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5 Cookbooks to Satisfy Fall Food and Wine Cravings

There’s never been a better time to get back in the kitchen

Janice Williams By October 7, 2021
image collage of cookbook and food
Photo illustration by Pix. Photo by merc67/iStock

There’s just something about fall that sparks cravings for soups, stews, and hearty dishes. Perhaps it’s the cooler temperatures luring everyone indoors. Spending the day lazing away inside can strike up an appetite, and there are few better ways to fuel up and keep warm than with a rich and spicy bowl of chili, washed down with a glass of red wine. Yet after a summer of grilling and dining al fresco, some may need a little inspiration to get back in the kitchen. Plenty of cookbooks can help, and in some of them, wine serves as the star of the show. Here are five cookbooks that deserve a spot on the kitchen counter this fall.

5 wine and food books to inspire fall time cooking:

book cover for The Essential Napa Valley cookbook

The Essential Napa Valley Cookbook by Jess Lander and Desmond Echavarrie MS (2021)

Wine writer, Jess Lander, created this cookbook to help provide relief to the many Napa Valley restaurant workers impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The book includes 35 recipes from some of the area’s most admired restaurants, like Gran Eléctrica, Goose and Gander, and Bistro Jeanty to name a few. Meanwhile, Master Sommelier Desmond Echavarrie recommends bottles of wines by Napa producers to pair with each dish. Lander is donating 75% of the book’s proceeds directly to workers from the participating restaurants, while 25% supports the Napa non-profit, Feed Napa Now.

book cover for Big Macs & Burgundy

Big Macs & Burgundy: Wine Pairings for the Real World by Vanessa Price and Adam Laukhuf (2020)

Sure, wine is a great partner for a ribeye steak, but an extravagant dinner isn’t the only reason for a glass. Wine works just as well with fast-food favorites, like General Tso’s Chicken or French fries, as it does with decadent, celebratory meals. It’s a notion New York Magazine writer, Vanessa Price, harps on in her debut book, in which she removes all the stuffiness surrounding wine by offering unusual pairings, like Sancerre and Cheetos. Price also includes easy-to-digest explanations on how and why particular wine and food flavors work so well together. There are also plenty of bottle recommendations with producer information and notes on how readers can find the wine for their pairings at home.

book cover for Food Between Friends: A Cookbook by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Julie Tanous

Food Between Friends: A Cookbook by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Julie Tanous (2021)

In this charming cookbook, a spin-off of the food blog Julie and Jesse Cook, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, star of ABC’s beloved sitcom, “Modern Family,” teams up with his best friend and recipe developer, Julie Tanous. While there are no actual wine pairings per se, the “cooking spouses” share many glasses as they recall hilarious stories of their friendship and lives through recipes inspired by their upbringing. Hatch Green Chile Mac and Cheese and Grilled Chicken with Alabama White BBQ Sauce are just a few notable mentions that are perfect for trying out with a loved one over a glass of wine.

book cover for Wine Food: New Adventures in Drinking and Cooking by Dana Frank and Andrea Slonecker

Wine Food: New Adventures in Drinking and Cooking by Dana Frank and Andrea Slonecker (2018)

Portland wine star Dana Frank, the owner of the famous Bar Norman and the founder of The Wild Bunch Wine Fair, joins forces with six-time cookbook author, Andrea Slonecker, in this lighthearted read that takes the pressure off of wine pairing. “Wine Food” explains how to buy, taste, and store wine. With 75 recipes, all inspired by a specific wine style, Frank and Slonecker offer in-depth notes on what types of wine to pair with each dish, historical information on the grapes, and explanations on why the wine works so well with certain food flavors. The authors also offer three to eight bottle recommendations with producer information for every recipe.

book cover of Joe Beef cookbook

The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts by David McMillan and Frédéric Morin (2011)

The debut book of renowned Montreal chefs and Joe Beef owners, David McMillan and Frédéric Morin, is filled with lively stories that may make readers feel as though they’re flipping through a fast-paced novel rather than a cookbook. Along with all their personal stories, Montreal food history, instructions for building a backyard smoker, and tales of the 19th-century Irish immigrant and Canadian tavern owner Joe Beef, the book includes dozens of delicious, meat-centric recipes that will likely induce a thirst for wine. And if the recipes don’t, McMillan’s love letter to French Burgundy, also featured in the book, certainly will.