Corkscrews in the Kitchen: A Gateway to Wine and Food


228 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-919571-08-5




Reviewed by Dean Tudor

Dean Tudor is a journalism professor at the Ryerson Polytechnical
Institute and founding editor of the CBRA.


This is a useful little book, although it doesn’t offer much that has not been said before in scattered books. Part one discusses matching food and wine, with material on flavors (sweet, salt, sour, bitter) and perceptions (tannins, body, balance, and harmony) and how materials change over a period of time. Thus, merchants in the wine business “buy on apples and sell on cheese”; that is, they eat apples while tasting the wine before they buy it (the malic acid will exaggerate any defects in the wine), and they encourage people to eat cheese while buying their wine (the lactic acid softens the wine by absorbing tannins). Part two describes the character of wine and food in a region-by-region survey (France, Germany, Italy, Spain), but Taveroff cannot possibly cover all this in the 40 pages allocated. Part three has menu planning with four samples. And part four has about 100 recipes, all basic, and mostly French and Italian. Recipes from soup to nuts are included, but not all have wine as an ingredient (there are recommendations on what wines to consume). But there is little on “breathing” and “double decanting” to age the wine and hence soften it, and there are some minor typos that jar. Useful information is contained in a series of tables and charts for “wine and cheese,” “wine tasting,” and “flavour characteristics,” as well as a good bibliography of sources.


Taveroff, Arlene, “Corkscrews in the Kitchen: A Gateway to Wine and Food,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 19, 2024,