A new book is out on the shelves in time for Christmas (quel surprise!), but instead of being an annual review to be discarded or filed at the end of next year, this is a handbook for the rest of your life. The Food & Wine Pairing Guide by Katinka van Niekerk and Brian Burke is jaw-droppingly comprehensive. They seemed to have thought of every foodie eventuality, every herby twist or saucy turn and have got the perfect wine match for them all.
The book is laid out in two different parts, the first bit concentrating on all things wine-y and the second part looking at things from a food angle. It covers Japanese food, Thai food, offal, eggs, asparagus – you name it, they’ve thought of a match for it. Dishes as obscure as Cocido Madrileño, Ma Po Tofu and Chawanmushi are all catalogued and complemented with suitable vinous suggestions. A mind-blowing achievement!
Sometimes a little too intense (I can’t imagine anyone ever wanting a wine match for an Instant Whip pudding!) but never overly earnest, this book really does cover all the bases. But it does it in a lighthearted manner with plenty of sensible advice, but no hard and fast rules. They aim to provide a framework or guideline whilst always remembering that ‘if you have to think about it too closely, it is simply not worth it.’ So enjoy the book, try their suggestions, but if you still end up drinking Buitenverwachting Buiten Blanc with everything, then that’s always fine as well!