Not because Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg co-authored it, though that would be reason enough. But because their latest book is good. Very good. And it's organized like their books Culinary Artistry and What to Drink with What You Eat — classics for every thoughtful cookbook shelf. Like those books, The Food Lover's Guide To Wine is arranged logically and simply. It's also remarkably Twitter-friendly in its concise wine descriptions considering the couple first began writing in their signature reference-type style more than fifteen years ago.
In their latest book, you'll find plenty of meaty Cabernet commentaries, but also a history of American winemaking in timeline form that includes these pivotal moments:
Thomas Jefferson plants his first vineyards at Monticello (1774); Julia Child's first edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking is published with wine recommendations for many recipes (1961), President Obama reportedly at one time had a 1,000-bottle wine cellar in his Chicago home (2008). You know, the fun stuff.
The encyclopedic-like listings that make up the bulk of the book are organized by grape but also by type of wine and region. So just as you wrap up that Alvarinho entry — Country: Portugal; Region: Vinho Verde; Flavors: Aromatic and fruity, with notes of apples, apricots, lime, lychee, pears; Season: Summer; Pairings: Fish, shellfish, vegetable dishes; etc. — you get a brief respite with a short listing on “American Wines” in general (Top Five Regions: California, with 90% of U.S. wine production, Oregon, Washington, New York, Virginia). Plenty of sommelier interviews and pairing suggestions follow.
Think of The Food Lover's Guide To Wine as a wine fridge reference book that doubles as fodder for your next Friday night game of Trivial Pursuit. The winner gets a bottle from Charles Krug, Napa Valley's oldest commercial winery (1861). And yes, we'd be delighted to join you.
[More from Jenn Garbee @eathistory + eathistory.com]