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A Review of "What to Drink With What You Eat" by Page and Dornenburg

Updated on April 18, 2009
  • If it's something you could imagine eating with butter - drink a chardonnay.
  • If it's something you could imagine squeezing a lime on – drink a sauvignon blanc.

I love simple and valid statements that break through a whole lot of complexity and make things seem all of a sudden clear and easy – and those two statements, taken from "What to Drink with What you Eat" by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page were like a revelation to me.

Wine has always confused me, and somehow I've never taken the time to understand the seeming complexity of it – but those two statements just broke through all the clutter and gave me hope that I could understand wine and better yet, make wine choices that would compliment perfectly the food I was serving.

A Respected Duo of Writers

The author team of Page and Dornenburg are well known to many cookbook aficionados, after having written the seminal and groundbreaking kitchen classic, "Culinary Artistry". In Culinary Artistry, the 2 writers enlisted the nation's best chef's to help them compile an encyclopedia like list of food pairings - Foods and flavors that matched well with each other.

They have taken the same approach with "What to Drink with What You Eat". Using the knowledge and expertise of many top sommeliers, they have compiled a comprehensive listing of flavor matches to virtually every type of drink, easily accessible via alphabetical lists.

So, if you have a bottle of Argentinian Malbec on your kitchen counter and are wondering what to serve with it for dinner, you just skin over to the M's for Malbec, and check a list that includes:

  • Bacon
  • BBQ
  • Chipotles
  • Roast beef
  • Chili
  • Ham
  • Hamburfgers
  • Meat loaf
  • Fajitas
  • Steak
  • Indian food
  • Pizza with mushrooms
  • Stew
  • Braised dishes, esp. braised lamb

And then prepare a dish that will compliment your wine perfectly.

OR, if you know what you are having for dinner, but don't know what wine will compliment your main course, you simple head to the second section of the book, which lists thousands of common foods and the wines and drinks that match them.

For example: Mousasaka goes well with:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Chianti
    Cotes de Rhone
  • Greek Wines
  • Ribero del Duero
  • Rioja

The food listings are quite comprehensive and include everything from fois gras, to listings for both the McDonald's Big Mac and the Fillet O' Fish (which goes well with a Sauvignon Blanc, by the way).

The book lists pairings not only for wine, but for most types of beer, liquors and even teas.

I had been waiting eagerly for this book. Culinary artistry is one of my all time favorite reference cookbooks, and I am very satisfied with "What to Drink with What You Eat".

I would recommend it wholeheartedly.


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