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Cover Image of Cellophane by Marie Arana published by The Dial Press
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Wine & Book Group Pick for December '05


This month Women&Wine and BookBuffet bring you a wonderful literary and enophilic match -- Jane Austen and passionate reds -- just in time for the busy holiday season. Something to think about and drink about; are we really that much different from Jane's crowd?


December 01, 2005

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  • Jane Austen (1775-1817) lived in and wrote about Regency England. She completed six novels, four of which were published during her lifetime.

    In Pride and Prejudice we meet the witty and independent spirited Ms. Elizabeth Bennet and literature's own most eligible bachelor, Mr. Darcy. The two are linked romantically, despite their best intentions to the contrary, and form 'one of the most perfect, most pleasurable and subtle -- perhaps, most dangerously persuasive -- of romantic love stories.' 

    A film version of the movie has been made no less than thirteen times, according to, and that includes a Bollywood version (2004) called Bride and Prejudice. Do go to see Director Joe Wright's classically styled version starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen over the holidays!

    Then come home to enjoy these incredible Women&Wine hand-picked wines when you read your copy of Pride and Prejudice (Penguin 2005), in which social conventions present a veritable minefield for indiscretions or misunderstandings and in which a formal dance can be as intricate an occasion as international diplomacy.

    Try These Recipes

    Chef Joey Altman, star of the TV food show Bay Café, has come up with dishes to pair with our book and wines. Try these modern twists on the country fare eaten in early nineteenth-century England. Joey’s Duck and Wild Mushroom Crepes and Walnut Crumpets with Stilton and Roasted Pears would have pleased Miss Bennet and Mr. Darcy -- as they will please your book club. Click to Women & Wine's recipe page. (Here is one to tempt you!)


    Duck and Wild Mushroom Crepes


    Serves 8


    Duck Filling:

    • 1 cup cooked duck leg meat, roughly chopped (2 duck legs seasoned with salt and pepper cooked in a 350 oven for 45 minutes)
    • 2 cups wild mushrooms (any mix of shiitakes, chanterelles, oyster or portabellos)
    • ½ cup red onion, cut in thin strips
    • ¼ cup minced green onions
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
    • ¼ cup brandy
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 bunch chives, cut into 1½ inch strips for garnish

    In a sauté pan on medium high heat, sauté the mushrooms and red onion in the olive oil and butter for a few minutes. Add the brandy and cream cheese and stir until well blended. Transfer to a mixing bowl and combine with the cooked duck meat and scallions and season to taste.


    Crepes: (you can also buy these already made at some gourmet supermarkets)

    1 cup all-purpose flour
    ½ teaspoon salt
    1 egg beaten
    1 cup milk + ½ cup water (or just enough to make the batter the consistency of thick syrup)
    2 tablespoons butter for cooking


    Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Whisk in egg, milk then water to make a smooth batter. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to rest. In a 7-inch non-stick pan on medium heat melt a small amount of butter and swirl to coat the bottom. Pour a 1-ounce ladle (approx. 3 tablespoons) of batter into the pan. Quickly tilt the pan and swirl the batter to cover the entire base of the pan; fill any holes with a little more batter. Cook until lightly golden underneath, about 1 minute. Carefully flip crepe over with the help of a rubber spatula and cook just another 30 seconds or until set. Transfer from the pan to a plate to cool. Repeat with remaining butter and batter placing crepes atop each other. Should make at least 16 crepes.


    Lay out the crepes on a cutting board and place a tablespoon or so of duck filling with a few pieces of chives in the center-left of the crepe. Fold the bottom of the crepe up over the meat and then fold over, rolling into a cone shape. Repeat with the remaining crepes and filling. Serve room temperature or slightly warm.

    Wine Suggestions

    Check out the wine picks that W&W's expert sommelier and wine-makers have matched for this book: a lovely French Bordeau, Sterling's Sauvignon Blanc from the Napa, and a ten-year-old Bordeau you might never have otherwise discovered. The idea is your group purchases a case to divy-up between members (while uncorking one to taste together during discussion, of course!).



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