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Wine, Food & Friends: Karen's Wine and Food Pairing Guide, Plus Over 100 Cooking Light Recipes Hardcover – September 1, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Karen MacNeil is a Cooking Light columnist, host of the popular PBS series Wine, Food & Friends, author of the award-winning The Wine Bible, and 2004 winner of the "Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional" award from the James Beard Foundation. She is currently the chairperson of the Wine Department at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California, and is a frequent lecturer and speaker.

The pairing of Karen, with her evangelical zeal for wine, and Cooking Light, with its millions of devoted followers, is a match made in culinary heaven. Viewers who have enjoyed Karen’s PBS program will love this gorgeously designed hardcover book even more.

About the Author

For the last 30 years, Karen has been a writer, consultant, and educator whose articles on wine and food have been published in more than 50 United States magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, Food & Wine, Saveur, and Town & Country. She is the author of the award-winning book, The Wine Bible, a best-selling wine book in the United States that has sold more than 450,000 copies since it was released. Ten years in the making, The Wine Bible has been called the most comprehensive and authoritative book on wine written by an American author.

Karen is the host of Emmy-award winning Wine, Food & Friends with Karen MacNeil, the first television series on wine in the United States. This thirteen-part series reached a national audience on PBS. In 2006 her companion book, Wine, Food & Friends, was released.

An educator at heart, Karen is the creator and Chairman of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley. The multi-million dollar wine center has been called the ‘Harvard of wine education.' In 2007, she launched the Napa Valley Wine Educators Academy, a global education initiative that attracts wine instructors from all over the world to the Napa Valley for a week of intensive study. She acts as the Academy's creator and director.

Karen conducts wine seminars nationwide for individuals and corporations including Oracle, American Express, Lexus, Merrill Lynch, General Electric, Time Inc., NBC, Viking, and J.P. Morgan. She is also a wine consultant for Singapore Airlines and Sunset Magazine.

In March 2008, Karen launched her website on erobertparker.com, where she provides online wine education, food and wine pairing strategies, and video interviews and tastings with the icons of the wine industry.

In 2004, Karen MacNeil received the highest honor awarded to a wine professional in the United States when the James Beard Foundation named her Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year. The following year, she was named 2005 Wine Educator of the Year by the European Wine Council. Past recipients of the Council's awards have included journalist Morley Safer (60 Minutes), filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, and winemaker Robert Mondavi. In 2007, Karen was honored with the Wine Literary Award by the Wine Appreciation Guild for her substantial contribution to the literature of wine, joining laureates such as Hugh Johnson, Robert M. Parker, Jr., and Jancis Robinson. The International Wine & Spirit Competition recognized Karen as ‘the voice that has most effectively communicated wine or spirits to the public in the past year' by awarding her The 2008 Vinitaly Trophy for Communicator of the Year. In a profile featured in Time Magazine in 2004, Karen was named America's “Missionary of the Vine. She holds an Advanced Certified Wine Professional Degree.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Oxmoor House; 1 edition (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0848731220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0848731229
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 0.6 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,025,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By kiwanissandy VINE VOICE on December 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The other reviews I saw about this book only said it was a great book and applauded Ms. MacNeil but did so without giving any specifics. Well here's why it would be a good book to own.

The menus are divided into seasons. So the food will be at its peak and then with Ms. MacNeil's wine pairings you just can't go wrong. The unfortunate thing is that she suggests specific wines. In my little town I can't find many of the wines she suggests. I try to go with a wine that is a similar grape varietal, region, etc but I've failed more than I've succeeded in this hit or miss pairing. However, it's been fun making new finds and we have found some of the specific wines that she has suggested and they were wonderful.

For the holiday dessert menu, all 4 wines that were suggested were $75+ dollars each. I would have liked to have had different price points rather than blow out my budget on one gathering. I'm sure the $75+ Port she suggests is outstanding but I still have to feed my family for the month and that's definitely a splurge rather than a frequent event.

I wanted to find a book that I could use over and over and spending that kind of money is not something I could do on a regular basis. If there had been different price point suggestions then I could purchase one bottle that's pricey but these were all pricey. Just couldn't do it. But the dessert recipes were great and it gives me ideas and encourages me to broaden my wine/food repertoire.

I made the garlic rosemary roasted chicken, spicy sweet potato wedges and then paired it with Cotes-du-rhones. I could not afford the $$$ suggestion she made of Domaine Les Pallieres Gigondas. I'm sure it would have been good but $35 for a weekday dinner wine is too stiff for my budget.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the first cookbooks I have used since I have taken up cooking and I found all of the food recipes to be easy to follow and complete. The ending food product from these recipes is high quality and are great tasting. I found her wine pairings to be right on the money as being a knowledgable wine advocate. For those who are looking for great food menus to entertain freinds or family, this book is a "must have".
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Format: Hardcover
I pre-ordered Wine, Food and Friends by Karen MacNeil and could hardly wait to receive it. In her true fashion, Ms. MacNeil has created another wonderfully accessible book on wine and food. The Wine Bible (her first book) is a staple in any true wine enthusiast's library and her new book is also a must. The recipes, along with wine pairings, and sharing of Ms. MacNeil's vast knowledge and expertise in wines and the wine world, make this more than just a visually beautiful book ... but a book one will turn to again and again for advice on entertaining with food and wine. Ms. MacNeil exhibits a warm, witty and personable style of writing that is universally appealing. I will be sending many copies of this book to friends and family!
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By TKPics616 on September 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While all of the included recipes have appeared in one form or another in Cooking Light Magazine or Books, the author's wine notes still make this a worth while purchase. There is an in depth discussion of the author's suggestions for pairings as well as a chart to guide the reader into making a selection. There are still very few good books that combine both an emphasis on the wine and the food. The author has wisely chosen Cooking Light recipes that avoid the use of fake fats (non-fat mayo or cream cheese for example) unlike so many of the recipes that tarnish that otherwise good publication. Thankfully, the recipes use real food, albeit food that certainly stands clear of fat, even olive oil. The calorie count for all the recipes will benefit all of us who need to diet. As noted by other reviewers, the author tends to favor expensive wines, and rarely does she give more affordable alternatives. This omission is the books biggest downfall. Why not include wines in the $10-15 range that could be substituted for the many $40-50 wines she suggests? It seems that an expert on wine pairing should be able to steer the reader towards a wine that fits any budget. So like so many books on wine, there is an air of pretension here that unfortunately, may turn some people away from the subject. And that is a shame because wine should not be an elitist enjoyment only. In addition, vegetarians and light meat eaters beware; this book is heavy on meat, albeit mostly lower fat cuts such as pork tenderloin and skinless chicken. Bacon and other smoked pork products also appear as flavorings quite often.
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Format: Hardcover
I may love wine, but I'm by no means an expert. As a food writer and long-time cook, I know my way around the kitchen, have no trouble whipping up a dinner party, and enjoy feeding people. However, I needed some help/advice for wine pairings. Oh... I know enough to know which whites work best with poultry or seafood, and I know a heavier beef dish calls for a more substantial red wine. Beyond that, I'm a novice learning my way. This book provides loads of information, suggestions, tips and encouragement in an entertaining style that isn't intimidating or condescending. The author knows food and wine, she loves food and wine, and it shows!

I highly recommend this book if you want to brush up your pairing skills, or if you simply want to learn a little more about wine and food for deliciously entertaining dinners. Those very seriously into wine (who know much more than I do) will also find the book a useful addition to their collections, as her recipes are wonderful.
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