Best Wine Books For Enthusiast Beginners
Wine books are for beginners, for those novice enthusiasts who do their best to learn as much as they can about this sophisticated beverage. And it makes sense. A wine has thousands shades and nuances, subtle aromas and intricate flavors that have been long studied by the experts.Therefore, as a novice, you can only pick a book and start learning. If you’re wondering why and how to pick the best wine books, keep reading. If you just want to start learning about wine, choose your favorite book from the table below.
Why Read Wine Books
We live in a technological world that is full of advice and information at only one click away. So, why should you read a book when there are dozens of websites and blogs specialized in wine? To put it simply, as a beginner, it’s unlikely to find all the relevant information about wine online. Not because of the lack of information but because you’ll probably have no idea what to search for.
The world of wine is vast. So vast, that even the books focus on a single matter at a time. There are books explaining the basics and history of wine, others that show you how to choose the right wine for an occasion, while others explain the basics of wine tasting, and so on.
The best thing about wine books is that they gather and concentrate a bunch of relevant information, tips and tricks about a single matter. An in-depth thing that, let’s admit it, is difficult to find online if you’re not a true expert.
Ultimately, reading a wine book will improve your general knowledge about this discipline. Therefore, next time you’ll visit your favorite winery, you’ll know how exactly what the sommelier is talking about.
How To Pick The Wine Books
I want to make it clear from the start: there is no good or bad wine book. But not all wine books might be right for you. As I said before, the world of wine is vast and full of thousand shades. Therefore, before choosing a wine book, ask yourself what you want to learn.
If you’re a cooking enthusiast as well and only want to know which wine to use in your recipes, search for a dedicated book. The same goes if you want to learn how to pair your food with the wine.
If you want to learn how to taste wine, pick a book explaining wine aromas and flavors. A sommelier’s tips book can also help in this case. Then, there are books that explain the origins of wine, why it’s produced according to a certain method, and what wines are produced in each region.In the end, if you really want to become an expert, you can read your way to wine mastering through wine books.
Best Wine Books For Enthusiast Beginners
1. Champagne: The Essential Guide to the Wines, Producers, and Terroir of the Iconic Region
The history of wine starts in France, and one of their most iconic wines and region is Champagne. A beverage renowned worldwide, Champagne is more than just a name. There are various types, different production methods, and different ways of achieving this bubbly delight.
If you want to start cultivating your knowledge about wines and regions, Champagne is, without a doubt, a good start.
Champagne: The Essential Guide to the Wines, Producers, and Terroir of the Iconic Region by Peter Liem is one of the most comprehensive books highlighting the evolution of the region over the years and the passage from old to modern techniques and controversies.
The author highlights Champagne as it is today and explains the classic notions, such as terroir, with fresh eyes.
The book comes with a map of the region, while the author is a wine expert and writer who signed numerous bestsellers about wine. The book is available in Kindle and hardcover versions.
2. Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine
If you want to start understanding the basics of wine and what is the difference between the cabernet and merlot, then a book to consider is Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine.
The authors, Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammak, are two wine experts who developed a wine-learning strategy designed to appeal the millennials. Madeline, besides being a certified sommelier and renowned wine blogger, is also a graphic designer whose wine infographics garnered the attention of dozens of wine enthusiasts and experts.
The book is written and developed following the same unique style of the authors and it is full of images and infographics meant to explain in a comprehensive way the basics of wine tasting and wine pairing. The book includes a detailed taste profile of both popular and almost unknown wines, practical wine serving tips and tricks, and a guide to wine and food pairing.
Moreover, if you also want to learn more about the wine regions and tasting, the book also includes detailed maps of the wine regions and reveals the best methods to how to taste wine and identify the flavors.
Available in both Kindle and paperback formats, this is probably one of the best wine books to start with.
3. What to Drink with What You Eat
How many times have you paired a red wine with red meat or game? Probably many! But did you consider what red wine you put on the table? What type of wine did you serve with your steak? Did you choose a merlot? Or maybe a shiraz? What type of wine did you pair with the dessert and at what stage during the meal did you introduce prosecco?
If any of these questions confused you, then grab a copy of What to Drink with What You Eat and learn how to pick the right wine variety to pair with your food, and when to avoid wine altogether.
The book is a complete and comprehensive guide to pairing food and beverages. It includes practical tips and advice from some of the top wine stewards and sommeliers, paired with advice from some of the best chefs.
This compilation aims to demystify all the challenges of food and beverage pairings, and it even tells you which wine to pair with your hot chicken wings. And yes, wine and hot chicken wings can be a winning combination.
If you want to learn more and surprise everyone at the table, get a paperback copy of this amazing book.
4. Windows on the World Complete Wine Course: Revised and Expanded Edition
Windows on the World Complete Wine Course: Revised and Expanded Edition by Kevin Zraly was conceived as an engaging and comprehensive book that aims to be an ultimate wine guide for beginners. The author, a wine expert, and educator tries to demystify all aspects related to wine and not only.
The book explains the differences between the grape varietals and their flavors, it describes the various types of wines, explaining how they are produced and more.
Apart from all this interesting theory, the book also contains actionable advice on how to read a wine label, how to recognize the physiology of the wine’s aroma and flavors.
A thing we really like is the fact that the book covers all world wines, from popular reds such as Bordeaux to less known but equally exquisite wines. The book contains images and infographics, detailed maps of the wine regions, wine label examples, tasting guides, and more.
Interesting in this must-have guide are also the wine and food pairing notes, the directory of resources and the glossary of select terms a wine lover should know and understand.
5. The Wine Bible
Karen MacNeil’s The Wine Bible is an updated and revised edition of the book with the same name, and it quickly became a bestseller thanks to the practical information and details about wines included in the book.
The author aims to ground the reader into the fundamentals of wine, providing information, tips, fun facts, photos, but also glossaries, definitions, maps, wine labels, and wine recommendations. To help all novice enthusiasts understand wine and its world, the author performed a thorough research, including attending wine tastings around the world.
What is new about this book is that it includes unfamiliar varieties of wine produced in countries such as Slovenia, China, and Japan.
The wine book is described as a unique and informative work and the author is widely appreciated for her unique and entertaining voice. The book is available in Kindle, paperback, and hardcover versions.
6. Secrets of the Sommeliers: How to Think and Drink Like the World's Top Wine Professionals
Sometimes, curiosity transforms into a passion. This might be the case if you’re traveling the wine regions, either in the USA or around the world. But honestly, how many times did you avoid going into a winery or attending a wine tasting lesson just because you have no knowledge of wines?
I am guilty of this. Before putting hours of learning and tough work into becoming a wine expert, I avoided way too many times attending a wine tasting or visiting a winery. Yet, if you really want to know what’s happening in there, read this book before booking your tour.
In the Secrets of the Sommeliers: How to Think and Drink Like the World's Top Wine Professionals, the author shares all his knowledge and expertise, offering a unique perspective on wine tasting. You’ll learn how to detect aromas and feel flavors you didn’t even know were there.
Along the way, the author also shares strategies, tips, and food pairing advice. Available in Kindle, paperback, and hardcover formats, this is certainly a wine book to include in your collection.
7. Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste
I had mixed feelings about this book before reading it. After all, what could you expect from a book with such a long title? I admit I was wrong. This book is actually awesome, and it has been named one of the Best Books of 2017 by Booklist, Smithsonian, and Bustle, to name just a few.
Unlike the wine books for beginners mentioned above, this book is not written by a professional sommelier. Bianca Bosker, the author, is, in fact, only an amateur drinker. And this is what makes this book awesome.
The author shares a different perspective on wine tasting, investigating the reasons that drove sommeliers to become so obsessed with flavors and aromas. She wondered if an enthusiast could become a wine expert too, including in this book all the frustration, curiosities, and facts that happen at a wine tasting.
If you’re wondering whether she became an expert, and what are the results of her research, find it out in the Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste.
The book is available in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, and audio formats.
8. The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert: Take a Whiff of That
It’s a fact, reading can hardly make you understand what’s actually happening in a bottle of wine. Although essential, it is unlikely to understand what that oak aroma means. Or what’s the chocolate or coffee aroma in a red. That is unless you smell it.
For this reason, Richard Betts, one of the few master sommeliers in the world, ideated a different kind of wine book for enthusiast beginners. The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert: Take a Whiff of That is a board book, the first of its kind, that actually allows readers to scratch and sniff the basic components and aromas of wine, including earth, wood, and fruits.
The book is excellent to associate with a more comprehensive and detailed guide. It contains 16 basic scents, together with explanations on the main differences between the wines. Moreover, the book also includes humorous images and other wine fundamentals.
9. The Dirty Guide to Wine: Following Flavor from Ground to Glass
It happened to me, it happened to the greatest sommeliers, and it’s probably happening to you. Once you’ve discovered a wine you like, you’ll probably buy it over and over again, afraid to pick a wrong one if you dare to change it.
Still, you’re never going to become an expert if you don’t dare to change that bottle of Sauvignon with a Cabernet.
Knowing how intimidating it is to choose a new wine, the author of The Dirty Guide to Wine: Following Flavor from Ground to Glass asked Pascaline Lepeltier, one of the world’s master sommeliers, to contribute to the book and share her vast knowledge about wines, regions, and how to pick the right one.
Moreover, Alice Feiring, the author, also provides interesting details about traditions and wine tasting techniques, introducing the novice drinkers to new ways of enjoying a good wine.
The book is available in Kindle, audiobook, audio CD, and flexibound versions.
10. The History of Wine in 100 Bottles: From Bacchus to Bordeaux and Beyond
You’re not going to impress anyone with your wine tasting knowledge if you’ll not be able to answer a single question about the history of the wine. And what better way to learn it other than exploring wine bottles.
The History of Wine in 100 Bottles: From Bacchus to Bordeaux and Beyond is an illuminating volume than offer a unique approach to the wine history. You’ll learn which wines had the greatest impact on the evolution of this beverage, and what are the differences between the primordial wines and the wines we enjoy today.
The author, Oz Clarke, is a renowned wine writer and ideated this book to introduce readers to the landmarks of the wine’s history. You’ll find out when the use of cylindrical bottles was introduced and why, who was the first winery to label a bottle, and other interesting facts.
The book is fully illustrated and available in Kindle and hardcover versions.