I have received questions regarding good books for a wine novice. As I am sure many of you know, there are plenty of them out there. When I began my journey, apart from my textbook (which was very helpful), I remember searching Amazon and looking through their top ratings when I came up with the first two listed below and then several more. Some of my texts were pretty expensive and others were affordable. However, what I wanted were books that were easy to read and contained information I could easily absorb. As those of you will learn who want to seriously pursue careers in the wine industry, this field is not just about memorization. You really, need to know your -ish!
I must say, when I look at my collection of books, I am impressed. I have classics I will always reference. In addition, I have magazine subscriptions I feel "keep me in the know", which you will need to be.
I have listed my top four to get you started. The first two were my first purchases (straight from Amazon). Later, I will create a link above of wine- related texts that I find useful. Please purchase at your discretion.
As I have always advocated, what you gain from your wine journey is not just through books or even what you learn in class. The key is experience. You need to be an active taster. This is not about batting for Team Red Wine only, you will need to taste several wines. You will need to ask questions! Listen to podcasts, read wine reviews, attend a few webinars and more importantly, do your own research.
See you on the next post!
The Wine Bible (2nd Edition) by Karen MacNeil $16.95
For the wealth of information you gain from this book, the price is unbelievable. This is one of the best- selling wine books in the United States. The reader will journey with McNeil through wine regions throughout the world to learn not only about wine, but the place, its land, the history, the culture, the food and the people (all of which contribute to what makes the wine for a specific area).
MacNeil's writing is easy to follow. You will reach for this text again and again.
Wine Folly: Magnum Edition: The Master Guide by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack $19.81
Informative. Colorful. Fun! That is what Puckette and Hammack have brought to Wine Folly. Everyone new to wine must have this book in their collection. There are colorful maps, colorful diagrams, and very descriptive explanations on the various topics and questions that would come to mind regarding wine such as: how to store wine, the proper serving temperature for wine, tasting charts and more!
This is another book worth the investment. The great thing about Puckette is that she makes her information available on her blog site of the same name which you can visit HERE . However, if you want something you can be sure to easily access even when you lose electricity unexpectedly (smh), purchase the book. You will be glad you did!
Wine Simple: A Totally Approachable Guide from a World- Class Sommelier by Aldo Somm $24.76
I will not lie, I purchased this book because its title intrigued me. When the book arrived and I opened it, I was amazed at the organization of the material and how the information was presented in short and clean paragraphs, simple infographics and a wealth of information presented in plain language. Simply put: Wine Simple. I recommend this book for those individuals who are curious about the world of wine, but not yet at the level where they would be considered an enthusiast.
Aldo Sohm is a world- renowned sommelier and the James Beard Award- winning wine director of Le Bernardin and partner in Aldo Sohm Wine Bar.
The New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia by Tom Stevenson Edited By Orsi Szentkiralyi $41.64
This encyclopedia of wine is quite a treasure. Its purpose extends beyond the designated space on your coffee table.
The New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia has 800 pages full of information on grapes, wine growing regions around the world, the winemakers behind our favorite wines, and the wines. It also includes maps, vintages to watch for, pictures, etc. This is an excellent resource for students of wine or the wine enthusiast.
This book reminds me of The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. However, the World Atlas has less pages, and tends to place more focus on the wine growing regions. It does not discuss best vintage selections, wine recommendations or provide information on the wine maker. The World Atlas is indeed a good book, but you would need other references.
The downside, as with any reference book, is the books can go out of date quickly. If wine laws change, consumer consumption or purchases shift, or new discoveries are made, no matter how minute, the books will now be considered outdated. References such as The Atlas of Wine and The New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia are not updated yearly.
That is my only drawback. For a novice, these are great, affordable, and easy reads.
What other wine books do you have in your collection? Which ones do you recommend to your friends?
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