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December 06, 2011

The Food Lover's Guide to Wine

Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng

Karen Page and Andrew Dorenburg’s newest book, The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine, brings wine closer to home.

The book opens with a timeline of the key wine events in American history. This really makes us realize that wine is neither foreign nor new to this country. It puts things into perspective to know that one of the aims for Jamestown was to establish a wine industry so that England no longer had to rely on France and Spain for its wine needs.

The book is filled with interviews with top American sommeliers on their wine views and tips. Their voices and priceless stories from working “the floor” and dealing with guests face-to-face add unique personality to the book and captivate the reader. For example, star soms like John Ragan of Eleven Madison Park, Sabato Sagaria of The Little Nell and Claire Paparazzo of Blue Hill tell how they entice clients to try new grapes and how most people’s palates evolve as they become more serious drinkers.

Readers will learn to build their wine palates around taste profiles: the flavors they like in food translate to taste profiles in wine. Chapter 4, “Know Your Wines: The Lists,” features information about specific grapes such as Grignolino and wine styles such as Meritage Red. The authors also break down wine pairing with food. I especially liked their take on soup: “The idea of pairing a beverage with a liquid may seem redundant or odd — but wine can provide an important contrast or complement to soup. It can be used to cut the richness…or to enhance it…”

Bringing it back home, I love the sommelier’s recommended reference section. These are tried-and-true books, magazines and websites that industry professionals are endorsing and using. Can it get any closer?

Wine Guide