The Ultimate Wine Lover’s Reading List

  • Wine
  • on MAY 17, 2016
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We all know that nothing pairs better with a book than a glass of your favorite wine: something that’s doubly true for the hundreds of books that revolve around the topic. Whether you’re delving into the history of wine, are looking to be informed, or are simply seeking a little light reading, here are 25 favorites to get your library started.

Start Here

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Wine for Dummies – This great, unpretentious wine guide by the former head of the International Wine Center has been helping budding connoisseurs for two decades, and has sold more than a million copies.

Image Source: Karenandandrew, Dobianchi

What to Drink With What You Eat – A definitive guide to pairing wines with food, this book should be kept in the kitchen for easy access.

Image Source: Joanna Simon

Wine: An Introduction – Easy to understand and unstuffy, Joanna Simon’s guide is filled with comprehensive information and is one of the best places to start a lifetime of loving wine.

Comprehensive Guides

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The Wine Bible – Roughly the same size as the actual Bible, this giant tome is one of most obsessively researched guides on the subject, and provides far more information than one wine-soaked brain could ever handle.

Image Source: Kevinzraly, Amazon

World Atlas of Wine – An enormous resource for any wine lover that highlights the different winegrowing regions across the planet.

Image Source: Vinepair, Amazon

The Oxford Companion to Wine – Coming in at more than 800 pages, British wine lover Jancis Robinson’s guide is essentially a giant encyclopedia that covers wine varieties, regions, and technical data from across the globe.

Image Source: Wine, Wit, and Wisdom; Eater

Wine Grapes – This well-researched guide features an in-depth look at some 300 grape varieties used in winemaking, as well as buying recommendations.

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4000 Champagnes – This guide to the Champagne region of France is the ultimate resource for information about the history, culture, and winemaking practices that go into the most well-known sparkling wine, Champagne.


Image Source: Kevinzraly, Amazon

Kevin Zraly’s Complete Wine Course – An expansive volume from wine expert Kevin Zraly, this book highlights his favorite wine regions and answers questions like, “How do I serve a Bordeaux?”

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How to Taste – Another classic by Britain’s Jancis Robinson, this book is an in-depth look into identifying, tasting, and profiling wine.

Image Source: Amazon, WineTasting

Swallow This: The Progressive Guide to Wine – An irreverent and funny guide that answers hard-to-ask questions (Is it ok to add ice cubes to a glass of wine?), Mark Phillips’ book is pages of fun.

Image Source: Amazon, Serious Eats

A Year of Wine – An engaging read by sommelier Tyler Coleman that looks at different wines to serve in different seasons of the year.


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Billionaire’s Vinegar – This book tells the true story of one of the biggest scams in the history of wine, where a billionaire drops $100,000 on a bottle supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson.

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Wine and War: The French, the Nazis and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure – The true story of how French winemakers banded together against the Nazis during World War II.

Image Source: Rosskingbooks, Amazon

Judgement of Paris – The inspiration for the film Bottle Shock, this tome takes a look at the 1976 blind tasting competition, where Californian wines were ranked higher than their French counterparts for the first time ever, and the industry-changing controversy that ensued.

Image Source: Twimg, Amazon

The Story of Wine – Written by historian Hugh Johnson, this brilliant book is a delightful recounting of wine’s storied history from the ancient world to today.

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Ancient Wine – Patrick McGovern’s exploration of wine’s early history some 8,000 years ago shines an intriguing light on one of the world’s most beloved drinks.


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Adventures on the Wine Route – Wine importer Kermit Lynch waxes philosophically on his years of trying to understand the wine and people of France.

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Reading Between the Wines – Sometimes poignant, sometimes funny, this book by wine guru Terry Theise is a testament to his years of expertise and his unabashed love of wine.

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Liquid Memory: Why Wine Matters – Written by filmmaker and former sommelier Jonathan Nossiter, this book looks at wine as a dynamic link between generations and families.


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The Drops of God – A graphic novel that follows the quest to find 13 lost bottles of wine owned by a renowned Japanese wine critic.

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Sideways – Perhaps the most famous novel about wine (and the inspiration for the film of the same name), this funny book chronicles the misadventures of two ageing friends as they drink their way across southern California’s wine country.


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The Taste of Wine: The Art and Science of Wine Appreciation – Written by Emile Peynaud, one of the world’s foremost wine scientists, this book is a deep dive into the science behind winemaking and tasting for true wine geeks.

Image Source: Isabelle Legeron

Natural Wine: An Introduction to Organic and Biodynamic Wines Made Naturally – Organic and environmentally sustainable wines are trending hard right now, and this clearly written book explains why, to beginners and experts alike.

Image Source: Amazon

Understanding Wine Technology: The Science of Wine Explained – How that grape gets in your glass can seem like magic, but this accessible book thoughtfully explains the winemaker’s process.

Whether you’re just being introduced to the world of wine, are an advanced lover, or are just fascinated by the science and art that goes into the process, these books provide comprehensive information and poignant comments on the world of wine, and the influence it has on our lives.


WineCountry Staff


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