One of the questions I always love to ask winemakers is how do they suggest people learn more about wine. The answer seems to be the same across the board – drink more wine. Not just any wine, but wine from around the world, different regions, different varietals – open your mind and open your palate to different grapes. I personally love that answer and couldn’t agree more, but most winemakers also mention a few wine books they have personally found helpful. After all, good old fashioned reading = good old fashioned learning.
With October being National Book Month I’ve rounded up some of the best wine books I’ve found, as well as those mentioned by winemakers in my Interview with a Winemaker series. I’ve tried to note if the books include an audio book option – at the time of this posting – as that seems to be one of the only ways I can “read” a book these days with all our travels and juggling the kids schedules.
I hope these wine books expand both your mind and palate. If you have other wine books you love, let me know in the comments. Cheers!
Best Wine Books to Pour Into
Wine & War (audio book option)
The Winemaker’s Wife (audio book option)
Looking for a page turner, this is it! The Winemakers Wife became an instant #1 bestseller from The Globe and Mail (Toronto) and The Toronto Star and for good reason. It’s an amazing story of love, betrayal, war and finding yourself all wrapped into one. The story follows three women, two of whom are married to winemakers during WWII in Champagne. The other, a newly divorced woman who journeys back to France in 2019 with her grandmother only to learn her involvement in the war efforts in Champagne. While this book doesn’t necessarily teach you how to sip and swirl, it does a great job sharing how wine has shaped lives and countries, especially those in France.
This is not a book you just sit down to read. This could literally be considered THE ULTIMATE wine encyclopedia. Written by the highly esteemed, Jancis Robinson, the book has achieved worldwide acclaim and won every major wine book award including the Glenfiddich and Julia Child/IACP awards. In this in-depth book, Robinson provides an understanding of wine in all of its wider contexts–notably historical, cultural, and scientific. It serves as a true companionable point of reference into which any winelover can sip in.
The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty (audio book option)
Robert Mondavi was one the most prominent figures in shaping the Napa Valley wine region. But, Robert was just one person who helped create the fabled Napa Valley family who built one of the largest American wine dynasty’s. The book follows four generations of the Mondavi family through love, death, family betrayals and crazy business risks all for the love of wine. Named to The New York Times Best Sellers, Julia Flynn reports a complicated but wildly interesting narrative of the rise and fall of the Mondavi family – the book is based on thousands of hours of interviews she had with the family and insiders who knew them well. Who needs fiction when you have stories like this!
The New Wine Rules: A Genuinely Helpful Guide to Everything You Need to Know (audio book option)
Want to drink rose’ in the winter, go for it. Why not open that special bottle you’ve been holding on to on a Tuesday night? You can. In this book Jon Bonn shares today’s rules of sipping wine, the the first one being to forget what all the “experts” have told you. This book helps to uncork the world of wine into simple, easy sips.
Cork Dork (audio book option)
I have yet to read this book – it’s being released in Nov. 2019 – but wanted to put it on the list as I can only image that it will be as awesome as the award winning podcast the author,