Season’s Readings – our favorite wine & food books

There is a mesmerizing abundance of wine and food books that you can wrap and put under the tree.  Here are some of our Savvy Sommeliers’ favorites:


History of Wine Words – An Intoxicating Dictionary of Etymology & Word Histories from Glass & Bottle  
by Charles Hodgson

$20 at Amazon

Charles is an Ottawa based writer and long time Savvy Selections wine-of-the-month club subscriber.  As he was researching the meanings and history of wine terms and words he asked our Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm to be part of the editing team.  This is a neat book loaded with interesting tidbits about the origin of wine words.


Cellar Book – How to Design, Build, Stock and Manage Your Wine Cellar Wherever You Live
by Tony Aspler
$20 at Chapters

As Tony puts it, this book provides practical guidance for anyone who wants to lay down wines that will be ready to open for a mid-week dinner, for a spontaneous celebration or for your children’s future enjoyment. 


The definitive Guide to Canadian Artisanal and Fine Cheese
by Gurth Pretty

$20 at Chapters

Chef Gurth Pretty has compiled the most comprehensive guide to Canadian cheeses ever published. On each page you are introduced to the cheesemakers, stories about their cheeses, and then there are 30 delicious recipes developed by Gurth and the cheesemakers to try your hand at. This book is always open in the kitchen of our Savvy Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons


Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass

By Natalie MacLean

$10 at Chapters

“Simply intoxicating!”, says Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm. Debbie has read this book twice – the first time was the manuscript as she devoured & reviewed each page for Natalie, then again once the book was published. There are countless wine books, some historic, some novels, some technical and some instructional. Yet, in Red, White & Drunk All Over, Natalie MacLean shares her discovery and experiences of the different facets of wine with an enlightening twist.  Look for Debbie’s quote on page 122!


The 500 Best-Value Wines in the LCBO 2010
by Rod Philips
$19.95 at Chapters

This is the second annual guide to the 500 best-values in the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario). Rod Philips – Ottawa based writer, wine judge & Ottawa Citizen wine columnist has tasted all the wines currently available in the LCBO and Vintages Essentials collection – a rough job!  He chose the 500 best wines in terms of their quality and price. A handy book to have with you when are overwhelmed with all that is available at the LCBO.


Wine and War: The French, The Nazis, And The Battle For Frances Greatest Treasure

By Don and Petie Kladstrup

$19 at Chapters

“This is a page turner – I was captivated in chapter 1.  A great read for anyone interested in history and wine”, remarks Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm. All about the remarkable untold story of France’s courageous, clever vinters who protected and rescued the country’s most treasured commodity from German plunder during World War II. In 1940, France fell to the Nazis and almost immediately the German army began a campaign of pillaging one of the assets the French hold most dear: their wine.


Anna and Michael Olson Cook at Home: Recipes for Everyday and Every Occasion

By Anna and Michael Olson

$25 at Amazon

A favorite cookbook in Savvy Sommelier Susan Desjardin’s kitchen. When writing the Savvy eZine, Susan often refers to this book to pick a recipe to pair a Savvy Selections wine. She finds that this book is full of practical and humorous advice on cooking and entertaining, with culinary inspirations and handy techniques by Ontario’s premier chefs. 


Matter of Taste: Inspired Seasonal Menus with Wines and Spirits to Match
By Lucie Waverman & James Chatto
$35 at Chapters

Savvy Sommeliers Debbie Trenholm & Susan Desjardins are fans of this book full of recipes and wine pairings. Several of their favorite recipes have been paired with Savvy Selections wines.  Easy-to-follow recipes are paired with James’ witty wine knowledge and explanations on why the matches make sense.


Fresh Canadian Bistro: Top Canadian chefs share their favourite recipes

By Craig Flinn

$18 at Chapters

Author Craig Flinn, chef of Chives Canadian Bistro in Halifax, has persuaded many of Canada”s leading chefs to share some of their best recipes for this collection. “I have just bought it and each page is absolutely delicious!” comments Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm



Other helpful Gift Guides that may inspire some ideas for your wine & food lovers on your shopping list.

Ottawa Citizen 2009 Holiday Gift Guide

Globe and Mail Gift Guide

Ron Eade’s annual Cookbook Guide


Happy Holidays!

The Savvy Team




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