Sonoma: A Food and Wine Lover's Journey

Jennifer Barry, Author, Robert Holmes, Joint Author, Mimi Luebbermann, With Ten Speed Press $40 (224p) ISBN 978-1-58008-474-1
Three Californians--Barry, a designer of illustrated books; Holmes, a travel photographer; and Luebbermann, author of numerous books on food and gardening--team up to celebrate Sonoma's natural beauty and human commerce in this oversized volume of photographs, recipes and factoids. Sonoma County, though it comprises just 1,579 square miles, has climates ranging from Pacific beach to coastal mountain, and from redwood forest to the wine-producing inland valley. The wine region is divided further into microclimates, which allows for the numerous appellations--Sonoma Coast, Russian River, Dry Creek Valley--that oenophiles know and appreciate. This lushly illustrated volume looks at highlights in the county's four main regions, from Petaluma in southern Sonoma, once known as the""Egg Basket of the Western World,"" to northern Sonoma's Alexander Valley, formerly used for grazing beef cattle and now home to grape varietals such as Viognier and Sangiovese. The recipes, culled from area restaurants and businesses, include Goat Cheese Souffles from the St. Francis Winery Kitchen, Asian Marinated Skewered California Albacore Wrapped in Bacon from the Tides Wharf & Restaurant, and Honey and Fromage Blanc Ice Cream from the Jintown Store (appropriate wines, of course, are suggested for each). Also included are profiles of local farms and establishments, such as Bellwether Farms, which makes artisanal sheep and cow cheeses, Devoto Gardens, which produces 40 different kinds of apples, including many heirlooms, and Hector's Bees, a one-man operation that supplies honey and wax candles to area famers' markets. Sonoma, with its fields of daisies, rich green hills, placid inlets and Mission-Revival buildings, looks like a paradise in these pages, and this book may be as useful in the kitchen as it is pretty on the coffee table.
Reviewed on: 03/01/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
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