Secrets From The Wine Diva

Food and wine is the first section of any wine book that I flick to. Is it going to be perfunctory, clichéd, adding little to the banal generalisations of others? Or will it enlighten, offer a fresh twist and inspire?

Secrets From The Wine Diva has 40 odd pages covering the subject of food and wine. The chapter is actually rather good, scampering through various ‘rules’ of ‘mating your wine’, giving consideration to both the weight of the wine and the weight of the food, of umani and some pointers in giving due thought to the saltiness and the fattiness of each dish you are attempting to match with a wine; plus, of course, the factors in a wine that match these considerations (the wines weight, tannin levels and the like). It is the same ground covered plenty of times before but is so nicely written and so easy to digest that it seems fresh and new.

One little tip, the book is full of them, that I hadn’t consider before was making a salad dressing with a wine reduction. I usually forgo dressings on my green stuffs but the diva suggests making your own by warming olive oil with various flavourings (herbs, garlic, onion), then slowly add the wine and simmer until thick and syrupy. “Drink the same wine you used in the dressing and it will enhance your dining pleasure’.

The list of suggested partnerships may not be the most extensive you can find in print, but then the book is not solely concerned with the food and wine matching sphere. As with many a previous ‘introduction to wine’ type books there are chapters on ordering at restaurants, storing wine, buying wine and so on.

It is unashamedly American in style, focus and direction - there is mention of Texas-styled brisket, of each states wine festivals and perhaps an over emphasis on American wines. Consequentially the book is listed on as a special order and priced at £20.15. On it is available for $10.17.

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