“Happy together, unhappy together, and wouldn’t it be fine…”

by Katie Pizzuto on September 17, 2010

in Cookbooks,Food/Wine Pairing,holiday gifts

Anniversaries are a funny thing. When you’re younger, you look at them with eyes that reflect wonder, excited at what your future together will bring. But as you get older, you often look at anniversaries with eyes that reflect amazement, awed by what your past has brought you and how you’ve managed to get through it together. My husband (or the “thorn in my side” as I lovingly call him) and I just celebrated 15 years of marriage yesterday, which we proudly heap on top of another 7 years together before we were married…total damage assessed at 22 years, which means we’ve been together longer than we haven’t since we’re both on the verge of turning 40. That’s way too much math for one post.

And it just so happens that we share our anniversary with a book I adore, The Flavor Bible, which celebrated its second year yesterday. Many of you know that I raved about the book a while back and said it should be on every foodie’s holiday list, but Karen and Andrew have another book as well, and What to Drink With What You Eat is the one that should be under every Christmas tree, menorah, kinara, pagan yule log…whatever…this year. For every sister-in-law that calls you in the middle of an episode of Fringe to ask what wine they should buy for their upcoming barbecue, get the book. For every dad that texts you from the liquor store to get your opinion of what he should bring to the BYO, get the book. For every non-drinking buddy that begs for ideas on what to serve his dinner guests, get the book. And even for you…you smartass know it all…get the book.

WTDWWYE serves as an amazing reference point for what drinks pair best with what foods, and I say “drinks” because it’s not just about wine. The book includes beers, cocktails, teas and even waters. The first half is an alphabetical listing of foods/ingredients, followed by a list of what pairs best with them. Those in bold are particularly good pairings, and those in bold caps are extraordinary pairings. It’s also sprinkled with quotes from various sommeliers, brewmasters and chefs, shedding a little additional light on specific pairings. The second half of the book takes the opposite approach, just in case you’ve got a bottle of something and have no idea what to serve alongside it. Got some Irish stout in the fridge? No better match for that than oysters. Or is it an imperial stout? Then you’re better off with a dark chocolate dessert. And as if that all weren’t enough, they also give you pairings to stay the hell away from, i.e. Korean food and chardonnay, peanuts and red wine…mother-in-law and football game.

For the love of all that’s holy, stop right now before you even consider buying your wife a gym membership or giving your dad another fugly tie, for either gift will either end up in the bottom of a drawer somewhere or worse yet, submitted as evidence for part of a divorce trial. Get the book instead and not only will your dad leave you to nap in peace, but—take the word of someone who’s been married 15 years—you just might get some from the wife, too. Everybody wins.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Coupe 60 September 17, 2010

Katie, First and foremost – Happy Anniversary to you and your husband…and many many more…My lovely wife and I are coming up on 18 years ourselves in October..

Second thanks for the book tip…it does sound like a great read and gift…

Third, I cannot believe you left out “Festivus Pole” when listing possible holiday locations this book should be found. I am profoundly disappointed in your writing in that particular instance…perhaps only equaled in the history of this normally exceptional blog space by your omission of Franz Klammer in your list of famous Austrians, and the time that you attributed “I can’t find my way home” to Traffic…

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2 Katie Pizzuto September 17, 2010

God, I missed you…though now I’m not sure why. First of all, thank you. Secondly, you’re welcome…it’s a great resource. Lastly, sorry but I’m not a huge Seinfeld fan. I know that for a NY/NJ resident that’s probably tantamount to being a heretic in Vatican City but that’s how I roll. Franz Klammer, by all counts I measured, lost to Gustav Klimt, and as for the tune….be happy I remembered the musical footnote that is Steve Winwood much less remember his one-album band (Blind Faith) despite their “supergroup” status! 🙂

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3 Coupe 60 September 17, 2010

I think you are a little hard on Steve Winwood there (that’s what she said), Through his stints in Spencer Davis, Traffic, Blind Faith, and the Steve Winwood band…I think he put out a bunch of really good stuff…

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4 Katie Pizzuto September 17, 2010

Don’t get me wrong, he did put out some good stuff, but all things considered, he’ll still be a relative musical footnote in history, particularly compared to a couple of his bandmates 😉

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5 Dana Estep September 17, 2010

The book is a fantastic reference. My copy has been consulted numerous times in the year or so I’ve had it – most recently yesterday to look for wines to go with a dinner we’re going to on Saturday. It’s fun to just pick up and randomly browse even when you’re not looking for a specific recommendation.

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6 Don September 22, 2010

This looks like a great resource Katie. I will pick up at least one copy. Maybe two. Congratulations on your anniversary too, Kathy and I just put 25 behind us. I officially have no more testicles or opinions on anything of import.

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7 Katie Pizzuto September 22, 2010

Definitely, Don…one for yourself, one as a gift for that non-Lambic drinking brother of yours 🙂

And thank you. I’m pretty sure my husband’s testicles and opinions now share a tent with yours, in a deep wooded forest somewhere.

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8 Don September 22, 2010

My wife’s purse is big…Maybe there’s a tent in there….

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9 Katie Pizzuto September 22, 2010

Geez, my purse is really small. What does that say about my husband?! LMAO.

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