Could I recommend a wine book?
Sure. The following are books I’ve read or own and ones I’m delighted to recommend.
The World Atlas of Wine
by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson
Written by the world’s most authoritative wine duo, this is a must have. Rather than read it cover-to-cover it’s a book that I dip in and out of for no more than a few minutes at a time, particularly when drinking a new and unfamiliar wine. Read more detail on Amazon.
The Wines of Burgundy
by Clive Coates
A bit of a wine-boffin’s book but if you’re passionate or even moderately interested in wines from Burgundy, then this book is for you. See it on Amazon.
How to Taste
by Jancis Robinson.
Sure, you can book yourself on a wine course. However, if the cost is a little steep or there isn’t a wine course near you, then a nice alternative could be to buy a book like this and spend the rest on wine with a group of friends and neighbours. How to taste on Amazon.
Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine
by George Taber
In 1976, an unknown bunch of upstarts from California brought their wine to Paris for a blind tasting event against some of the top French wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy. And they won.
On one hand this is an excellent account of the human history of wine in California, the context and the lead up to this tasting event, and what transpired subsequently. On the other hand, it charts the impact this event had on the world of wine – how it inspired a new generation of winemakers from around the world to produce world-beating wines. Definitely not just for winebuffs. Get the Paris Tasting on Amazon.
Families of the Vine
By Michael Sanders
This is more about the people than the wine of Cahors. If you’ve read and enjoyed “A year in Provence”, then this is along a similar vein. Covering the characters of Cahors, their personalities, their passions and of course, their produce – the rich dark wine made from Malbec.
Calling this a wine book would not do it justice. And it’s not just for winebuffs, either, but for anyone who has or who would like to experience a small part of rural life in southwest France. Families of the Vine on Amazon.
The Science of Wine: From Vine to Glass
By Jamie Goode
This is an ideal book for those who want to delve a little deeper into the world of winemaking whether out of mere curiosity or studying for a wine course. While the words science and wine may scare all but the most committed oenophiles, this is written in a very clear and concise way. Buy the Science of Wine on Amazon.
by Matt Skinner
The Jamie Oliver of the wine world. An uncomplicated, uncompromising book, ideal for the “I don’t no much about wine, but I know what I like” – i.e the majority of wine drinkers out there. Skinner has a more recent book out (Heard it Through the Grapevine: A Few Things You Should Know About Wine), but this one remains a great user-friendly and accessible introduction to wine. Thirsty Work on Amazon.
Bordeaux: The Wines, the Vineyards, the Winemakers
By Oz Clarke
In many ways, Bordeaux can be a very intimidating place. There are so many wines, they’re all in French and you have to spend a small fortune to get a “good one”. And that’s just for starters.
Oz Clarke brings an incredible wine pedigree and with his recent book on Bordeaux covers everything (and more) you’ll ever need to know about the region and its wines. Check out Bordeaux on Amazon.
The Battle for Wine and Love: Or How I Saved the World from Parkerization
by Alice Feiring.
To gain the recognition and high scores of one of the world’s most influential wine writers, Robert Parker, winemakers will adopt certain winemaking techniques. The result: the homogenisation of wines and inflated prices across a whole region. The alternative? Honestly made artisan wines. Read reviews or buy on Amazon.
Suggest a book?
Is there one I’ve missed or one you disagree with? Let me know.
What books have I not recommended?
There are so many annual pocket guides published, it’s hard to pick out one. In addition, these guides recommend specific bottles which may not be available so they can be quite “local”.
That said, they’re often more up to date on what’s happening with wine than wine books which are published less often.