Travel & Geography
Downie, David (text) & Alison Harris (photogs.). Food Wine Burgundy. Little Bookroom. (Terroir Guides). 2009. 464p. photogs. maps. index. ISBN 978-1-892145-75-8. pap. $29.95. TRAV
Downie (Food Wine Rome) pragmatically explains how world markets push out many “moms and pops” that produce a quaint bounty in vast, varied, and lush landscapes and how haute influences in bistro cuisines replace traditional dishes and forsake roots.
Not writing a dirge, Downie instead calls readers to arms by celebrating the terroir (literally “terrain”) and how it, along with the particular climates, has created culinary jewels for millennia—snails, Charolais beef, chèvre, honey, truffles, and grand cru pinot noirs and chardonnays. He easily demystifies the processes of wine making and the distinction and variety of Burgundy’s regional productions. Downie succinctly maps and divides Burgundy into four regions, walking readers through each town and discussing lodgings, markets, artisans, and vintners. He also deconstructs restaurants’ menus for their technique and signatures. VERDICT Beautifully depicted, handily sized, and substantially sourced for contact info and seasonal hours. Not a stand-alone general guide, this book is a regional standard for oenophiles and the palatably enchanted traveler. Highly recommended.—Ben Malczewski, Ypsilanti Dist. Lib., MI, Library Journal, 2/15/10, Starred Review