The Ultimate Wine Lover’s Reading List

  • Wine
  • by WINECOUNTRY COLLECTIVE
  • on FEBRUARY 7, 2023
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Wine

The Ultimate Wine Lover’s Reading List

By WineCountry Collective February 7, 2023

If learning more abut wine was on your resolution list for 2023, or you just want to take advantage of winter’s cooler weather and curl up with an interesting wine-related book, then this is the post for you. From the history of wine, to geeky info on wine grapes, to page-turning memoirs from wine writers, here are our top 36 wine books to add to your library this year.

Start Here

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.

Wine for Dummies book cover
Photo Courtesy of Amazon, Dobianchi

Wine Folly: Magnum Edition: The Master Guide – This visual reference guide to wine uses infographics and illustrations to help newbies and enthusiasts better grasp varietal profiles, how to taste wine, and food pairings.

Wine Folly book cover
Photo Courtesy of Wine Folly

The New Wine Rules: A Genuinely Helpful Guide to Everything You Need to Know – From acclaimed wine writer Jon Bonné, this simple guide book takes the stress out of tasting and choosing wine by throwing out the “old rules” in order to help one better enjoy what’s in the glass.

New Wine Rules book cover
Photo Courtesy of Amazon, Punch Drink

Wine Simple: A Totally Approachable Guide from a World-Class Sommelier – Written by world-renowned sommelier Aldo Sohm, this user-friendly book provides helpful everyday tips through easy-to-absorb visuals and text.

Wine Simple book cover and author
Photo Courtesy of Aldo Sohm

Wine For Normal People: A Guide for Real People Who Like Wine, but Not the Snobbery That Goes with It – This unpretentious guide to wine is the perfect comprehensive, yet approachable book for anyone looking to learn more about wine, from wine regions to etiquette to buying.

Wine for Normal People book cover and author
Photo Courtesy of Wine for Normal People

Natural Wine for the People: What It Is, Where to Find It, How to Love It – James Beard Award-winner Alice Feiring sets the record straight on the growing category of natural wine through this illustrated intro to natural, organic, and minimally-invasive wine.

Natural Wine for the People book cover and author
Photo Courtesy of NY Times, Punch Drink

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

What to Drink with What you Eat book cover and authors
Photo Courtesy of Hachett Book Group, Ashley Garrett

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.

Wine an Introduction book cover and author
Photo Courtesy of Joanna Simon

Secrets of the Sommeliers – Acclaimed sommelier Rajat Parr and writer Jordan Mackay break down how to think and drink like a true wine professional, from tips on serving and ordering to buying secrets and more.

Secrets of the Somms book cover and author
Photo Courtesy of Amazon

Comprehensive Guides

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.

Amazon, Karenmacneil
Photo Courtesy of Amazon, Karenmacneil

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

Amazon, Kevinzraly
Photo Courtesy of Amazon, Kevinzraly

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.

Amazon, Vinepair
Photo Courtesy of Amazon, Vinepair

The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste: A Field Guide to the Great Wines of Europe – The second book from Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay, The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste provides an in-depth reference guide to the great wines of Europe and how they should taste.

Twitter, Wine Enthusiast
Photo Courtesy of witter, Wine Enthusiast

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

Wine, Wit, and Wisdom; Eater
Photo Courtesy of Wine, Wit, and Wisdom; Eater

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.

Amazon, Keyassets
Photo Courtesy of Amazon, Keyassets

How-Tos

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?”

Amazon, Kevinzraly
Photo Courtesy of Amazon, Kevinzraly

How to Taste – Another classic by Britain’s Jancis Robinson, this book dives into the art of identifying, tasting, and profiling wine.

Cloudfront, Vinepair
Photo Courtesy of Cloudfront, Vinepair

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.

Amazon, WineTasting
Photo Courtesy of Amazon, WineTasting

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

Amazon, Serious Eats
Photo Courtesy of Amazon, Serious Eats

Histories

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.

C-ville, Amazon
Photo Courtesy of C-ville, Amazon

The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It – This fascinating look at the woman behind the famed Veuve Clicquot reveals her journey to becoming one of the world’s first great businesswomen.

Amazon, Veuve Clicquot
Photo Courtesy of Amazon, Veuve Clicquot

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.

Connectedtraveler, Amazon
Photo Courtesy of Connectedtraveler, 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.

Rosskingbooks, Amazon
Photo Courtesy of Rosskingbooks, 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.

Twimg, Amazon
Photo Courtesy of Twimg, Amazon

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.

Booktopia, Archaeological
Photo Courtesy of Booktopia, Archaeological

Memoirs

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

Amazon, Kermitlynch
Photo Courtesy of Amazon, Kermitlynch

Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste – Follow along as amateur drinker Bianca Bosker dives headfirst into the world of elite sommeliers who dedicate their lives to all things wine.

Amazon, Bianca Bosker
Photo Courtesy of Amazon, Bianca Bosker

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.

Google, Skurnuk Wines
Photo Courtesy of Google, Skurnuk Wines

Wine Girl: The Trials and Triumphs of America’s Youngest Sommelier – Written by Victoria James, who became the country’s youngest sommelier at age 21, this book follows her path from traumatic childhood to the high-octane world of the restaurant industry.

VictoriaJames.info
Photo Courtesy of VictoriaJames.info

Blood From A Stone: A Memoir of How Wine Brought Me Back from the Dead – Writer Adam McHugh details his unconvential journey into wine, from ending a career as a hospice chaplain to finding a new life in wine in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Adam McHugh
Photo Courtesy of Adam McHugh

To Fall in Love, Drink This: A Wine Writer’s Memoir – Veteran wine writer Alice Feiring’s book of candid personal essays offers an entertaining look at wine, love, and heartbreak.

The Feiring Line
Photo Courtesy of The Feiring Line

Fiction

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.

Trbimg, Amazon
Photo Courtesy of Trbimg, Amazon

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 aging friends as they drink their way across Santa Barbara Wine Country.

Amazon, Oregonlive
Photo Courtesy of Amazon, Oregonlive

Science

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.

Amazon, Oenofile
Photo Courtesy of Amazon, Oenofile

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.

Isabelle Legeron
Photo Courtesy of Isabelle Legeron

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.

Amazon
Photo Courtesy of Amazon

Conclusion

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