Bill Buford was a highly acclaimed writer and editor at the New Yorker when he decided to leave for a most unlikely destination: the kitchen at Babbo, one of New York City’s most popular and revolutionary Italian restaurants.
Finally realizing a long-held desire to learn first-hand the experience of restaurant cooking, Buford soon finds himself drowning in improperly cubed carrots and scalding pasta water on his quest to learn the tricks of the trade. His love of Italian food then propels him further afield: to Italy, to discover the secrets of pasta-making and, finally, how to properly slaughter a pig. Throughout, Buford stunningly details the complex aspects of Italian cooking and its long history, creating an engrossing and visceral narrative stuffed with insight and humor. The result is a hilarious, self-deprecating, and fantastically entertaining journey into the heart of the Italian kitchen.
In this month’s nonfiction book, Bill Buford travels to Italy in an attempt to understand the heart of Italian cuisine. One simply cannot get to the heart of Italian cuisine without also embracing its wine. Italy produces some of the world’s finest wines, and it is a pleasure to feature an all-Italian line-up for this month’s pairing.
First up is a light and crisp Pinot Grigio from the Northern Italian region of Friuli. Like most Pinot Grigios, this one is elegant and makes a welcome pairing with Italy’s classic combination of prosciutto and melon. Next, we have a beautiful, medium-bodied Chianti that will accompany your favorite spaghetti and meatball dish. Lastly, is a light-bodied red wine that you can serve with a chill and sip alongside a slow-roasted veal shank. I don’t know about you, but my mouth is watering just thinking about these wines.
$ Schiopetto | Pinot Grigio | 2019
$$ Castello di Monsanto | Chianti Classico Riserva | 2016
$$$ Frank Cornelissen | Munjebel Rosso | 2019
Free to join and open to all!
About Reading Cru
What do we read?
Our club curator selects a range of literature, both fiction and nonfiction
What do we drink?
Three suggested wines that pair with the book based on themes and flavors.
What & where do we meet?
Join us virtually the last Sunday of each month at 5pm via Zoom or Google Meet.