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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
California varietal wines takes center stage in this stylish cookbook from Dean & DeLuca, the renowned food emporium. Inspired by D&D's own wine country store in St. Helena, author Jeff Morgan celebrates the perfect pairing of food and wine on every page, from several chapters on wine education to 80 simple but sophisticated recipes.
Morgan, the company's wine director, provides a nice little essay on the history of California wine, from its rugged post-Prohibition beginnings to the golden moment in 1976 when fine California wines beat out the French in a blind tasting. He reviews the different viticultural areas (Napa Valley, Mendocino, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Monterey County, and the Central Coast), helpfully mentioning the names of consistently reliable producers. He offers wine advice, a wine varietal glossary, and a wine/food pairing chart to guide you. It's all sparkled up with glossy color photos of California's beautiful Wine Country landscapes.
Typical of California cuisine, the Dean & DeLuca recipes show influences from the French, Italians, the rest of the Mediterranean, and South Asia. They range from appetizers (Marinated Bocconcini Coconut Shrimp) to Herb-Roasted Leg of Lamb and other entrées to desserts (Pear and Apple Tart with Late-Harvest Moscato). For each recipe there are recommendations for the right kind of wine to enhance the dish: with the Big Island Barbecued Beef Short Ribs, a Zinfandel or Petite Sirah; with the versatile Grilled Tuna with Diced Vegetables and Gazpacho, a Sauvignon Blanc, a Chardonnay, or even a Pinot Noir or Syrah. (Ginger Curwen)