The Best White Wine on Earth - the Riesling StoryWhen we started working in Hospitality - in the early 80s - we were told that RIESLING was going to be the next big thing. Fast forward to now - and we’re still being told that!

Over the years, as lovers of Riesling we’ve been quite happy for the wine world to flirt with first Chardonnay and Viognier and then Pinot Gris (or Grigio); to become disturbingly obsessed with Sauvignon Blanc; and to dally with Albarino and Verdelho - because as far as we can tell, that has left all the great Riesling affordable and available - to us!

Sadly that is all going to come to an end; because RIESLING IS THE NEXT BIG THING and Stuart Piggott has decided he has to tell everyone about it. In fact he’s been telling everyone about it since 2012 via his blog

Piggott is a British wine journalist who lives in Berlin and New York, and who is both a leading expert on Riesling and one of its greatest champions. Best White Wine on Earth - the Riesling Story his new book (and his first in English for a long time) based on his search for great Riesling (see his blog) is a somewhat controversial, polemical and idiosyncratic, but certainly breathtaking, refreshing, aromatic and elegant look at Riesling in all its forms, varieties and expressions around the world. One literary sip and you’ll be hooked on the diversity of wines made from a single grape - bone-dry to so-sweet (as to rival Sauternes); often with a backbone of steel and acidity.
Best White Wine on Earth
The book opens with an explanation of Riesling in all its forms, where it comes from, how it is made, how it should taste in the glass and how to tell a good Riesling. Dilettantes & wine geeks will appreciate the detailed, almost rambling exploration of these issues - those with less time will find invaluable the break out ‘First Base’ boxes explaining things essential to understanding Riesling. This is perhaps the strongest part of the book where the reader will gain the most confidence in appreciating good Riesling in all its disguises.

Readers particularly attuned to the typically searingly bone dry, lime, lemon and kerosene charactes of Australian Riesling will find a lot of guidance here

Best White Wine on Earth_2The balance of the book is an exploration of Riesling country by country; style by style. Chapter 3 looks at Australasia and gives a good nod to the wines the Clare Valley, Western Australia and locally of MacForbes.

Other chapters look at the USA (now a significant and serious Riesling producer), the Danube, the Rhine and a few other less well known homes for Riesling. As always a wine book must attempt to impose some sort of structure and standards and so Piggott concludes with his ‘Riesling Global Top 100; a listing of his best -of-the-best dry, medium dry, medium-sweet and sweet wines.

Piggott clearly wears his heart on his sleeve when it comes to Riesling; passionate, unabashed, opinionated, learned - this is a book that will engage wine lovers for its passion; challenge them with its opinions and excite them with a swathe of new wines to discover and explore. With Best White Wine On Earth in hand and a good wine store around the corner - you should never have to drink boring white wine ever again!

Who Should Buy: Perfect for aspiring wine geeks, Riesling lovers & those who love to champion underdogs - this is a must by for anyone in the wine industry
Price: $29.95 (like good Riesling - a bargain!)
Available: 1 July
Format: Hardcover 208pp; (20cm x 20cm)

Buy Now

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The Blender Girl

When: 7pm - 8.30 Thursday 17 July

Where: Books for Cooks (at Birdman Eating - 238 Gertrude St - just across the road)

Price: $45 (includes food, wine, a copy of Tess Masters’ The Blender Girl: 100 gluten-free, vegan recipes , cooking demonstration, tastes, drinks & a Books for Cooks voucher) via Eventbrite or below.

Tess will be demonstrating a range of delicious recipes from her book as well as talking about her love for her blender, gluten and dairy intolerances, wholefoods, superfoods, plant and vegan based diets and much more.

Tess is a Melbourne ex-pat living in LA but back in town for the launch of her first book. Her blog Blender Girl is wildly popular for its combination of the super easy with the super healthy. The Blender Girl Veggie Bake The Blender Girl Veggie BakeBased on her personal experience, all of her recipes are wheat-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan.

Over the years in a quest for her own better health, Tess has explored many aspects of a healthy diet from macrobiotic & wholefoods to ayurveda, superfoods and probiotics as well as vegetarian, vegan and raw principles. Tess now cherry picks from them all; looking for her personal balance and providing a flexible range of recipes and ideas

In Tess’s own words…

Thanks for your interest in my new cookbook. I am so excited to share 100 of my favorite whole-food recipes. All of the recipes are gluten free and use plant based ingredients and natural flavorings, seasonings, and sweeteners. Many are also nut-free, soy-free, and corn-free.

Tess MastersYes. This book contains a full repertoire of smoothies, soups, and spreads. But you don’t check your teeth at the door. It’s not all pureed food. My book contains appetizers, salads, and main dishes with a blended component, like Fresh Spring Rolls with Orange-Almond Sauce, Twisted Caesar Pleaser, Spicy Chickpea Burgers with Portobello Buns and Greens, and I-Love-Veggies! Bake.

And even though some of my smoothies taste like dessert - Apple Pie in a Glass, Raspberry-Lemon Cheesecake, or Tastes-Like-Ice- Cream Kale, anyone?— I also share other sweet treats like Chocolate-Chile Banana Spilly to Flourless Triple-Pecan Mousse Pie and Chai Rice Pudding.

Every recipe can easily be adjusted to your personal taste: add an extra squeeze of this, another handful of that, or leave something out altogether— my recipes are super easy and forgiving, so you can’t mess them up.

Soaking, sprouting, and dehydrating; proper food combining; and eating raw, probiotic-rich, and alkaline ingredients play a huge role in my daily life and inform my recipes, so I share all of my tips for how to incorporate these principles into your diet.

But you don’t have to incorporate these ideas to enjoy the recipes. If you’re looking for easy healthy foods to include in your lifestyle (no matter how you eat) there is something for everyone. So dust off your machine and get ready to find your perfect blend.

There will be plenty of tastes, and much to talk about!

Book now - this should be lots of fun!

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Phillippa Grogan's Home Baking

When: 7pm - 8.30 Tuesday 17 June

Where: Books for Cooks (at Birdman Eating - 238 Gertrude St - just across the road)

Price: $60 (includes food, wine, a copy of Phillippa Grogan’s Home Baking & a $5 Books for Cooks Gift voucher) via Eventbrite or below.

Whether you are a budding amateur baker, a novice breadmaker or a cake master - this is the event for you!

Join us on Tuesday 17 June for an evening with Melbourne’s Queen of Baking - Phillipa Grogan, baker, businesswoman & cook, founder of Phillippa’s Bakery & Provision Store and now author of Home Baking released last month.Phillippa Grogan

In this inspiring and generous book, Phillippa shares more than 140 baking recipes from Australia, New Zealand and beyond, gathered from family, friends and her extensive travels.

Backed by expert knowledge of quality ingredients, basic techniques and the chemistry of cooking, Phillippa’s reassuring advice will assist you at every step, whether you are baking for lunchboxes, tea parties or a feasting table.

‘I am sure that this book will become a classic in many kitchens and will soon have more than a few buttery stains on its pages.’ Stephanie Alexander

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