Book Selection for the Gourmand

With Christmas only weeks away now, it’s that time where indecisions on presents-buying start turning into panic, particularly for friends and relatives abroad and you know you have to get that parcel off in the post pronto.

Books obviously make for convenient and meaningful presents and can reflect your good taste or intellectual interests as much as they can tailored to the person you are giving it to, with the knowledge of their interests, hobbies or reading habits. Moreover, they are easy to post, courier or more than likely, sent by

No denying Amazon is the savior for getting last minute presents there on time and will no doubt be doing a roaring trade presently, with an emphasis on priority deliveries.

So, what does one get for the gourmand or wine enthusiast that seemingly has everything?

Well, there is always a multitude of cookbooks released every year and many of them more than just coffee table decoration. Besides, any gourmand or home cook I know can never have enough cookbooks.

Wine enthusiasts are a bit more difficult, in that they might not necessarily be in to reading wine books, which are often pretty dry (pardon the pun) although perhaps good for reference.

There is though the occasional good read on wine more in the story format, sometimes autobiographical from a vintners or merchant’s experiences, or wine writers accounts of travels and wine tales.

I have compiled this list of suggested titles based on my personal reading throughout this year, including the ‘Best o f Year’ efforts. Some are new titles and some are works revisited or reference books and all come highly recommended. Most are available through

The Wandering Palate Cookbook of the Year

More than French – Philippe Mouchel with Rita Erlich, forward by Paul Bocuse (Slattery Media Group ISBN 9780980744729)

The Wandering Palate Produce Book of the Year

Cheese Slices – Will Studd (Hardie Grant Books, ISBN 978)1 74068 550 6)

Chalk & Cheese – Will Studd (Purple Egg, ISBN 09586195 0 6)

The Wandering Palate Best Discovery Cookbook of the Year

Papaya Flower – Manadonese Cuisine Provincial Indonesian Food - Petty P Elliot (Komunika Partners ISBN 978-602-95717-0-7)

Email: Tel: +62816922099

How to Cook Everything Completely revised Tenth Anniversary Edition, Mark Bittman (John Wiley & Sons ISBN 978-0-7645-7865-6

Ginger Pig – Meat Book Tim Wilson & Fran Warde (Mitchell Beazley – ISBN 978-1-84533-558-8

Food Heroes Rick Stein (BBC – ISBN 0-563-53474-5

Best Food Writing, 2011, Edited by Holly Hughes (De Capo Press – ISBN 978-0-7382-1381-1

In Defence of Food – An Eater’s Manifesto – Michael Pollan (The Penguin Press) ISBN 978-1-59420-145-5

Silent Spring – Rachel Carson (Houghton Mifflin) ISBN 0-618-24906-0

‘The classic that launched the environmental movement’

Wine Books

The Wandering Palate Wine Book of the Year

白葡萄酒经典 Cool Climate Wines Michael Thurner & Susie Wu (Horizon Media Co)

All sales outside of Mainland China and enquiries to Michael Thurner

Dust to Gold – The Inspiring Story of Bendigo Station, home of Shrek – John Perriam (Random House)

ISBN 978 1 86979 280 0

The Heartbreak Grape – A Journey in Search of the Perfect Pinot Noir – Marq de Villiers (McArthur & Company)

ISBN 1-55278-610-2

Wine Dogs New Zealand – the dogs of New Zealand wineries – McGill, Elliot, Judd (Giant Dog Publishing)

ISBN 978-1-9211336-12-6

A Hedonist in the Cellar – Adventures in Wine – Jay McInerney (Bloomsbury Publishing)

ISBN 13 9780747588467

Wine Hunter – The Story of Maurice O’Shea the Greatest Vigneron in Australia – Campbell Mattinson

(Hachette Australia, ISBN 10 0 7336 2125 2)

The Secret of Scent – Adventures in Perfume and the Science of Smell – Luca Turin

(Harper Perennial, ISBN 978-0-06-11383-1)

Luminous Debris – Reflecting on Vestige in Provence and Languedoc – Gustaf Sobin

(University of California Press, ISBN 13: 978-0520222458

Adventures on the Wine Route, A Wine Buyer's Tour of France - Kermit Lynch, published

(North Point Press, ISBN-13: 978-0374522667)

Also available direct via

Website Subscriptions and Magazines

If you have left it perilously late to buy someone a present, a website subscription is the perfect solution, as it is instantaneous and as easy as sending your recipient an email with their login details – brilliant!

The Wandering Palate Wine Website of the Year

Burghound - Allen Meadows –

Jancis Robinson MW – Purple Pages

Gambero Rosso

Slow Food

Slow Food Editore

The Wandering Palate Magazine of the Year

Donna Hay – Food Magazine (monthly)

The World of Fine Wine

4 issues a year