A useful, enjoyable read about the restrained debauchery of consuming chocolate with the fruit of the vine.



A concise guide to the art of pairing chocolate dishes with various types of wines.

Although Pech (Chocolate Soiree, 2014, etc.) admits that her background is primarily in chocolate, not wine, she wrote this book in collaboration with one of her fellow chocolatiers, who is an oenophile. As such, the work expands considerably on a chapter from her previous book. She offers a brief history of her entrepreneurial background and how she became involved in wine and chocolate tastings. After discussing the similarities between cacao and grape cultivation, the author presents her technique for proper chocolate and wine tasting in detail. She goes on to offer up a list of 40 different wines, ranging from light white wines, such as zinfandel, to Champagne, port, and dark red wines, such as malbecs. For each, she suggests three different chocolate pairings of different levels of adventurousness. (As a general rule of thumb for readers, she asserts that full-bodied wines pair better with darker chocolates.) The appendices include additional information on how to prepare a tasting, including advice on how to microwave chocolate to create the right consistency. Overall, this book makes for a useful food guide, in large part because of its brevity and direct approach. Pech injects enough wit and humor into her writing that the book never feels like a mere grocery list. She amusingly reminds readers, for example, that if a pairing goes awry, the easiest way to solve it is just to keep drinking the wine to balance everything out. Some of the suggested pairings may be difficult to pull off without substantial preparation, such as candied orange peel dipped in dark chocolate. Then again, one imagines that such difficulty would come with a substantial payoff.

A useful, enjoyable read about the restrained debauchery of consuming chocolate with the fruit of the vine.

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-1500141899

Page Count: 76

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: May 25, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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