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Featured Publication
posted 29 October 2000

The Wine Lovers' Cookbook
by Sid Goldstein

Cover of Fine Wines
first published 1999
Chronicle Books
ISBN 0-81188-2071-8

"The Wine Lovers' Cookbook - Great Recipes for the Perfect Glass of Wine". When I saw this title I knew I had to check this book out. So I sank into the most comfortable chair at the book store and started to read. First conclusions - yum! So when my Mum asked me what I wanted for my birthday the answer was easy. "The Wine Lovers' Cookbook", please.

Sid Goldstein is a dedicated wine lover and passionate cook and in the book he views wine "as a source of divine culinary inspiration". He's looking for "wine food" - "food that enhances the promise of the wine, wine that resonates with and amplifies the food".

224 pages are packed full of information with tips about wine as well as the recipes. And while Goldstein readily admits there really are no rules to pairing food and wine, his tips about foods to avoid and his "ten tips to successful food and wine pairing" make good sense.

I do like the way the sections are organised - not by the traditional starters, mains and desserts, by wine style and grape variety. It makes it so easy to choose a wine, then find a recipe to go with it. Goldstein's experiments have made the job easy for us.

In the White Wine section, the varieties are Champagne and Sparkling Wine Dry, Lighter-Bodied Whites Wines - Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris Fruit White Wines - Riesling and Gewurztraminer Dry, Full-Bodies White Wines - Viognier and Chardonnay

The Red Wines Section includes Medium-Bodied Red Wines - Pinot Noir, Sangiovese and Zinfandel Full-Bodied Red Wines - Syrah and Rhone Blends, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon

It finishes with the Dessert Wines where Port, Sauternes and Riesling have been selected.

I like the introduction of each grape variety and the summary of the typical aromas and flavours that can be found in each wine - the book's good for a wine primer as well as for cooking. Goldstein's done a great deal of research as the bibliography will attest to.

Some of the recipes sound divine. For example Grilled Salmon with Mushroom, Sweet Onion and Pinot Noir Sauce. This recipe is matched with, you guessed it, Pinot Noir. But like every other recipe, there is an alternate wine recommended.

Although this is a US cook book, Goldstein has a table of equivalents at the back for countries that observe matrix rather than imperial measurements.

The book costs $49.95 in New Zealand and was available in most major book stores when I first saw the book some months ago. However, I spent so much time waiting for someone to give me this book, it had sold out in many stores and they tell me the next shipment will be on sale at the higher price of NZ$59.95. It can be bought over the Internet from the usual suspects.

This will make a great Christmas present for your wine lover.

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