Monday, April 07, 2008

Book Review: He Said Beer, She Said Wine

Before I start, I want to warn you that if you pick up He Said Beer, She Said Wine, you'll want to read it with a glass of wine or beer in hand.

I was pleasantly surprised when I got a book on my very first try from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. I laughed when I saw that it was a DK book--that is, a book published by Dorling Kindersley Publishing--because I have hundreds of DK books. Once upon a time I sold them, and shortly after I laid in a big stock for a book fair, they shut down our division with almost no notice. So I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with DK. I still love the books, but I'll probably never like the company.

The first thing I noticed when I opened this book was that it doesn't have the DK look. I have noticed lately that they are going away from this, with many of their books and I find it sad, because, in my opinion , that was what made them great.

All of that stuff aside, I liked this book.

I've done a bit of reading about wine, but never about beer, so I found the basic information about both beverages at the beginning of the book very interesting. The book is formatted as a debate over the relative merits of beer and wine paired with particular food groups. Within each group, specific examples are given. For example, among the recommendations in the sandwich section are pairings with a burger or with a tuna salad sandwich. (I'm not enticed to try either beer or wine with tuna salad!)

On the other hand, the suggestions for pairing with some foods have made me resolve to try some new beers, and to revisit a couple of wines, particularly merlot. I also plan to try some of the recipes that they offer for pairing with wine and beer, possibly in the context of a "beer versus wine party." This is a dinner party at which guests are given the opportunity to taste a beer and wine with each menu item and vote on which is the best. Sounds like fun to me!

The back and forth between the authors was a bit much for me. The "debate" felt contrived, but I mainly skipped those parts as the book went on. This is one of those books that I can see returning to again and again, both for specific suggestions and for its general information about the flavors and characteristics of various beers and wines.


Groovy Mom said...

That does sound like a good dinner party! I've been trying new (to me) wines with different dinners. I was inspired 'cause one of the semi-regulars at the karaoke bar I go to grows wine. He gave me several to try that I hadn't even heard of. I never think of beer as being paired with different foods, though, except pizza. lol!

Groovy Mom said...

I only mention the karaoke bar because my husband pretended like it was shocking that I came home with a bit of culture from that place. ;-)