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MUST READ!

Book Reviews

By Christopher J Davies

Check out our editors picks!

Beyond Jefferson’s Vines
Bordeaux: The Wines, The Vineyards, The Winemakers
Musings on Wine and Other Libations
Slow Wine

The Food Lover’s Guide To Wine

Daniel Boulud Cocktails &
Amuse-Bouches For Her & For Him
Grandi Vini
Piatto Unico
Simple Food
The Butcher’s Guide To Well Raised Meat

Beyond Jefferson’s Vines
Authors: Richard G. Leahy
Rating: Excellent
Topics: Virginia’s wine industry & history
Format: Hardcover, 226 pages
Price: $19.95
Webpage: www.sterlingpublishing.com
ISBN- 9781402797743

Here’s an insiders view of America’s 6th largest wine growing state. It’s so called roots were planted by Francophile and 3rd American President Thomas Jefferson. The architect of the Declaration Of Independence was also America’s most famous vintner.

Mr. Leahy has wisely based himself in the heart of Virginia’s burgeoning wine country. As an accomplished wine writer and wine competition organizer Leahy has tasted his way through Virginia wines as their quality has evolved to world-class. Virginia wine country is hot! Everyone is jumping in including Donald Trump who does not even drink!

Buy this book before you visit Virginia’s wineries. Use it as a guide to purchasing Virginia wines. It is a great read!


Bordeaux: The Wines, The Vineyards, The Winemakers
Author: Oz Clarke
Rating: Must Buy!
Topics: Bordeaux wines & region
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Price: $35.00
Webpage: www.sterlingpublishing.com
ISBN- 9781402797064

Bordeaux is the world’s most important and most famous wine region. And as Oz Clarke states in the beginning pages of his “Bordeaux Bible”, it’s all about the water!

This book offers the reader the most comprehensive instruction manual for mastering the world of Bordeaux wines. You can use this book to plan your visit to Bordeaux or to visit your local wine shop for finding some exceptional “Best Buy” Bordeaux wines.  Buy this book and will become a useful resource guide for years to come!


Musings on Wine and Other Libations
Authors: MFK Fisher, Edited by Anna Zimmerman
Rating: Excellent
Topics: Virginia’s wine industry & history
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Price: $18.95
Webpage: www.sterlingpublishing.com
ISBN- 978140277813

Reading this book will make you reminisce about your life’s most memorable meals! MFK Fisher was one of America’s most read food and wine writers, having published 27 books over her career. Her long history of culinary and wine exploits beginning in France in the 1930’s where she indulged on Bordeaux for 12 cents! She later settled in Napa Valley and founded The Napa Valley Wine Library.

This is a book of personal escapades and culinary discoveries that happened more than half century before Food Network created the current culinary revolution.

Slow Wine
Authors: Slow Food Editore
Rating: Great
Topics: Italian Wines
Format: Softcover, 350 pages
Price: $25.00
Webpage: www.slowfood.it
ISBN- 9788884992987

If you are a big fan of Italian wines or are planning to visit Italy soon, this book will be a useful guide. 200 contributors who visited more than 2,000 wineries have compiled it. Rather than use ratings or scores, this guide uses symbols that signify Life, Vines, Wines, Snail (Slow Food values), Bottle (high quality), Coin (value for the money). Other information includes the wineries use of fertilizers, weed control, yeasts, grapes (estate grown?) and certification (Organic or not).

The Food Lover’s Guide To Wine

Authors: Karen Page with Andrew Dornenburg
Rating: Excellent
Topics: Food Preparation & Cocktails
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Price: $35.00
Webpage: www.hachettebookgroup.com
ISBN- 9780316045131

Lesson #1; Wine Is Food!
Karen Page’s and Andrew Dornenburg have created an epic resource book for wine and food lovers. Their experience and knowledge of food, wine and the wine industry has enabled them to create this valuable guide.

Thumbing through the book you will find many useful sections on wine serving, varietals, pairing suggestions, what sommeliers know, elevating the wine experience and continuing your wine exploration.

This book is oozing with information. It will be come an invaluable resource for anyone looking to expand his or her knowledge of wine and food. Once you open it, it will be hard to put down!


Daniel Boulud Cocktails & Amuse-Bouches For Her & For Him

Authors: Daniel Boulud and Xavier Herit
Rating: Excellent
Topics: Food Preparation & Cocktails
Format: Hardcover, 160 pages, 2 volumes
with slip case
Price: $50.00
Webpage: www.assouline.com
ISBN- 9781614280026

World-famous Chef Daniel Boulud and his Mixolgist Xavier Herit have created a highly attractive, eye-catching two-book gift set that will teach you to make cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with a modern twist.

Manning the bar at New York’s iconic Daniel since 2005, Xavier is respected as one of America’s top bartenders. His cocktails presented in the books are bold and crafted from a treasure trove of fresh ingredients and elixirs. Drink recipes are resented with mouth-watering photography, clear step-by-step ingredients, useful tips and a helpful bar essentials section.

Chef Daniel’s Amuse-Bouches offer perfect bite size pairings for making an amazing cocktail party at home. Many of the recipes are simple enough for home preparation like Smoked Salmon on Pumpernickel, Tempura Squash Blossoms or Black Olive Grissini (which Chef Boulud recently demonstrated and cooked on the Today Show).

This book will make an excellent holiday gift for friends or family!

Grandi Vini
An Opinionated Tour of Italy's 89 Finest Wines

Author: Joseph Bastianich
Rating: Excellent
Topics: Italian Wine and Regional Travel
Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Price: $24.99
Webpage: www.randomhouse.com
ISBN:978-0-307-46303-6

Joseph Bastianich is a leading authority on Italian wines & food. He is Mario Batali's goomba and partner with an array of haute Italian restaurants. He is Lydia's son, a co-founder of Eataly and a frequent guest on the Today Show. But best of all he is a gifted storyteller. His book, Grandi Vini, is highly opinionated. He reports about HIS favorite wine producers with amazing background stories, which share the passion behind the wines.
With there are more than 30,000 wine producers in Italy; this book only touches on Mr. Bastianich's 89 favorite producers. Surprisingly, he gives no mention of Italy’s popular producers like Castello Banfi who have an enormous range of award-winning wines and have put Brunello and the Montalcino region on the map.
We found the information in Grandi Vini to be quite useful when guiding a wine industry colleague to visit boutique, premium level wineries to visit in Montalcino.

So if you are planning a visit to Italy and wish to visit and taste high quality wines that are a little off the beaten track, invest in Grandi Vini. It will help you increase your enjoyment of Italian wines and food!

Piatto Unico
When one course makes a real Italian meal

Author: Toni Lydecker
Rating: Excellent
Topics: Italian Cooking & Recipes
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Price: $19.95
Webpage: lakeislepress.com/
ISBN:978-1891105487

Ms. Lydecker’s new book combines her love of Italian food and culture. Her Kitchen Staples section will guide you to properly stock your kitchen with practical ingredients to make most any Italian meal. You will love her traditional recipes like Prime Time Pastas, Pizza and Panini and Braises and Stews. The book is also loaded with healthy and lighter recipes that include a blend of fresh ingredients with a flavor-filled twist. The book layout is comprised of 7 food sections and includes beautiful, mouth-watering photographs that will inspire your inner chef. Buy this book and invite your friends over to hang out in your kitchen and enjoy a memorable, satisfying one-course meal. Don’t forget a bottle of Chianti!

Simple Food, Big Flavor
Unforgettable Mexican-Inspired Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours  

Author: Aarón Sánchez with JJ Goode
Rating: Excellent
Topics: Mexican-Inspired Cooking & Recipes
Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
Price: $26.99
Webpage: books.simonandschuster.com
ISBN-9781451611502

If you are like me, you will recognize Aarón Sánchez from his regular appearances as a judge on Food Network’s Chopped. He is also a chef and award-winning restaurateur of Centrico in New York City.

His new book is true to its title.  Aarón lays down the basic ingredients and recipes for sauces and staples that will enable you to add big flavor to many different dishes. For example, sauces like Chile Colorado and Garlic-Chipolte Love will add flair to meat, poultry or seafood. There are many original and traditional recipes presented in a friendly easy to prepare style.

This book will quickly become a relied on resource for Mexican-inspired cuisine in your kitchen. Aarón Sánchez is the Thomas Keller of Mexican-inspired cuisine!

The Butcher’s Guide To Well Raised Meat
How to Buy, Cut, And Cook Great Beef, Pork, Poultry and More

Authors: Joshua and Jessica Applestone, Alexandra Zissu
Rating: Excellent
Topics: Food Preparation & Cooking
Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
Price: $27.50
Webpage: www.randomhouse.com
ISBN- 978-0-307-71662-0

Joshua Applestone is following his family’s heritage as a third generation butcher. Amazingly he is a converted vegetarian who has risen with his wife Jessica to become one of America’s foremost authorities on well-raised meat. The Applestone’s have caught the attention of our nation’s most respected chefs and food media powerhouses, including Martha Stewart.

Their new book tells the intriguing story of how they created Fleisher’s Grass Fed and Organic Meats, a successful, organic focused company with stores in the Hudson Valley and Brooklyn. It is packed with valuable information on selecting, cutting and preparing meat for a delicious meal. For the more ambitious cook, The Best Ways To Cook Offal section, will guide you on the best ways to cook such delicacies as pigs feet. If you are just a fan of meat, The Butcher’s Guide To Well Raised Meat will educate you about the many different cuts of meat that butchers can offer.

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