The stated purpose of The Winemaker Cooks is to offer home chefs an "insider view of wine country life," complete with farm-to-table menus meant to pair well with local varietals. If that's what you're after, you're in luck; author Christine Hanna (president of Hanna Winery & Vineyards) makes good on the promise. There's a better reason to keep the book on hand, though. The recipes are simple. Not "simple" as in "dumbed down for beginners," but simple as in, if it's not broken, don't fix it. Hanna's recipes showcase fresh, local ingredients in the best way possible: Leaving them alone.

Divided by time of year and interspersed with "Ask the Winemaker" Q&As, the dishes here tend to leave pieces of produce intact, smartly combined, and minimally seasoned.