By John ~ October 16th, 2009.
Letâ€™s get right to the bottom line: What to Drink with What You Eat by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page is a great book. It is not an easy reading bedside book; but it is a superb reference work, the most comprehensive and useful book of its type that weâ€™ve ever found. LaGayle, our food and cooking expert, has really been impressed by some of the unique pairing suggestions that sheâ€™s found in this book.
While the title is What to Drink with What You Eat, the book goes the other way, too, with a comprehensive section on â€œwhat to eat with what you drink.â€ Since we bought our copy of this book, this section has been especially helpful to LaGayle in planning the menus for our monthly wine tasting dinners once Kori and I have decided on the wine theme for the evening.
For example, if we were going to have a Cabernet Franc tasting, we would open the book to Chapter Six and listed under Cabernet Franc in BOLD CAPS are their very highly recommended pairings: BEEF, ESP. LEAN, AND ESPECIALLY ROASTED; DUCK; EGGPLANT; GAME, ESP. WITH FULLER-BODIED WINE; LAMB, ESP. CHOPS, LOIN, AND/OR ROASTED; MEAT, RED, ESP. GRILLED AND/OR ROASTED; AND PORK, ESP. WITH FRUIT SAUCE AND/OR ROASTED. Great quotes by noted wine and food experts are interspersed throughout the book, such as:
â€œAs Cabernet Franc ages, it takes on a vegetal quality reminiscent of peppers or eggplantâ€”and marries well with vegetables.â€ â€“Tim Kopec, Wine Director at Veritas (NYC)
Alternatively, if you were going to start with a unique entrÃ©e idea, say Catfish, and needed a wine pairing suggestion, you could go to Chapter Five and see Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sancerre were frequently recommended by a number of experts.
Chapters Five and Six really are the guts of the book. The one shortcoming of this book for me is that it doesnâ€™t have an index. My guess is that itâ€™s because the listings of foods in Chapter Five and wines in Chapter Six are in alphabetical order.
While the information for this book was compiled by the James Beard award-winning husband and wife team of Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, the raw material was supplied by more than seventy leading experts on wine and food pairings. Esthetically, itâ€™s a nice looking, large, hardcover book that makes a great coffee table adornment and conversation starter.
Itâ€™s been amazing that since weâ€™ve been using this book, how many other people Iâ€™ve noticed having it, many of whom have volunteered how helpful it has been to them. I believe you will join that list when you get your own copy.
What to Drink with What You Eat is currently available on Amazon.com for $22.05 and at fine booksellers almost everywhere.
Filed under: Food & Wine, Wine Books