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Holiday Gifts Part 3 – Books….

Yes, hard cover books are still published, and though your eBook or Kindle may be trying to rule your book reading world, a beautiful hard cover wine and spirits book is still good for the coffee table, kitchen, bar or (for some) nightstand.

I wish I had written the Art and Design of Contemporary Wine Labels.  I have so many friends that I know that buy wine solely based on the label….red or white, bold or soft…doesn’t matter. If they like the label they will buy it.  Which also shows you how far opinions have changed from the very Old World, European style with a chateau adorning the label.  Does it mean that wine in a bottle with a flashy label is bad? Of course not, but it may mean the winery owner is a bit more adventurous.  Tanya Scholes takes you through the whole process of how a present day label is really created.  

Food and Wine recently published a cookbook Reinventing the Classics, with step by step guides for over 100 classic recipes with a modern day twist, and spot on wine pairings. I am a bit of a pretzel girl, so the pretzel crusted crab cakes were a hit in this house, as was the red snapper with citrus and fennel salad.  Healthy, easy and delicious.   

Matt Kramer on Wine, A Matchless Collection of Columns, Essays and Observations.  A witty gathering of some of the wine writers favorite stories with the ultimate focus to demystify wine and remove any pretentious stigma, and do it in a very amusing way.  He knows what he is talking about and brings his life experiences, along with years of tasting, into play throughout the book.  A solid read for a wine lover.

Speakeasy, Classic Cocktails Reimagined from New York’s Employees Only Bar.  Employees Only was recently ranked one of the top 10 best mixology bars in the world, and partners Dushan Zaric andJason Kosmas (now with Bolsa in Dallas) blended their talents into creating a book to help you jazz up classic cocktails with fresh ingredients used seasonally.  Dallas is fast becoming one of the best cocktail cities in the country, this book is a great guide to get you thinking outside the box when crafting cocktail combinations.

Historical fiction is one of my favorite reads, add in bubbly and it is a best seller.   Though not a new book this year, Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman That Ruled It, is a great read of a woman who did the unthinkable for the time - thought for herself, worked for herself and grew an empire by herself, and did it with impeccable style and grace.