California Wine Lover's Cookbook
The book is prophetic in at least one way. When discussing the state of California's then-fledgling Pinot Noirs, Hébert proclaims: "As the vines mature, we should have a good idea of what the wines will become -- the early evidence is excellent."
The recipes in this 170-page book, all of which utilize wine, were culled from some 700 submitted to the Wine Institute National Recipe Contest. They seem centuries old rather than decades, although I dig the names: Big Guy's Beef Stew; Baked Chicken in Microwave; and, my favorite, Scallops of Veal a la Pork (veal with a garnish of fried pork skins). Amazingly, there are no wine matching suggestions with individual recipes.
The book also lets us glimpse how far California has come: Of 42 cheeses listed as suggestions for wine pairings, only one is from the Golden State -- and that one is Monterey Jack.
I paid $7.95 for the book originally, but as a yardstick for our American culinary progress, it is absolutely priceless. Or at least that's what I'll write when I put it on eBay.