Great books on wine & cooking

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting and Running a Winery

Author: Thomas Pellechia
Rating: Excellent
Format: Paperback,368 pages
Price: $18.95
ISBN 9781592578184

Experience and knowledge is power. Thomas Pellechia has been on all sides of the wine business. His new idiot's guide is a perfect instruction manual for anyone who has dreamt about owning their own wine business. This book covers almost all of the possible legal and financial issues that will be faced by any vintner.

Valuable chapters include vineyard design and layout, grape yields (gallons per ton) and how to make a profitable business. They say it isn't so! Custom crush versus owning your own winery. Pellechia shows you how to crunch those numbers too! My favorite pet peeve, wine label design is also logically explained. You will learn the do's and don'ts for designing a wine label that's draws attention, entering your best wines into a professional wine competition, plus a lot more. This is the best education a vintner may ever get for less than twenty bucks!

On the Line
Authors: Eric Ripert and Christine Muhlke
Rating: Excellent
Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
Price: $35.00
ISBN: 9781579653699 (1579653693)

As a resident of New York I tried unsuccessfully to secure a lunch reservation at Le Bernardin for several years. My only complaint after reading this book is that I am fearful that its readers will flock to Le Bernardin in even more frequency keeping this wonderful restaurant sold-out! With three Michelin Stars it should be expected.

Chef Eric Ripert has allowed the reader to examine the inner soul of Le Bernardin in a manner similar to a culinary MRI. This book is like the official owners manual and operational guide for running a world-class seafood restaurant. Ripert's signature recipes are included.

Spectacular photography, intriguing illustrations and timelines makes this book Le Bernardin un-coded!

Under Pressure
Cooking Sous Vide
Author: Thomas Keller; Introduction by Harold McGee
Rating: Excellent
Format: Hardcover, 295 pages
Price: $75
ISBN: 9781579653514 (1579653510)

America's most respected chef has discovered the Sous Vide method of cooking. It involves packing food, seasonings and sauces in airtight plastic bags and cooking at low heat. This Chef Keller confirms provides superior flavors and precision.

Several years ago Chef Keller along with culinary greats(Daniel Boulud, Charlie Trotter and Mark Miller, to name a few), teamed-up with Cuisine Solutions to offer a line of their signature dishes that could survive shipping via mail order. I attended a media luncheon where all of the press attendees ate foods that had been prepared via the Sous Vide method. It was delicious!

In Under Pressure, Chef Keller discusses the many virtues and obstacles he experienced using Sous Vide. The photographs used to illustrate this book is first class. While some of the commercial equipment shown in this book is only practical for a professional kitchen, I believe that some of the techniques in this book could be adapted for use in a Food Saver home sealing system.

Just like Thomas Keller's other books, Under Pressure is packed with a great assortment of recipes that will keep even the most enthusiastic foodie busy for the next year. The sources directory at the back of this book is an invaluable resource for finding rare ingredients from Keller approved purveyors. Buy this book and keep it on your table for inspiration. It will help you discover your inner foodie.

Reviews (C) 2009 by Christopher J. Davies, Wine Country International ® magazine. All rights reserved.


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