cover image Wine Mondays: Simple Wine Pairings with Seasonal Menus

Wine Mondays: Simple Wine Pairings with Seasonal Menus

Frank McClelland, Christie Matheson. Harvard Common, $24.95 (212pp) ISBN 978-1-55832-377-3

McClelland, the owner-chef at the well-regarded Boston restaurant L’Espalier, where he offers special menus with wine pairings each Monday night, aims to help people understand how to match a wine’s qualities to a dish’s flavors. In this book, he teams up with freelance food writer Matheson to offer an enthusiastic approach to the basic principles of wine pairing, emphasizing that people should drink what they enjoy. The recipes are organized as components of elegant four-course menus, which in turn are arranged seasonally, showcasing how well-chosen wines bring out the changing flavors of fresh vegetables, meats and fish. Each menu begins with wine notes; specific bottles are recommended, but the authors also give the rationale behind their choices, so that people can explore different vineyards. In keeping with L’Espalier’s focus, many of the dishes are French accented, from a roasted fruit–topped pain perdu to a poussin pot-au-feu , but there are Spanish and Italian menus as well. Some of the recipes are fairly complicated, but they are broken into less intimidating parts so that any reasonably confident home cook should have no problem tackling the menus. (Oct.)