Whether you want of find the best wine for enjoying a Big Mac or snails, ice-cream or crème brulee, you will find the answer in this amazing book. Drawing from their own experience as well from that of sommeliers at dozens of America’s best restaurants, the authors Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, present a in-depth guide to choosing the right beverage for the meal, with an emphasis on wine. By pairing food and beverage, the authors believe you can change every meal from ordinary to extraordinary.
Believing that the perfect pairing of wine and food brings out the best of both, the authors introduce the readers to three basic rules for successfully matching wine and food, followed by suggestions for selecting and serving beverages. I especially like the recommended “starter case” of wine that will meet the needs of almost any occasion and includes twelve types of wine I can buy in my local wine store. Beer, tea, coffee, spirits and water are also included but in much less detail.
The heart of the book lies in two chapters that are mirror images of each other. The first lists food, by food type, time of day, and seasoning with suggestions for wines. There you will find brunch foods, Dominio’s pizza, Chinese dishes, and cheese cake as well as oysters, beef, and asparagus. You can learn, for example, that peanuts go well with lager beer, oaked Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, and gin & tonic, and that you should avoid red wines. The suggested beverages are in different type face to indicate whether they are recommended, highly recommended, or all time classic combinations. Of course the list of foods is limited but you will find more foods than you have probably eaten in a life time.
The following chapter lists beverages from cabernet sauvignon, bloody Mary, scotch and Oktoberfest beer to, ginger ale, expresso, and green tea. The foods that combine well with each are listed as well as foods to avoid. So you can feel confident that you have a good pairing when drinking a shiraz with grilled Peking duck, and secure in the fact that you did not consider it with shellfish. And did you know that root beer is good with foie gras as well as grilled hamburgers and vanilla ice cream?
Another chapter is devoted to pairing menus of famous restaurants in America. One of these offered asparagus with Gruner Veltliner beer while another offered yabukita green tea with watercress and yuba in a Katsuo broth. Most menus, however, featured wines with their unique food selections.
This book gives you the basic principles of pairing as well as detail suggestions that you can actually follow by going to your local wine store at buying wines at a reasonable price. The book is a great read but also contains the kind of information that makes it a must have resource for those interested in pairing food and wine. For either the novice or expert, there is a wealth of information to help find the ideal pairing and make the search exciting and rewarding.