Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

The food and drink we’re wishing for this holiday season

By Lana Goldsmith, OUP USA


This year we are delighted that beer geeks, foodies, industry professionals, and many others just curious about all-things-beer have added The Oxford Companion to Beer to their holiday wish list, along with other Oxford companions such as The Oxford Companion to Wine and The Oxford Companion to Food. But we also wanted to know what else the beer connoisseurs and oenophiles are putting on their holiday reading wish lists. Check out some of their recommendations below.

Bob Townsend from the Atlanta Journal Constitutions Drink: A Beer, Wine, and Spirits blog recommends these books:

Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah by Jeremy Cowan with James Sullivan

Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World’s Craft Brewing Revolution by Joshua M. Bernstein

The Great American Ale Trail: the Craft Beer Lover’s Guide to the Best Watering Holes in the Nation by Christian DeBenedetti

Jon Bonné at the San Francisco Chronicle recommends:

Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All by Brad Thomas Parsons

– Terry Theise’s Reading Between the Vines

According to Esquire.com:

– “The New Beer Bibles a Man Should Read” include The Craft of Stone Brewing Co. by written by Greg Koch, Steve Wagner and Randy Clemens

But what do the book people want in their kitchen? What are they hoping to drink and eat through the holiday season? We took a survey and put together a list from OUP staff of all the things they’d like to go along with this stellar set of books.

JENNIFER ABRAMS, Senior Demand Planner
Le Creuset Signature Round Wide Dutch Oven:
This item from Le Creuset would be a perfect addition to my current cookware collection. I have a new love of making Jambalaya and this would be a wonderful pot to utilize!

All-Clad d5 Stainless-Steel 4-Qt Soup Pot:
I have recently found a great recipe for Wild Mushroom soup, and I’m looking to change over my cookware to stainless-steel. A soup pot would encourage me to find additional recipes.

TIM BARTON, Managing Director, Global Academic Publishing
A bottle of Barbera from Piemonte in Italy, since it reminds me of a fantastic year I spent there after university, teaching English, learning Italian, eating too much Italian food and wine, and generally having a very easy and fun time.

BETSY DEJESU, Senior Publicity Manager
Spiral Stemless Martini Glass Set of 4 – 12oz.:
Added because I love my martinis shaken, not stirred—and definitely not spilled. Stemless means easier to carry while navigating a crowded room during a party.

ARYANA FARGO, Publicity Assistant
Breville Slow Cooker:
I added this item to my wish list because I enjoy coming home to a warm, home-cooked meal when it’s cold, and this item allows me to throw a bunch of ingredients together in the morning, turn on the cooker, and come home to a savory, satisfying hot dish.

LANA GOLDSMITH, Associate Publicist
Wok: I love stir fry because it’s simple to make, delicious, and you can pretty much throw anything in it. It really makes a difference when you have the right equipment, so a nice big wok to make at least a few days’ worth of dinners or lunches would be amazing to have.

Ice cream maker: Realistically, I should probably never have one of these—it’s too dangerous! My dad used to make amazing banana and strawberry ice creams when I was a kid and I just loved it. I would enjoy getting creative with the flavors I could make if I had my own ice cream maker.

JOE JACKSON, Associate Editor

Four Oven Cooker (In pistachio)

Baccarat Harcourt Black Angel Highball Glass (set of twelve)

Revol Porcelaine Straight-Sided Ramekin (twelve, as well, please)

TARA KENNEDY, Publicity Manager
Beer Classics Beer Connoisseur Set:
Added this to my wish list because I’ve given Riedel glassware as a gift many times, but would love to have some of my own. This set is perfect because I drink and serve various kinds of beer.

KitchenAid 7-Cup Work Bowl food processor:
Added this to my wish list because my apartment lacks counter space. I might do more cooking if I had this appliance to do the prep work for me.

PURDY, Director of Publicity
Peter Luger Steak Sauce:
Every time I have been to Luger’s I’ve gorged on rolls and steak sauce before the steak even arrives at the table. If I cannot have a Luger’s steak, give me the steak sauce and some warm rolls, then you can call me content.

Gavi di Gavi black label wine:
Former OUP Trade Publisher Ellen Chodosh turned me on to this oh so delicioso Italian white wine. Best shared with friends, definitely.

Apple Pie ala Mode:
My hometown, Cambridge, NY, is the “home of pie ala mode.” Surely folks were eating pie and ice cream together for ages, or as the name suggests “in the fashion,” but it was the Cambridge Hotel that first put it on the menu. My fave is hot apple pie and French vanilla ice cream washed down with some Irish coffee. You know I’m in food coma after that dessert.

NATHALIE RAMIREZ, Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Fireside Chat Winter Spiced Ale:
Once a Californian, always a Californian? I love that my favorite East Village beer store stocks special editions of 21st Amendment Brewery beers and I’m hoping that they have this one. Actually, I’m hoping someone delivers it to me ASAP!

JUSTYNA ZAJAC, Publicist
Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker:
All I can say is coffee, coffee, coffee…perhaps I have already had too much. I can’t resist a kitchen appliance with the word pixie in the name, and I could always add a touch of Irish Cream to my espresso drink and have the perfect winter cocktail.

Williams-Sonoma Three Months of Cheese:
For three months Williams-Sonoma sends you an assortment of cheeses from California, Vermont, and Utah! It’s a great opportunity to try a delicious variety and pave the way to becoming a cheese snob.

MAX SINSHEIMER, Associate Editor
Beer Bottle Tree:
I brew beer and this bottle stand will save both room in my kitchen and time spent drying. After sanitizing the bottles and rinsing them out with water I’ll leave them on this stand to air dry. And it holds 45 bottles, perfect for most home brewers.

Beer Tasting/Hop Appreciation Kit:
I actually got this for my birthday, and it’s a bit of a novelty item, but fun. It comes with about a dozen small jars filled with different varieties of hops, and encourages you to taste your beer (not included) and then smell the jars, to help train your nose to the different hop aromas present in beer. There is also some reading material included about beer, and about tasting beer.

Beer of the Month Gift Subscription:
There are lots of these, and I’ve linked to just one, called Gourmet Monthly Clubs. The idea is that the club will ship you a selection of 12 microbrewed beers each month (or international beers, depending on which subscription you choose). This is perfect for beer lovers – the idea of trying new and flavorful beers each month is quite exciting!

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