Perfect Pairings, Sommelier Prep Course and 100 (more) Perfect Pairings
Posted Jul 10 2010 7:10am
Perfect Pairings, A Master Sommelier’s Practical Advice for Partnering Wine with Food – Evan Goldstein
We were very impressed with Evan Goldstein’s latest offering, Daring Pairings , so we decided to take a look back at his first book. Perfect Pairings focuses on 12 of the most common wine varietals – so you can now find out which foods to match with your Cabernet Sauvignons and Rieslings. With less grapes to focus on, Goldstein is able to go more in depth about the variety of styles each varietal can be found in, and offers different recipes for them. You’d want to try the Pork Loin Glazed with Pomegranate and Orange with a ripe, fruit-forward Pinot Noir, but Lamb Shish Kebabs go better with a Pinot Noir that is more aged and developed.
All the recipes in the book are from his mom – but when your mom happens to be famed chef Joyce Goldstein that isn’t a bad thing. Having these two books in your collection will ensure you always have something to serve with whatever wine you’re drinking.
100 Perfect Pairings, Small Plates To Enjoy With The Foods You Love – Jill Silverman Hough
With all these books on wine and food pairing, and with almost the same titles, how do you choose which one is right for you? Hough’s 100 Perfect Pairings has the same down to earth style as Goldstein’s, she tells you in the first sentence the book isn’t meant for “wine and food geeks,” and she covers 11 of the same 12 grapes in his book [ if you like Sangiovese go with Goldstein, if you want to match food with a Rosé then hers is a better bet]. She also provides the basics for matching foods for each varietal, though Goldstein goes a little more in depth.
The main difference between them is that Hough’s book is more recipe oriented, while Goldstein’s is more wine focussed. Flipping through Goldstein’s book you’re more likely to choose the wine you want to learn about, then pick something to make with it. With Hough’s you’re going to find the dish you want to make first, then get the right wine. The food is perfect for small plates, and great to plan a wine party around, but can be expanded to make a full meal if you prefer. Your guests will rave over your Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus with Tarragon Aioli, served with a Sauvignon Blanc, and Chicken Sandwichettes with Raisin Jam and Pickled Onions, with a good Merlot.
The Sommelier Prep Course, An Introduction to the Wines, Beers and Spirits of the World – Michael Gibson
If you’re ready for the next step in your wine education, The Sommelier Prep Course may be what your looking for. Michael Gibson has been the lead instructor for wines and spirits at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale, Arizona for the past six years and wanted to write a textbook that could be used for intro classes. In that vein, the book covers the history and different aspects of winemaking, and the wine wine regions of the world, well enough to give you the solid fundamentals, but not exhaust you with information better left to more in-depth studies. It’s not for the casual reader, but if you’re thinking of becoming a sommelier, or just want to know what they do, this is a great way to start.
One small criticism: we would, of course, prefer more background on organic and biodynamic wines. Right now they rate a page worth of information, and what’s there is a little misleading. Organic wines can be manipulated in the winery the same way conventional wines can and still be labeled Organic.