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Perfect Pairings: A Master Sommelier's Practical Advice for Partnering Wine with Food Hardcover – 12 May 2006

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1ST edition (12 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520243773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520243774
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 3.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 230,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"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

By E. L. Wisty TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Sept. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Contains quite a good introductory section discussing principles of food and wine matching. The majority of the book is taken up with chapters each discussing matching food with a particular grape (these being limited to: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Viognier; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Syrah and Zinfandel). Within each chapter are a number of recipes each with a specific matching style of that grape.

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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x92bbf894) out of 5 stars 42 reviews
68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92bfd2f4) out of 5 stars Solid good advice, good for main or back up book! 1 May 2007
By I. Seligman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I wish that I could have the knowledge of this book by osmosis. To read Evan's insightful comments about a wine, then to read suggestions on food pairings with that wine, is a delight. Additionally, Joyce's ample recipes, some simple, some complex, are well chosen, and a strong plus for adventuresome cooks to buy this book.

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.
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92bfd348) out of 5 stars The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food and Wine 5 Mar. 2007
By Heather Hatcher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've been in the wine trade for over five years now and have been in search of a book to recommend to my customers in regards to pairing wine and food. So far, everything that I've come across has seemed flat and dull and generally boring.

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!
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92bfd780) out of 5 stars A Marvelous Book 15 July 2006
By Books R Us - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm writing this minutes after a sublime experience, drinking Evan Goldstein's recommended fruit-forward Pinot Noir with Joyce Goldstein's incredibly good recipe for Pork Loin Glazed with Pomegranate and Orange. I actually Googled Evan's name because I wanted to send him some fan e-mail -- alas, couldn't find an address. So the least I can do is give the book an excellent review. I learned more about pairing wine and food in the book's first chapter than I have after years of subscribing to wine publications. Two thumbs up!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92bfd768) out of 5 stars The item of choice for home cooks who are well beyond the basics 19 Aug. 2006
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
PERFECT PAIRINGS: A MASTER SOMMELIER'S PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR PARTNERING WINE WITH FOOD isn't for the casual cook: it's the item of choice for home cooks who are well beyond the basics and seek to understand the underlying logic of pairing foods with the wines available from around the world. Evan Goldstein is a restaurant industry veteran, as is his wife, so PERFECT PAIRINGS comes from a professional's point of view and offers the depth of perception on some twelve grape varietals paired with over fifty recipes by chef Joyce that other books couldn't touch in a wine analysis alone. Explanations of food and wine pairings focus on the elements which bring both to life with excellent pointers on other desirable pairings.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92bfdc30) out of 5 stars Perfect suggestions 29 Dec. 2006
By J.A. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the finest books on pairing wines with foods that I have ever come across. Not only does it discuss why certain wines go well with different foods, it actually offers recipes and pairings as proof! I've tried a few recipes, and every one has gone perfectly with their recommendations. There are several more I want to try, and eventually (slowly, because I don't often cook) will, and I am confident that all other recipes will hold up to the few I've tried.
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