gourmet file: a cook's guide to the web

the perfect match: foods to go with wine, beer & other drinks

gourmet file:  a cook's guide to the web

I love wine, and have always wanted to learn more about it. But often when I pick up a wine book, my eyes glaze over at the all those numeric scores, vintages and pretentious descriptions. Recently, however, I read a wine book that was thoroughly entertaining and also informative. The book is Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass by wine writer, Natalie MacLean. It's a beautifully written, and often funny, behind-the-scenes tour of the world of wine - the wine makers, marketers, retailers, critics, restaurateurs and other players in the wine industry.

Natalie MacLean also has an excellent website featuring a food and wine matching tool with more than 364,000 easy wine and food pairings. In addition, she publishes a free e-newsletter with wine reviews and suggestions for foods to go with wine.

Other helpful wine and food resources on the web include this article by Ray Isle from Food and Wine Magazine which explains the basics of food and wine matching. Also, Robin Garr's Wine Lovers Page has a food and wine matching section which includes pairing suggestions for foods we don't usually associate with wine, such as Chinese food and barbecue.

If you are looking for advice on what foods are good with beer, there is Real Beer which offers a guide to which foods to serve with beer. Also, the Splendid Table radio program's website features food and beer pairing guide.

And finally, another book recommendation: What to Drink with What You Eat: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea - Even Water - Based on Expert Advice from America's Best Sommeliers by by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page. This is the ultimate reference book for matching food and drink. It features two indexes so that you can look up pairing suggestions according to food or drink.