This Calls for a Drink!: The Best Wines and Beers to Pair with Every Situation

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9780761184843: This Calls for a Drink!: The Best Wines and Beers to Pair with Every Situation

What wine goes with your life?

Any decent wine book can tell you what to drink with a grilled steak. But what’s the best wine to pair with a blind date? For watching the Oscars? For a big birthday? Written by Diane McMartin, this inspired drinking guide matches wines and beers to the significant—and not so significant—events in life.

Binge-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Try a Riesling—refreshing but with depth. Dumped a jerk? Celebrate with a sparkling rosé. Here are hundreds of unexpected recommendations delivered in a voice that is fresh, hip, full of attitude, and as solidly informative as it is entertaining. It’s everything you need to know to drink like an adult, even if you don’t always behave like one.
 

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About the Author:

DIANE McMARTIN is a Certified Sommelier and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America’s Accelerated Wine and Beverage Certificate Program. She also works in wine retail as a buyer, consultant, and teacher, helping customers wade through the endless sea of bad Chardonnay in the world.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction

    When you’re the person who knows about wine among your friends and family,
you’re asked a lot of questions: What should I order on a date? How do I choose wine for my
wedding? What goes with meat loaf?
    A couple of years ago, I arrived home to find my roommate sprawled on the couch looking miserable.
    “What’s wrong?” I asked.
    “I got dumped. Again.” I headed to the freezer to look for ice cream. “What wine goes with a bad breakup?” she moaned.
    That day, the answer turned out to be cheap rosé, because that’s what I had, but from then on, I began thinking about pairing wine and beer with situations and feelings, rather than just sauces and salads.
    Food & Wine has you covered for that heritage pork roast with the price tag that made you wince at the register at Whole Foods, but what about the blind date you’re dreading and anticipating in equal measure? And what should you sip while Google-stalking your high school crushes? You definitely need an adult beverage for that. Inspired by my roommate’s dilemma, I started writing columns for The Hairpin that paired wine and other beverages with situations ranging from first dates to road trips, and readers responded to them in
a way I never expected. I realized that people really need a way to talk about wine and beer that reflects how we live now. No one’s coming home after a long day at work and making a complicated poached fish and beurre blanc and pairing it with the perfect Chablis. We’re drinking while camping, or celebrating getting promoted with our friends, or solo-sipping on the couch while watching trashy television and eating greasy Thai food, or attempting home hair color in a really ugly bathrobe.
    In this book, I hope to give you some inspiration and helpful information, but mostly I want to give you the freedom to have fun with what you’re drinking. On a similar note, this is the kind of book you can dip into at any point, depending on your interests at that moment. No need to start right at the beginning and dutifully take notes—if you’re drinking for fun and enjoyment, there’s no need to be slavish about it. If you want a little information on how to taste beer and wine or what the heck kind of glassware to buy, start with “The Basics.” But feel free to skip to the relevant chapters to figure out what to order on your date with that promising, but maybe slightly too bro-y guy from Tinder (page 38) or what to drink when you’ve finally finished your Ph.D. (page 94).
    While these pairings are all meant to be fun and lighthearted—I mean, really, you don’t need a drink for EVERY life situation; sometimes what you need is to drink some herbal tea, call your mom, and go to bed at a reasonable hour—I didn’t want to leave you wondering what the hell hops actually are,  or what wine critics are talking about when they call Chardonnay “buttery.”
    So, I’ve included sidebars, along with a few longer essays, to help you navigate the often overwhelming world of wine and beer.
For each situation, I recommend a style of wine or beer, then one to three producers or brands that I consider good examples of that style. But here’s a little advice about those specific examples: Don’t get too hung up on them. Because the end of Prohibition left alcohol regulation up to the individual states, there is a huge  amount of variation when it comes to what’s available in each local market in this country. I recommend certain producers and brands that I love, but they may not be available where you are. We’ll get more indepth on buying wine and beer on page 6, but I actually don’t recommend spending a lot of time hunting down a specific name I mention and ordering it blind from some store you find on the Internet that happens to carry it. Find a store that sells beer and/or wine where you feel comfortable, and if you can’t find what I’ve recommended, ask if they can show you something similar. Say you’re looking for the Guy Larmandier Blanc de Blancs Champagne that I recommend on page 81. A good retail assistant, even if she’s never had that Champagne, will be able to pull the salient details from the name and description and find you a sparkler in a similar style. Who knows, it might be even better than what I recommended!
    There is so much wine and beer out there, I can’t even come close to tasting it all, and that’s part of the fun. I hope these pairings make you laugh, inspire you to try something new, and maybe take the sting out of that breakup.

Cheers,
Diane McMartin

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