Coffee table books. They’re one of those things you never really think of having yourself, but when you come across a good one, you want it. And will ignore all conversation going on around you while you flip through it. But I’m not talking about that photo collection of tropical fish your aunt bought in Hawaii. I’m talking scratch & sniff, internationally-acclaimed, food and drink works of art.
Here they are, the 5 books your coffee table has just been begging for:
1) Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine
If you’re a fan of many-colored diagrams and illustrated flowcharts, you’re going to love Wine Folly. The book outlines over 100 styles of wine, from chardonnay to sherry, and breaks them down with colored flavor charts, illustrated tasting notes, and fast-facts on where and how it’s made.
2) The Flavor Thesaurus: A Compendium of Pairings, Recipes and Ideas for the Creative Cook
Not only will this book look chic on your table, it also comes in handy for those moments when you’re staring into your fridge and all you have are eggs and… coconut milk? Flip through this alphabetically organized list of flavor pairings to find how, and if, you can make it work or uncover a combo you never could’ve dreamed of.
3) The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert
Want to know what the hell people are talking about when they say a wine tastes like cat pee? Or how to smell if a wine is corked? Find out in this scratch-and-sniff guide, put together by a Master Somm! Sniff your way to a better understanding of common tasting notes, complete with doodled illustrations and helpful definitions of basic wine terms.
4) Jerusalem: A Cookbook
This award winning cookbook contains some truly incredible recipes, but it is photos that put it over the top — and not just of the delectable Middle Eastern cuisine, but of food stalls, spices and daily life in the title city. It is sprinkled with personal anecdotes, from co-authors and chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, about growing up on opposite ends of the divided city, and and the cover is softly padded, making it both easy to hold in the kitchen and kick-back with on the sofa.
5) Where Chefs Eat: A Guide to Chefs’ Favorite Restaurants
Rather than rely on Yelpers to tell you where you should get your next meal, why not ask your favorite chef where they like to grab a bite? This encyclopedia of a book (both in physical size and in content) contains recommendations from more than 600 chefs all over the world of 3,200 restaurants ranging from fine dining to late night eats. So who you gonna trust, some dude who writes Yelp reviews because he has too much time on his hands, or Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud?