Favorite Wine Books

Here are some of my favorite books, that encompass the world of wine across depth and breadth. Of the many study options that are available on the market, these are chosen for being accurate, comprehensive, and fun.

Worldwide Books

World Atlas of Wine, Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson, 2019 Edition (8th), Mitchell Beazley

The Atlas has always been my go-to wine book, since beginning an earnest study journey in 2012. At that time, the 7th edition was something nearby my side, full of beautiful maps, producer notes, and contextual depth. The new 8th Edition is now available, with updated information, maps, and beautiful images.

Oxford Companion to Wine, Jancis Robinson and Julia Harding, 2015 Edition (4th), Oxford University Press

Without a doubt, the most in-depth wine book in the world. Thick as slab of Italian marble, this tome is not designed for cover-to-cover browsing. I have found greatest efficacy in choosing a single topic, and then bouncing across to related articles found in bold within that article. A bit like a Wikipedia dive, the time spent with the Oxford will be well-spent, albeit intense.

Wine Grapes, Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding, and Jose Vouillamoz, 2012 Edition (1st), Ecco Press

Even thicker than the Oxford Companion, Wine Grapes covers every single variety in the world, from the common to obscure. Especially useful are the grape synonyms, and planting data from around the world. Another lovely inclusion are the illustrations by ameplographers Viala and Vermorel, reproduced in beautiful color and detail. 1,368 varieties are listed.

Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia, Tom Stevenson, 2011 Edition (5th), Dorling Kindersley

One of the more dense items in this collection, the Encyclopedia by Tom Stevenson is somewhat similar to the Jancis Atlas in format, as it covers the world of wine, but dives even deeper. Individual appellations are explored at a granular level, with loads of producers mentioned throughout.

Michael Broadbent’s Vintage Wine, Michael Broadbent, 2002 Edition, Harcourt

A broad exploration of vintage wine, cataloguing Michael’s tasting experience through the decades. Wines are often described in creative, almost whimsical terms. An expert of Christie’s fame since 1966, Michael has one of the most storied and verbose palates in the wine world.

Wine Folly, Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack, 2018 Edition, Avery Publishing

Full of color and imagery, the Wine Folly book mirrors the illustration-rich style of the eponymous education website. Grapes, regions, and tasting concepts are outlined in eye-dazzling detail.

Region Specific Books

Native Wine Grapes of Italy, Ian D’Agata, 2014 Edition, University of California Press

Italy’s Native Wine Grape Terroirs, Ian D’Agata, 2019 Edition, University of California Press

Napa Valley Then & Now, Kelli A. White, 2015 Edition, Rudd Press

Sherry, Manzanilla, and Montilla, Peter Liem and Jesús Barquín, 2012 Edition, Manutius

Sherry: A Modern Guide to the Wine World’s Best-Kept Secret, Talia Baiocchi, 2014 Edition, Ten Speed Press

The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste, Jon Bonné, 2013 Edition, Ten Speed Press

The Climats and Lieux-dits of the Great Vineyards of Burgundy, Marie-Hélène Landrieu-Lussigny and Sylvain Pitiot, 2014 Edition, Editions du Meurger

The Complete Bordeaux, Stephen Brook, 2017 Edition, Mitchell Beazley

Oz Clarke Bordeaux: A New Look at the World’s Most Famous Wine Region, Oz Clarke, 2012 Edition, Anova Books

The Wines of Burgundy, Clive Coates, 2008 Edition, University of California Press

Tokaj: The Wine of Freedom, Alkonyl Laszlo, 2003 Edition, Wine Appreciation Guild

Books On Our Wishlist

Some additional selections, which I have been wanting to dig into:

Champagne: The Essential Guide to the Wines, Producers, and Terroirs of the Iconic Region, Peter Liem, 2017 Edition, Ten Speed Press

Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer’s Tour of France, Kermit Lynch, 2019 Edition, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Vignette: Stories Of Life And Wine In 100 Bottles, Jane Lopes, 2019 Edition, Hardie Grant

Wine Snob, Melissa Monosoff, 2018 Edition, Quirk Books

Cork Dork, 2017 Edition, Bianca Bosker, Penguin Books

Wine Girl, 2020 Edition, Victoria James, Ecco Press

Publishers of Wine Books

  • Ten Speed Press (3x)
  • University of California Press (3x)
  • Ecco Press (2x)
  • Mitchell Beazley (2x)
  • Anova Books
  • Avery Publishing
  • Dorling Kindersley
  • Editions du Meurger
  • Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Harcourt
  • Hardie Grant
  • Manutius
  • Penguin Books
  • Quirk Books
  • Rudd Press
  • Wine Appreciation Guild

Have any suggestions? Send us a note, feedback@mediumplus.com

Leave a Reply