Perfect Pairings: A Master Sommelier's Practical Advice for Partnering Wine with Food Hardcover – 12 May 2006
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"Makes you want to go all-out for your next dinner party."--"Wall Street Journal"
From the Inside Flap
"The best wine and food pairing book ever written. Required reading for all who love to cook and entertain but are fearful of choosing the final ingredient of the recipe, the perfect wine."Kevin Zraly, author of "Windows on the World Complete Wine Course"
"Inspired yet down-to-earth, this book will make your life easier, your food more enjoyable, and the conversation around the table more spirited."Jacques Pepin
"I was crushed when the seminal California restaurant Square One closed its doors in 1996. The animated culinary dialogue between Evan and Joyce Goldsteinhe with the corkscrew, she with the whiskwas always surprising, generous, and delicious beyond belief. "Perfect Pairings" revives that spirited magic so that any of us can learn to do it at home. I'm feeling better already!"Danny Meyer, coauthor of "The Union Square Cafe Cookbook"
"It doesn't get much better than this. One of the most important wine educators of our time and one of America's most influential chefs conspire on the glorious subject of wine and food pairing. "Perfect Pairings" is valuable for the professional and layperson alike, with expansive information presented in straightforward terms. This book will be mandatory reading for all of my staff!"Charlie Trotter, restaurateur and author
"Groundbreaking and very user-friendly. I really, really, like it."Sara Schneider, Senior Wine Editor, "Sunset Magazine""
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Top Customer Reviews
Whilst the introductory section and introductory notes for each grape are indeed useful, a long list of recipes and wines for a relatively small number of grape varieties is no substitute for really learning in depth about why a food and wine matches. So this book provides a useful starting point, but to actually learn more detail about why particular foods and wines match, you may want to go on to a book like Food and Wine Pairing: A Sensory Experience. Also look at What to Drink with What You Eat for an excellent reference book.
3.5 stars, not quite warranting a 4.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This was my favorite pairing book (and there's several books out there!) till recently.
When I saw a copy of "What to Drink with What You Eat: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine...by Andrew Dornenburg, I realized that Dorenberg had "one-upped" this good text in different ways. One can find the food type, or the dominant spicing or saucing, then work backwards to the wines that are better suited. This is a more intuitive way for most people not well versed in different wines, and is better for me, as I need to match a wine to a fish's sauce more than to the fish. Still it does not diminish my appreciation for Perfect Pairing one bit. Evan Goldstein's Perfect Pairings does acknowledge this importance as well on pages 22-23 and 26-7, however many readers may gloss over this. The book is not as well geared as Dorenberg's in my opinion, for things such as spicy or some Asian or other ethnic foods, your mileage may vary.
Additionally, Dorenberg's book expands one's options with a food to go beyond wine for pairings, to include spirits, beer, etc. This makes more sense, as I just love a good beer with some things (some Asian food, German foods, etc.) that just don't work as well with recommended wines. The drawback (or plus, to some) to Dorenburg's book is that it isn't a text as Goldstein's. Dorenburg's book, after a few brief text chapters, is an extensive alphabetical listing of numerous foods and beverages, followed by their matches, with no explanation present, or felt needed.
I like Goldstein's Perfect Pairings dessert/dessert wine chapter, for example, having a sweet tooth. This section gives a good overview of different wines (late harvest, fortified, sparkling), and then separately talks about tree/stone fruit desserts, creamy and custard desserts, nut and dried-frut desserts, and finally the chocolatee, coffee, and caramel desserts..and recommends appropriate wines for each dessert classification.
Glance through both wine pairing books, and see which book style suits your needs best. I enjoy aspects of both, for different reasons, and appreciate each for it's strengths.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Goldstein last week at a trade seminar and picked up a copy of his book, and I must say that I've finally found it, the penultimate pairing guide! He not only goes into which particular wines go with which foods, but goes into the "whys" as well. This makes a tremendous difference, since you can carry that knowledge over to some of the more obscure wines and foods that aren't covered in the book.
Overall, the book is a fantastically fun read in and of itself, and I can't wait to try out some of Joyce's recipes- they look fabulous. Mr. Goldstein has managed to put into words what many of us in the industry love to try and convey- the sheer fun, joy and adventure of pairing food and wine. Salut!
Diane C. Donovan
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