The world of wine can be an incredibly complicated one, which is why several people choose to read up about the subject in a bid to understand and appreciate every variety a little bit better. However, even this can be a tricky undertaking, as a quick search for wine literature online will bring up an untold amount of results.
So to help out, we have come up with our own list of top 10 wine books, which should provide interesting and intriguing insights into everything from grape descriptions to disease explanations.
1. Wine Grapes by Jancis Robinson
The front cover of this book tells you everything you need to know – “A complete guide to 1,368 wine varieties, including their origins and flavours.” Jancis Robinson is a world-renowned wine expert, and along with her co-writers Julia Harding and geneticist Dr José Vouillamoz, uses historical facts as well as cutting-edge DNA analysis to detail the differences between a Merlot and Malbec. This is the book for wine geeks.
An indispensable addition to any bookshelf, the World Atlas of Wine’s latest edition provides an up-to-date look at changes in climate, winemaking technique, and current industry trends. The fact it has been in existence since 1971 is testament to the book’s overwhelming authority in areas such as identifying regional grapes and the evolution behind modern wine.
3. The Wine Bible by Karen McNeil
Starting with the basics of mastering wine but slowly progressing to more advanced areas such how to taste with focus and building a wine-tasting memory, the Wine Bible is yet another essential resource. Along the way, Karen McNeil will furnish you will entertaining anecdotes and fiery opinion.
If you are a relative newbie to wine, this is the book for you. With a no nonsense approach towards understanding grape varieties, deciphering wine labels and enjoying your favourite style, Wine for Dummies is the perfect foundation for further reading.
5. Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson
This is yet another comprehensive publication from Jancis Robinson, which achieved worldwide acclaim upon its release in 1994. Featuring around 4,000 entries about every wine-related topic imaginable, the third edition of the Oxford Companion to Wine now contains information on globalisation and the politics of wine, precision viticulture, and co-fermentation.
6. Kevin Zraly’s Windows on the World Complete Wine Course by Kevin Zraly
This is a start-from-scratch option that beginners to wine will greatly benefit from. Kevin Zraly begins with the basics, but soon moves on to tasting techniques, matching wine with food, and a region-by-region guide.
Want a bit more excitement with your wine education? Then you might be interested in hearing about the “mystery of the world’s most expensive bottle of wine.” This true story is all about the history of a 1787 Château Lafite Bordeaux – supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson – which sold for $156,000 at auction.
8. Secrets of the Sommeliers by Rajat Parr
Not only will Rajat Parr’s sommelier interviews enable you to “think and drink like the world’s top wine professionals,” these intriguing insights may also help you “secure hard-to-find bottles at the best price and identify value sweetspots among the many regions.”
9. Understanding Wine Technology – The Science of Wine Explained by David Bird
Even though we are getting into the specific scientific details of wine technology here, David Bird manages to explain these aspects in simple terms. This is backed up by the latest photographs and techniques as well as updated legislation.
10. Essential Winetasting: The Complete Practical Winetasting Course by Michael Schuster
If you don’t want to look amateurish at an upcoming tasting session, then study Michael Schuster’s step-by-step guide to smelling, sampling, and assessing wine. Along with a practical outline of how to taste wine, you also benefit from how wines differ from country to country and from grape to grape.