Book Review: The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine

By LaGayle ~ November 9th, 2011.

The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg is a great book that gives very interesting and valuable information and suggestions for the food lover, or anyone else, who wants to learn more about wine.

Those of you who are regular readers of Wine Peeps know that the book What to Drink with What You Eat by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page is one of my favorite references when planning our regular wine tasting dinners and our challenging wine pairing dinners. This talented writing couple has also written The Flavor Bible, which is a great guide to culinary creativity, and has now written another winner in The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine.

Traditionally, food books and cookbooks haven’t mentioned wine and most wine books haven’t given food suggestions. Karen and Andrew have changed all that with their books, and that is what has made their books so attractive to me. We all know that there are many books for foodies, for wine lovers, and for those wanting to learn about wine; however, I believe that Karen and Andrew have combined information on food and wine so well in their books that now my reference stack is not piled quite as high!

The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine even gives some very interesting facts in the timeline of American history. Did you know that in 1624 Virginia passed an act requiring every household to plant twenty vines for every male in the household over the age of twenty? Or, that in 1964 President Lyndon Johnson is credited with establishing the tradition of serving exclusively American wines at the White House? And the list goes on in Chapter 1…definitely a very interesting and enlightening section of the book.

In this book, sommeliers provide a tremendous amount of information on flavor, color, sweetness, weight, volume, style, and so forth. I especially like the quote by Michael Engelmann of Gary Danko’s Restaurant in San Francisco:

“Trust your palate first.”

If you want to learn more, for example, about Carmenere, cool climate wines, or sparkling ice wines, just to name a few, Chapter 4 provides an abundance of information. Of course, what interests me the most is the actual wine pairings. In Chapter 4, the lists also provide pairing suggestions, and Chapter 5 expands on that topic even further.

I found the chart on page 240 that offers information on “considering weight/volume when pairing by course” especially helpful. For general everyday use, I really like the charts on page 259 that gives two very basic lists—one for matching wines to common dishes and the other for matching wines to common cuisines.

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine provides great information that is presented in an attractive and easy-to-read style. I would recommend your getting a copy for yourself and, also, consider it as a great Christmas gift for the food or wine lovers in your life.

Full Disclosure: We received this book as a review copy.

Filed under: Food & Wine, Wine Books

Reader's Comments

  1. Steve Howe | November 9th, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    I can’t wait to get my hands on this new book. What to Drink with What You Eat is a favorite that I have gifted to a number of my wine friends.

  2. Kori | November 10th, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Sounds like we have similar taste in books. Cheers!