Hail to the chef
Master sommelier Andrea Immer, who has consistently sought to make even big-name wine accessible and appealing, is also a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, and this year she has turned both her food and wine expertise to making the end of the day something to look forward to. Everyday Dining With Wine is the ideal hybrid of cookbook and wine guide, combing unintimidating but memorable descriptions of the major wine varieties with equally low-key and rewarding recipes. Immer believes that making dinner should be as much fun for the two or four of you as for company. In fact, some of the most intriguing recipes are the simplest, thanks to her adventurous way with a blender. She turns dried porcini into dustings for foie gras or for tuna with black bean-hoisin sauce; makes edamame (soybeans) into pesto for angel hair pasta and smoked salmon; rolls chicken in oatmeal and sauces it with Gewurtztraminer. This is the book for the cook who has more tastebuds than time. Despite her credentials, Immer is no wine snob. She offers a range of wine pairings for each recipe: an inexpensive "everyday" wine, a moderately priced "once a week" label and the expensive "once a month" choice. As they used to say about wine, Immer just keeps getting better. Eve Zibart is a restaurant reviewer for the Washington Post and author of The Ethnic Food Lover's Companion.