SPQR: Modern Italian Food and Wine
By Shelley Lindgren and Matthew Accarrino with Kate Leahy (Ten Speed Press, 2012, $35)
Lindgren, a Wine Enthusiast 2012 Sommelier of the Year Wine Star nominee and co-owner of San Francisco’s acclaimed SPQR and A16 restaurants, guides readers on a culinary journey of Italy through the network of ancient Roman roads. Try the fried quince pies with truffle honey and aged balsamic on the Via Aemilia, or the lamb ragù with semolina gnocchi and pecorino pepato on the Via Appia. Lindgren offers a primer on Italian wine pairing at every turn of the road.
Inventing Wine: A New History of One of the World’s Most Ancient Pleasures
By Paul Lukacs (W.W. Norton & Co., 2012, $28.95)
“This book tells a new story,” warns Lukacs in his introduction. His book, scheduled to be released on December 3, takes issue with previous accounts of wine history that celebrate continuity. Lukacs argues that wine throughout history—during its secularization in the Middle Ages, its technological modernization in the Renaissance and its contemporary globalization— has been marked by disruption. Thoughtful and provocative, this book shows that the history of wine is as complex as the history of human society.
Destination Cocktails: The Traveler’s Guide to Superior Libations
By James Teitelbaum (Santa Monica Press, 2012, $19.95)
Teitelbaum believes that only a fraction of bars and restaurants today care about making great cocktails. Here, he profiles hundreds of establishments, from dive bars to swanky lounges, on the cutting edge of the craft-cocktail movement. Whether you find yourself in New York City, Copenhagen or Shanghai, you’ll never again be without an exciting, new craft-cocktail spot to try.
Pairing with the Masters: A Definitive Guide to Food & Wine
By Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, MW, and Ken Arnone, CMC (Delmar, 2012, $39.95)
A master of wine and a certified master chef have teamed up to create a book that not only instructs but enlightens. More textbook than cookbook, this masterwork equips you with culinary and wine tips to help you invent your own pairings, and positions food-and-wine pairing as both a science and an art.
Voodoo Vintners: Oregon’s Astonishing Biodynamic Winegrowers
By Katherine Cole (Oregon State University Press, 2011, $18.95)
Can biodynamic viticulture produce the world’s finest wines, or is it just a bunch of cow horns and broomsticks? In her compelling portrait of Oregon winemakers, Cole situates the biodynamic boom within its proper context of agricultural history, and she indulges both skeptics and proponents of the controversial movement.
Wines of the Southern Hemisphere: The Complete Guide
By Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen (Sterling Epicure, 2012, $24.95)
DeSimone and Jenssen, Wine Enthusiast’s lifestyle and entertaining editors, have produced the first book devoted solely to the wines of the globe’s Southern half. Within the last 25 years, wines from South America, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia have exploded in global popularity, and DeSimone and Jenssen give these exceptional winemaking regions the spotlight they’ve long deserved.
Edible DIY: Simple, Giftable Recipes to Savor and Share
By Lucy Baker (Running Press, 2012, $19)
These delectable presents are as delightful to make as they are to receive. Baker’s collection of easy-to-prepare and artfully packaged goodies features boozy options (such as Apple-Cinnamon Bourbon and spiced pear gin), as well as scrumptious food items (including honey-ginger pumpkin butter and herbs de Provence popcorn).
To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion
By Philip Greene (Perigee Trade, 2012, $24)
Ernest Hemingway’s sterling reputation as a writer is perhaps surpassed only by his notoriety as a drinker. Greene, the co-founder of The Museum of the American Cocktail, makes it easy to recreate some of Hemingway’s most memorable literary libations, including the Dripped Absinthe from For Whom the Bell Tolls and the Jack Rose from The Sun Also Rises.
Uncorked: My Journey Through the Crazy World of Wine
By Marco Pasanella (Clarkson Potter, 2012, $24)
A must-read for anyone who’s ever dreamed of opening his or her own wine shop, Pasanella’s memoir chronicles his raucous and often tumultuous journey from successful designer to professional wine merchant. Imbued with humor and drama, it offers an insider’s glance into every aspect—from production, distribution and consumption—of the crazy and multi-faceted wine industry.
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes and Wisdom from an Obsessive Home Cook
By Deb Perelman (Alfred A. Knopf, 2012, $35)
The first cookbook from the founder of the enormously successful smittenkitchen.com will not disappoint. Perelman’s recipes, designed specifically for the home cook, are elegant yet accessible to all food lovers—even to those with basic culinary skills and tiny kitchens. Amateur and experienced gourmets alike will relish dishes like pistachio masala lamb chops with cucumber mint raita and chocolate hazelnut crepe cake.
Soft Soil, Black Grapes: The Birth of Italian Winemaking in California
By Simone Cinotto (New York University Press, 2012, $35)
It’s no secret that Italian-Americans—from Ernest and Julio Gallo to Pietro Carlo Rossi to Francis Ford Coppola—have played an enormous role in transforming California winemaking into what it is today. But Cinotto offers a unique and fascinating perspective on the history of Italian-American success in wine country, focusing on the importance of race, social capital and immigrant entrepreneurship.
The Wine Region of Rioja
By Ana Fabiano (Sterling Epicure, 2012, $35)
This comprehensive exploration of one of Spain’s most prestigious wine regions will satisfy a diverse audience of wine lovers—whether you’re curious about Rioja’s rich history and geographical nuances, the characteristics of its grape varietals and finest producers, or just how to read Rioja wine labels. Packed with an array of stunning photographs, this coffee-table book makes an excellent holiday gift.
Boozy Brunch: The Quintessential Guide to Daytime Drinking
By Peter Joseph (Taylor Trade Publishing, 2012, $16.95)
Tired of the same old mimosas and Bloody Marys? Joseph has concocted over 100 new recipes that are sure to jolt you awake in the morning. Some are spicy (The English Heat, made with jalapeño-infused agave nectar), others are caffeinated (Bradsell’s Vodka Espresso), and one is a breakfast in itself (cocktail consultant Charlotte Voisey’s famous Eggs and Bacon).
Get the Wine Enthusiast editors’ top picks for holiday gifts.