March 2010

Books and More Books

By: David Gadd

The spring publishing season is upon us, but we're still plowing our way through last fall's releases. So here's a quick look at some of the more interesting tomes that have crossed our desks over the past several months.

Click any cover to order from For wholesale orders for resale, please contact the publishers. 

The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy
by Nicolas Belfrage, MW
Fine Wine Editions/University of California Press; $34.95 list 

Belfrage's longtime experience with Italian wine gives him a voice of authority, and his text is supplemented by the stunning photography of Jon Wyand, whose gallery-quality portraits of Tuscan vintners, from the noble Frescobaldis to cult farmer-producers, are alone worth the price of the book.

The Finest Wines of Champagne
by Michael Edwards
Fine Wine Editions/University of California Press; $34.95 list

A sparkling sibling to the above volume, produced with the same attention to detail and equally brilliant portraits by the same photographer. There many discoveries here for the champagne lover. with 90 producers profiled in depth.
Sipps & Apps: Classic and Contemporary Recipes for Cocktails and Appetizers
by Kathy Casey
Chronicle Books; $19.95 list

No, not iPhone apps. Seattle-based celebrity chef, mixologist and FOTTP (Friend of THE TASTING PANEL) Kathy Casey shares her thoughts on how appetizers pair with mixed drinks, and vice versa. A complete cocktail party between (hard) covers.
Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages
by Patrick E. McGovern
University of California Press; $29.95 list

From Mesopotania and Mesoamerica to Manhattan and Minneapolis, it seems that humans have always sought the pleasures of a decent drink. (And it turns out that other primates share our passion, too.) This is a serious but very readable look at how various ancient cultures invented—and reinvented—beer, wine and spirits. Finally, history that's relevant! 
Tasting Beer: An Insider's Guide to the World's Greatest Drink
by Randy Mosher
Storey Book; $16.95 list

Not to leave beer out of the equation, we can heartily recommened this guide to what the author feels is "the world's greatest drink" (and I tend to agree with him). This one pretty much covers all the bases, from malt, hops and yeast to glassware and beer cuisine. Useful, hands-on information  in an engaging layout.


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