Critics’ Café: Book Review, Food Wine Burgundy, by David Downie and Alison Harris

Published by Friday, January 21, 2011 Permalink 0
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by Jonell Galloway

I have written many a guidebook, I have used many a guidebook, and I know Burgundy pretty darned well, but this exquisite book, Food Wine Burgundy,  is like none other. It is chock full of information not found in any other book I’ve seen about Burgundy. It is Burgundy for those who want to discover Burgundy for the first time, but it is also Burgundy for those who, like me, already know Burgundy and want to know it still more.

Downie is a writer’s writer, a writer for those who appreciate good writing, yet his writing is clear and accessible to all. His lucid manner of presenting and describing food and wine make you feel confident that he has done his homework (which he has; this book is 20 years in the making) and that you can rely on his recommendations. He not only has an amazing depth of knowledge about food, wine, and history, but he weaves it all together in an amazing, catchy prose not seen in modern-day guidebooks. He has a love of “terroir”; of what the land has to offer, of earthy food and wine. He seems to have the nose of a truffle hog, because in the addresses we’ve tried so far and already know, we’ve never found him to be off the mark.

The beautiful photos by Alison Harris create the perfect atmosphere for the subject matter, and make you feel you’re already in Burgundy, no matter where on the globe you might be.

Its format and look are original and classy, and it’s not too bulky, which is important when you’re traveling.

The prose and photos together make this much more than a guidebook. It is a book for booklovers, a book you will pick up time and time again, not just because you’re planning a trip to Burgundy, but because it is a little jewel of a book. You will read about the places you’ve been and the places you want to go, and feel you’re almost there.

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