The Weekend Australian - Travel - - News -

THEBigRedWine Book by Camp­bell Mat­tin­son (Hardie Grant Books, $24.95) re­views and rates more than 1000 Aus­tralian reds, from shi­raz to Ital­ian and Span­ish va­ri­etals and blends. Mat­tin­son says our reds have never been more di­verse or in­ter­est­ing, so there’s never been a bet­ter time to ex­plore them. He has won awards for his wine writ­ing, in­clud­ing for his 2006 bi­og­ra­phy of Hunter Val­ley wine­maker Mau­rice O’Shea ( WineHunter:TheManWhoChanged Aus­tralianWine). Travel&In­dul­gence’s wine guru James Halliday found this book ‘‘ one of the most re­mark­able wine books’’ he’d seen. So ob­vi­ously Mat­tin­son can com­mu­ni­cate.

He says there are two kinds of re­views: a com­ment on qual­ity and a de­scrip­tion of the wine in words. The com­ment is im­por­tant be­cause it lets read­ers know whether the writer thinks the wine is good or not. The de­scrip­tion, ‘‘ the flowery ‘ onion cake dipped in liq­ue­fied plums’ malarkey’’, is also cru­cial for con­vey­ing an idea of flavours, so read­ers can de­cide what they might like. Mat­tin­son does both. He gives price, re­gion, value, score and auc­tion value, where ap­pli­ca­ble, for in­vestors. There are sum­mary lists such as the top 100 at $20 or less, a very use­ful glos­sary of terms and win­ery con­tact de­tails. THEFair­tradeEvery­dayCook­book, Fair­trade Foun­da­tion (Dor­ling Kindersley-Pen­guin, $39.95), is a Bri­tain-cen­tric book in that its ref­er­ence point is the English Fair­trade move­ment and its list of use­ful ad­dresses of (English) su­per­mar­kets and other food out­lets for Fair­trade goods is less than use­ful to Aus­tralian read­ers. Was it not pos­si­ble to in­sert ad­dress lists, at least, rel­e­vant to this mar­ket? Or the Aus­tralian Fair­trade as­so­ci­a­tion’s web­site (www.fair­trade.com.au)? Apart from this quite large ir­ri­ta­tion, many of the recipes are ex­cel­lent, rang­ing from tagines and kedgerees, Ja­panese-style duck breast and orange Cuban chicken to sal­ads and sor­bets. You’ll just need to do your own re­search on which Fair­trade prod­ucts are avail­able lo­cally and where. Ju­dith Elen

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