Top 12 wine and food books for Fathers' Day 2010

By Tricia Brown
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Riesling in Australia by Ken Helm and Trish Burgess

Riesling in Australia by Ken Helm and Trish Burgess [©Winetitles]

The Australian Beer Companion by Willie Simpson
The Big Red Wine Book by Campbell Mattinson and Gary Wal
Produce to Platter - food and wine lovers' guide to the Mornington Peninsula
The Real Food Companion by Matthew Evans


Looking for that special gift for Dad? Judging by the queue of men and cars at a boat show near us recently, many are hoping for a shiny new fishing or cruising outfit, but if your budget doesn't extend that far, then maybe we can help you find that perfect Fathers' Day present.

If he's a wine or beer enthusiast, or loves being in the kitchen and cooking – or both! –  here's a baker's dozen suggestions to take the stress out of buying for Dad, including a fishing/cooking book.


Click on the titles to read the full review, and for prices and where to buy.


Books for wine and beer lovers


The Australian Wine Companion is the No. 1 best-selling guide to wineries and wine in Australia. Halliday shares his extensive knowledge of wine via detailed tasting notes, each of which includes vintage-specific ratings and advice on optimal drinking, as well as each wine's closure, alcohol content and price. He provides important details on wineries as well as information about the winemakers. 


Australia's longest running wine guide with the wine drinker, collector and traveller in mind. Planning a visit to a wine region has never been easier with advice on which wineries to visit plus where to eat and stay.


Love red wine? This third edition of The Big Red Wine Book is a ripper. So settle back in your favourite armchair with a glass of red and a copy of this book and prepare to be amazed at the sheer quality and diversity of Australia's fabulous red wines.


Perfect for Riesling nuts and any Australian wine lover with more than a passing interest in how our wine industry has developed and where it is going. Delves deep into the history, the regions, the legends and the producers of this esteemed grape variety in Australia.


This is one of if not the most exciting wine book that we've seen this year. It focuses on ‘new’ or ‘emerging varietals’ – that is, grape varieties that until recently only a few of us may have either heard or tasted, and which are yet to become mainstream. As such it fills a void in the market; small(ish) as this may be at present, it’s growing, driven by travel, increasingly sophisticated palates wanting to try something new, and by changing environmental conditions.

If Dad is right into his wine and you are looking for something different, Daring Pairings is a sure winner.


Released late last year but still relevant, this is a must-have for beer lovers. Focussing solely on our home-grown brewers, The Australian Beer Companion is an armchair journey around each state featuring around 100 of the best breweries and microbreweries in one, beautifully produced book.


A great biography celebrating 75 years of the life of one of the most influential characters in the modern South Australian wine industry. As well as wine lovers, it's also a must-read for entrepreneurs and marketers for his five principles for success.


Want more? 


Books for food lovers


Whether you love or loathe the MasterChef TV series, there is no doubt that it is having a big impact on home cooking across Australia. Featuring many of the best recipes from the 2009 series in an easy-to-use format, and much easier than finding, downloading and printing recipes from their website. Lots of secrets and really useful tips for a Dad who's not quite up with dicing, julienne, stocks, fish or potatoes, too.


The intention of The Real Food Companion is to help us know how our food is made and grown and instill the food philosophy of ideally being one degree separated from the source of your produce. In other words, if you can’t make it or grow it yourself, know the person who has.

It's full of good but simple recipes that make the most of quality ingredients, with lots of practical hints for a garden-loving Dad as well.


At last a cookbook that solves the wine and food matching conundrum. Lamont's approach is to put the wine first, and then to guide your food selection around that special bottle or variety. Life's too short to waste good wines on bad food matches.


Who said pizzas were humble? John Lanzafame is a world champion pizza maker and in this inspiring book he teaches us his philosophy of keeping it simple – "less is more" –  the perfect pizza cookbook for a Dad who enjoys casual cooking and wants to move one step up from the barbecue.


Introducing the revolutionary no-work, no-knead method producing bread that is everything mass-produced bread is not: rustic, rugged and flavourful. Jim Lahey brings the art of ancient breadmaking techniques to the modern home kitchen.


  • Curry – Fragrant Dishes from India, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia

Does Dad enjoy making curry? Help him expand his repertoire and spice knowledge with this curry-lover's delight. Full of helpful advice and tips (from mainly male chefs) for making the perfect spice mix and making a memorable curry along with a careful selection of mouth-watering recipes you will enjoy.

Curries are great for novice cooks – they are a lot easier then they look, very forgiving of mistakes, and are sure to impress!


Want more?

  • The Produce Chef – a very Australian mix of wild and traditional.
  • Produce to Platter – a celebration of food and wine found in Victoria's gourmet Mornington Peninsula. If Dad loves this region, he'll be sure to love this book.
  • How to Catch Fish and Cook It. Yes we know this was published last year but if Dad wants to learn more about identifying and cooking his catch in interesting ways, or about what is sustainable for the next generation, this will be sure to please sea fishermen. He'll also have the perfect excuse for that new boat! Membership

If Dad loves wine or food travel, then why not treat him to a Membership? 

By becoming a Member of, Dad (and Mum too) can experience the best wine and food experiences for a whole year – for example, tutored tastings, access to reserve wines, meeting winemakers – and lots more exclusive offers from restaurants, food makers and growers, shopping or ballooning, golf and spas.

The perfect gift for a wine or food loving Dad on the go, and one he can use as many times as he likes, year round.

Comes in a special gift card which we can either post to you or personalise for you and post direct to him.


Only A$49 for a whole year. Find out more about becoming a Member here »

If you'd like to give a gift Membership for Fathers' Day, please email Kerry our cheerful Membership Manager for details »

Check out some of the great offers that he'll enjoy as a Member here » 


Maybe you'd also like to take Dad out to a vineyard event, a picnic, some music or to a winery restaurant? Check out the calendar – so far there are nearly 70 events listed for Sunday 5th September, in all states and territories – have a look and see if there is one you and your Dad might enjoy (you can filter the calendar search by state).


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August 06th, 2010
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