This time of year sees most newspapers inviting people to select their favourite books in 2021. Sadly, so far, from my reading there have been loads on food but none on wine…
This I think needs to be redressed. So I am inviting community members to comment on their favourite wine books.
To kick off I have to confess to buying too many. But 5 of them have been really interesting in different ways.
I have just finished
Nine interviews with women winemakers from France and Italy in which they each explain how they got into winemaking. Some very highly motivated ladies reveal their reasons. Some common themes emerge which resulted in some purchases.
Amanda Barnes’ much needed study of South American wines is a stunning book. Rich in detail, very fluently written and matched with some quite vivid photography. It contains all the material you need to learn about south America, along with some recommendations. She also surveys the travel scene and mentions hotels and restaurants. A brilliant book
Jane Anson wrote a huge tome on Bordeaux but if you want a lighter read this anthology of all the aspects of Bordeaux is excellent and much cheaper. It covers just about everything. Work in the vineyards pruning , Le place de Bordeaux, fakes, food, history including the impact of WW2.
My two others are the new Jasper Morris edition of Burgundy (my personal obsession) and the Noble Rot story in “Wine from another Galaxy.” The former erudite and very readable, the latter both wacky and informative.
Alas no money left to buy any wine…
Great suggestion for a thread. I’m currently looking into buying the Noble Rot book. I’m also keen to try Bursting Bubbles by Robert Walters following suggestions on this forum.
Bursting Bubbles is superb but not a book to start with for Champagne. You will get most out of it if you buy either Benjamin Lewin’s guide to Champagne or one that @Oldandintheway kindly suggested, which is by Michael Edwards. It is slightly dated but cheap and contains quite a lot of useful general information. Read them both together.
Thanks for this all. Always looking for ideas for Christmas
Thanks for the response. What would you say the reason is that Bursting Bubbles shouldn’t be a first champagne book?
Agree with Bursting Bubbles and Amanda’s S America Guide. Didn’t really bond with my copy of Noble Rot. I think the reader would benefit from actually having been there and tuned into its unique vibe; but it left me cold.
The best wine book in the world remains this one
And three similarly-themed books, very readable and immersive, on a historical note which all tie together nicely particularly the first two of these
about the history of the unique Norton’s Virginia seedling variety
The definitive account of the evolution, spread, consequences of and solutions to the Phylloxera disaster
And this excellent account of the history and modern incarnations of amber wines
All of these seem to be currently available on Mr Beezos’ on-line bazaar
It focusses on particular myths and aspects of Champagne. It helps when reading it to have perhaps a good basic book about the area that will give you a bit of background info into the areas covered in BB.
Speaking of Simon J Woolf, while I don’t subscribe to his primary thesis that good wine only comes from single grower/maker struggling to do everything and making low intervention wine, I did very much enjoy reading Foot Trodden, his and Ryan Opaz’s book on Portugal. Not a deep dive into the wines of Portugal, but some great stories about producers and stunning pictures.
Matt Walls’ Rhone book was also great and I’ve just reread Wine and War and Wink Lorch’s book on Alpine Wines.
Another thumbs up for Matt Walls’ informative and insightful Wines Of The Rhone here too.
Good idea for a thread!
Perhaps not as esoteric as the suggestions above but I found this book by Anne Krebiehl published in 2019 a good introduction to German wine regions and intricacies of development of the awful mixed up wine classification system(s) in Germany.
This is a brilliant book!
It was also a much needed book as there have been few on German wines and virtually nothing recently, her insight as you say into the German wine laws and regions is very good, and she manages to keep the book from being a catalogue, a trap so many wine books or writers fall into.
Only two wine books I bought this year. Jasper Morris’s update Burgundy in Santa’s sleigh hopefully.
Agreed, it is outstanding. There is also the Wine Atlas of Germany. If you are a map maniac for vineyards then this book is for you!
I enjoyed Matt Walls’s book on the Rhone too.
With a recommendation for that and others, this is a fun, short piece on best wine books published this year, by Henry Jeffreys: