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“If you want to know what good taste in the modern food and wine scene looks like, this is your manual.”—Jordan Mackay, co-author of The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste
Wine Food is a wine course in a cookbook for everyone who wants to learn about wine simply by drinking it. Here, natural wine bar and winery owner Dana Frank and wine-loving recipe writer Andrea Slonecker distill the basics—how to buy, how to store, how to taste—and deliver more than seventy-five instant-hit recipes inspired by delectable, affordable wines that go with them beautifully.
Each recipe opens with a succinct summary of the wine style that inspired it, followed by a brief explanation of how it complements the flavors and textures in the recipe. There are also recommendations for three to eight producers of each wine style.
Frank and Slonecker also include a wine flavors cheat sheet, a label lexicon lesson, a short course on wine tasting like a pro, and illustrated features on matching wine with types of favorite foods (typical take-out, beloved pasta dishes, and popular sweets). Whether you like thinking about which bottle to pour at brunch, with picnic fare, for midweek dinners, at weekend feasts, or for all of those times, Wine Food makes learning about wine flavorful, fun, and easy.
From the Publisher
Melon And Prosciutto With Radishes, Avocado, And Mint
Makes 6 servings
Producers to Look For
Castello di Luzzano
Malvasia, also known as malvazija (MAHL-va-zee-ah), depending which part of Europe you’re in, is a grape that many people are unfamiliar with. Its habitat runs throughout Italy, Slovenia, Greece, Spain, and Portugal, with far-flung examples from California and South America. Ever drunk Malmsey Madeira? It’s made from malvasia.It’s a particularly sweet version of the grape, but also one of the great examples. There’s a time and place for a honeyed, deeply caramelized dessert wine; this is not it. We’re hoping to turn you on to dry malvasia, with its tropical fruits, beeswax, and chamomile profile. It’s got acidity, but not too much, and an unexpected weightiness that makes it feel a bit more serious than you might expect. We’ve suggested malvasia from around Europe in hopes that you might taste a couple of different bottles side by side to see the differences in style.
Many producers make orange, or skin-contact, malvasia. They’ll be too tannic and savory for this recipe, so avoid them and grab a bottle of white.
This is a dish that’s all about few, but very good, ingredients. Make this at the height of melon season, when the cantaloupes are dripping with their intoxicating juices and their flesh is both perfectly orange and slightly yielding.
Choose a ripe avocado and watermelon radishes and really fruity olive oil. Have your butcher shave your prosciutto paper-thin. And please don’t skimp on the freshly ground pepper and flaky salt. What you’ll find with this pairing is that the salty-sweet combination of the melon and ham beautifully complements the perfumed aromatics of a dry malvasia.
1/2 ripe cantaloupe
4 ounces prosciutto, sliced paper-thin
1 ripe avocado
1 watermelon radish, or 6 red or Easter Egg radishes, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves picked
1⁄4 cup aromatic extra-virgin olive oil (use a good one for this)
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Halve the cantaloupe and scoop out the seeds. Cut the melon lengthwise into quarters and trim off the rinds. Using a mandoline, or working carefully with a chef’s knife, slice each quarter lengthwise into 1⁄8-inch-thick pliable ribbons. Arrange the ribbons on a large platter in an even layer, folding and rolling them in a beautiful tangle. Fold and nestle the prosciutto slices around the melon ribbons.
Halve the avocado, remove the pit, and cut the flesh lengthwise into quarters. Cut each quarter crosswise into very thin slices without cutting through the peel. Now scoop the slices from the peels. Dot the avocado around the salad, in groupings of 4 to 6 slices that are slightly fanned out.
Tuck the radish slices into the salad here and there. Tear the mint leaves if they are large, but keep the small ones whole, and scatter them over the top. Drizzle the salad with the oil, sprinkle with salt and several grinds of pepper, and serve.