WINE WITH FOOD: A Guide to Entertaining Through the Seasons by Barbara Ensrud

WINE WITH FOOD: A Guide to Entertaining Through the Seasons

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Ensrud, author of a popular syndicated column and a useful paperback guide to wine, hangs this introduction to dining-wining combinations on the somewhat arbitrary peg of learning to complement seasonal specialties--Italian rosÉs with the autumn tailgate picnic, robust Burgundies with game at Christmas, and so forth. Suggested menus with frequently pricey wine recommendations round off each seasonal chapter (there are no actual recipes). The approach is pleasantly low-keyed and personal rather than prescriptive and proscriptive, with many leisurely reminiscences of good meals illustrating the possibilities of thoughtful pairings. Those acquainted with the general principles of traditional matches won't find any great surprises, though Ensrud does argue against an occasional hoary tradition like ""No wine with asparagus."" The obvious--oysters with Chablis, champagne on New Year's Eve, Alsatian Riesling with Alsatian choucroute garnie--is dealt with as uncondescendingly as the more adventurous (a Beaujolais-Villages with bluefish) or out-of-the-way (Pinot Blanco with pasta primavera). For the overawed neophyte as well as the half-educated shopper, the chief value of the book will be quite simply the handle it provides on specific names (especially of French subregions and California boutique wineries) amid the tangle of labels in a wine store. In addition to the seasonal chapters, there is a guide to dessert wines and brandies, a discussion of some serving and storing logistics, a general table of wines classified by style, a brief introduction to wine-tasting parties, and a chapter of recipes for party drinks. A pleasant, modestly serviceable aid to home entertainers of middling aspirations.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1984
Publisher: Congdon & Weed--dist. by St. Martin's