This week has been the realisation of a long-held ambition to write a series of e-books on various aspects of food and drink pairing.
Thanks to the sponsorship of the Vinos de Jerez, the first book is on one of my favourite drinks, sherry. It’s mainly about food matches but there are also some simple sherry cocktails, ideas for sherry parties, a pronunciation guide - and with Christmas coming up, a section on festive pairings under the heading ‘Sherry Christmas’ (sorry, just couldn’t resist that!)
While I couldn’t overlook some of the pairings that have stood the test of time - olives and fino, for example - you’ll also find some more offbeat pairings. (Fino is equally good with sushi and I do urge you to try a cream sherry with a packet of coconut and caramel popcorn!)
What’s particularly fun about the book is that it’s interactive. Click on the links under Jamon, for example, and you’ll be taken to a video of Iberico pigs roaming in the forest and a demonstration of how to carve a leg of ham. Where a recipe is mentioned, for instance chicken with garlic and sherry or Turkish coffee cake the link will take you through to a recipe. All this clever stuff is thanks to my brilliant collaborators Helen and Jonathan Miller of Miller Design who have created similar interactive PDFs for clients such as the World Wildlife Fund.
You find your way around the book by navigating the contents list at the top of the page. Click Sweet Things for example and you’ll instantly find out which sherry to pair with turron and tiramisu.
We have a number of other projects in the pipeline some of which will be food- as well as drink-based and would be delighted to hear from you if there’s a subject close to your heart you’d love to see featured in an e-book. Just mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In order for you to be able to buy the book - which is available at a bargainous launch price of £3 until the end of October - we’ve had to set up an online shop which is all very grown-up.
A few fellow technophobes have had problems working out how to download the book once they've bought it - I’m aware the interface isn’t quite as clear as it might be so I thought it might be useful to run through the steps you need to follow:
* Click on the shop basket symbol
* Click on the e-book
* Add to basket
* Check out
* If you’re not already registered on the site you’ll have to sign up at this point. Sorry - bit of a pain but necessary*. Otherwise you just sign in with your email and password.
* It will then give you the option of the address to which you would like the book delivered. That’s because most people who use this particular shop software order physical products. This is an ebook so you just need to download it but click your home address anyway.
* You then need to confirm the order (note down at the bottom you can see the value in dollars and euros. With Brexit this deal should look more and more advantageous)
* Log into Paypal to pay for the ebook though you can use a debit or credit card if you prefer by checking out as a guest (we hope to add more payment options in due course)
* Once you’ve paid you should be taken back to a screen headed Order Payment. Click on My Account at the bottom and click the box which tells you you’ve made a digital purchase.
* Click on the title of the book then click download and it should pop up on your computer**. Save it somewhere, read (and, more importantly, sip) and enjoy!
It isn't actually as complicated as it sounds. I've just made a test purchase using my credit card and it worked fine.
Do let me have any feedback about the pairings or any other sherry matches you’ve come up with for the next edition!
* plus you can’t win any of our amazing prizes unless you’re a subscriber!
** I know you could in theory forward it to your friends and colleagues but please encourage them to buy a copy for themselves. We’re not actually charging a lot for it and we have to make a living somehow!