Tuesday, March 12, 2013

American Wine & The Art of the Restaurateur

Did you know that there are more than 7,000 wineries in the US? Clearly American wine deserves its own book. While American wine has been covered before, I'm not sure it has ever been covered quite so comprehensively as it is in American Wine: The Ultimate Companion to the Wines and Wineries of the United States. The book is good for helping to sort through the American viticultural areas (AVA's) and works for wine drinkers, armchair travelers as well as those looking to actually venture into the places in the United States where wine is being produced.

For each region you get history, culture, a bit about the geography and a sense of who the major players are, and some great profiles of winemakers. There are maps and wine labels and glossy photos and the writing is straightforward and not too fussy, as you would expect from two preeminent wine writers, Jancis Robinson of the UK and Linda Murphy the former wine section editor at the San Francisco Chronicle. 

Make no mistake, this is a coffee table book, but also a very useful guide for wine lovers. I can see it will be my go-to book when trying to familiarize myself with different American wine regions. 

Jancis Robinson will be in the Bay Area this Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. 

You can meet Jancis Robinson and Linda Murphy for a wine and cheese reception at Raymond Vineyards in Napa on Sunday, March 17, tickets are free of charge. 

Attend a Commonwealth Club program with Robinson and Murphy, hosted by Leslie Sbrocco on Monday March 18, ticket prices vary depending upon which reception you attend. 

Have your book signed by Jancis Robinson at Zuni Cafe later that evening from 8 - 10 pm and get a chance to meet Nicholas Lander, author of The Art of the Restaurateur. Lander's book will also be available. It features profiles of prominent restaurateurs the world over, and is definitely an "inside baseball" or perhaps inside restaurant book. 

While we often hear from chefs, few restaurateurs are in the limelight, sharing their stories and secrets. This book is a bit erudite, especially since the author himself was once a successful restaurateur, but should be required reading for anyone even thinking about getting into the restaurant business. Space is limited, and RSVP is required.


Lunch with Robinson and Murphy on Tuesday March 19 at Quince Restaurant. Tickets include a three course lunch and signed book.