One of my favorite things about the fall (other than relief from a hot, sticky city) is the release of so many beautiful cookbooks. As someone who finds cooking and hosting to be fun and therapeutic, they’re my source not only for recipes, but also for inspiration on hosting dinner parties and other social gatherings; they’re also amazing to just read and unwind as you dream up the foodie possibilities. While of course it seems obvious to ultimately pair wine with the delicious food that you’ll make from the cookbook you’re perusing, there’s also complete joy in pairing a wine with your cookbook reading. Like reading a good book and drinking a wine that pairs perfectly with the themes or setting, pairing wine with your cookbook is just as enjoyable and helps transport you into the universe of food and stories contained within its (digital or print) pages.
This fall brings us a range of cookbooks that stretch across the globe, taking us across America, England, France, Germany, the Middle East, and South Africa, which leaves plenty of wine pairing possibilities. No matter what you’re craving, we’ve got a cookbook and wine to satisfy. Here are the cookbooks that are on my radar this fall:
Flour and Water: Pasta by Thomas McNaughton (September 30th)
If there’s one food I could eat every single day, it’s pasta. This cookbook from Chef Thomas McNaughton, of the San Franciscan restaurant flour + water
, brings together recipes and tips for making mouth-watering pasta dishes like Pumpkin Tortelloni with Sage and Pumpkin Seeds. Pair this cookbook with a Montepulciano D’Abruzzo
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Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food by Nigel Slater (September 30th)
This beautiful cookbook contains over 600 simple meal ideas, including some stunning photography. The author, Nigel Slater, is one of Britain’s foremost food writers, so for this cookbook reading session I’d turn to a nice glass of bubbly
, as it’s English-made bubbly for which the country has recently been receiving attention in the wine world.
Sababa: Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Food by Tal Smith, Nirit Saban, and Russell Smith (October 1st)
As a vegetarian, I frequently turn to the flavors and foods of the Middle East. This new cookbook was written by two sisters and inspired by their restaurant of the same name, Sababa, located in Cape Town, South Africa. A great pairing would be Chenin Blanc
, a wine for which South Africa is known, and one that happens to pair well with Mediterranean cuisine.
Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck by Thug Kitchen (October 7th)
I could browse the Thug Kitchen website
for hours. Laughter and the desire to cook — what could be better? Take a look yourself to see what half a million Facebook fans
already know: The Thug Kitchen team knows their shit. This badass cookbook needs a badass grape, so pair it with a little Pinot Noir
— the heartbreak grape.
Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi (October 14th)
The Ottolenghi cookbooks are addictive. You can’t own just one! Seriously, buy one and you’re hooked for life, which is why this is one of my must-have cookbooks for the fall (not to mention it’s great as a gift!). With photographs that jump off the page and recipes that inspire you to use spices with which you never thought you’d be able to cook, the newest addition to the Ottolenghi cookbook library is a total treat. Pair Plenty More
with a nice Gamay
, as the bright flavors will go perfectly with the vegetarian cuisine.
Das Cookbook: German Cooking . . . California Style by Hans Rockenwagner (October 14th)
This cookbook is inspired by the author’s Californian restaurants and includes sections on bread-making, holiday treats, and bar snacks. Pair this cookbook with a dry Riesling
, a wine for which Germany is known and one that’s also produced in California.
A New Napa Cuisine by Christopher Kostow (October 14th)
This is exactly the kind of cookbook I was talking about when I said it’s fun to read cookbooks: This debut cookbook is Christopher Kastow’s personal story and includes essays, recipes, and photography to celebrate the Napa region. While pairing this cookbook with a Napa Cab
is an obvious choice, I’d try a Napa Zin
instead to switch things up a bit, as it’s a grape that many of us wouldn’t know if it weren’t for California.
Heritage by Sean Brock (October 21st)
Time for some Southern comfort food! The chef behind the restaurants Husk and McCrady’s, Sean Brock, shares recipes inspired by his childhood in Appalachia and the city he calls home today, Charleston. Sorry, guys. Gotta cheat with this one and pour a nice glass of bourbon
Hand Made Baking: Recipes to Warm the Heart by Kamran Siddiqi (October 21st)
Tell me honestly that this cover doesn’t immediately make you crave a piece of chocolate cake? Kamran Siddiqi’s collection includes over 75 mouth-watering sweets with clear-cut instructions. Pair this cookbook read with Port
, a perfect dessert wine.
A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse by Mimi Thorisson (October 28th)
As someone who obsessively watched Laura Calder’s “French Food at Home,” it’s no surprise that I’d be completely into a cookbook set in France where all the cooking is done in a farmhouse. In Mimi Thorisson’s A Kitchen in France
she shares stories about her family’s life in rural France and provides seasonal recipes for the journey. Given that the farmhouse is in Médoc, this cookbook definitely needs to be paired with a Bordeaux petit château
Saveur: The New Classics Cookbook by James Oseland (October 28th)
With the folks at Saveur
magazine behind this cookbook, I imagine it’s about to become a staple in kitchens everywhere. A compilation of 1,000 recipes, Saveur’s
cookbook is destined to go from new classic to just classic. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re big fans of the Virginia
wine region, a region that we believe is on its way to becoming America’s next great wine region — a new classic, if you will. Visit our Guide to Northern Virginia Wine Country
and our Guide to the Monticello Wine Region
and pick your poison. You can’t go wrong.
The Moosewood Cookbook: 40th Anniversary Edition by Mollie Katzen
As someone who grew up eating vegetarian food made from the Moosewood Cookbook
, on a recent trip to Ithaca, I was thrilled to finally visit the Moosewood restaurant. Needless to say, it didn’t disappoint. The original cookbook is considered one of the top ten best-selling cookbooks of all time by The New York Times
, and this commemorative edition is perfect for old and new fans alike. Pair this cookbook with a wine from the Finger Lakes region of New York
, the region from which Mollie Katzen and the original cookbook hail. We’d suggest trying a wine from Heart & Hands
Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes by Cortney Burns, Nicolaus Balla, and Chad Robertson (November 25th)
While all of these cookbooks look incredible, and all of the covers are amazing, this one just takes the cake. Co-chefs of Bar Tartine in San Francisco, Cortney Burns and Nicolaus Balla’s forthcoming cookbook focuses on processes like fermentation, curing, pickling and features cuisines of Central Europe, Japan, and Scandinavia. Pair this stunner with a Blaufränkisch
, which not only goes well with the aforementioned cuisines, but is a wine that’s also served at the restaurant.