating wine choices.
Audience and level of use: millennials, wine beginners.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: "countries like Italy, Spain, France and Portugal; have raised their game in the face of stiff competition from New World winemakers...there are tons of delicious European wines, with high-quality local grape varieties" and terroir.
The downside to this book: the index is mostly to wine.
The upside to this book: there is a resources list.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.

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