As a certified wine geek, I have amassed over the years a sizeable library of wine literature, from the novel-esque to the encyclopedic. Some I refer to on a regular basis, others give me pleasure just knowing that I own them, reminding me of the joy I had reading them when my eyes fall on their spines every now and then. There are some even that I procured and never actually read. Having said all that, it isn’t necessary to collect two shelves full of wine books if you just enjoy wine for pleasure. Nonetheless, there are a few books that the growing wine enthusiast should consider making shelf space for, as they can enhance your enjoyment of wine through better understanding. After all, the one thing I have learned about wine and its effect on people (other than a bit of alcohol-induced euphoria) is that the subject intrigues them, and as their thirst for wine grows, their thirst for deeper knowledge of wine grows. If you could commit to three wine books to have in your possession that will feed your interest, these are the ones I recommend:
First off, have a great book that gives you a thorough introduction to wine basics. The Windows on the World Wine Course by Kevin Zraly (Latest Edition, Sterling
An alternative to Zraly’s book is Wine for Dummies by Mary Ewing-Mulligan MW and Ed McCarthy (5th Edition, John Wiley & Sons 2012). Written by one of my teachers and mentors, this is another great book to have on hand. Assuming you aren’t willing
In addition to the aforementioned books, having at least one other title to adorn your shelf makes sense if you have a growing interest in a particular region or type of wine. For example, I got myself a copy of Australian and New Zealand Wine for Dummies by Maryann Egan (Wiley Australia 2004) after having spent 1 ½ years living in that area of the world and becoming intimately acquainted with the wine industry there. The book helped me fill in some blanks, and in retrospect, I wish I had read it before my journey.
Later on in 2007, Joëlle Thomson, a New Zealand wine and food writer, published a wonderful work called Celebrating New Zealand Wine (New Holland 2004) in collaboration with photographer Andrew Coffey. I bought it as soon as I learned
In the next installment of our Back-to-Wine-School series, we will look at wine classes and help you zero in on the one that will suit you best, whether you are considering a career in the industry, a trip to Napa Valley or the start of a collection for your drinking pleasure.
As always, your comments and questions are graciously welcomed!