The Best Wine Books for Beginners
Ever mistaken White Zinfandel for a white wine? Or been lost while trying to navigate a tricky wine list? Have zero clue how to pronounce “Paso Robles”?
We’ve all been there. After all, even the most seasoned wine pros once knew nada. It can take years to master the complex world of vino, and yes, even experts have robust libraries filled with dogeared copies of favorite wine reference books.
That’s why we asked our team at Wine Enthusiast to share their favorite tried-and-true wine books. Reading these informative tomes is often the best way to up your wine know-how, whether you’re at the beginning of your wine-drinking journey or already well into it.
The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil
“Perhaps the most indispensable introduction to wine out there, and a trusted resource for years to come,” shares Print Managing Editor John Capone. “It’s an easy-to-file, yet never simplistic overview of vast swaths of wine knowledge.”
In the book, MacNeil takes her readers through a comprehensive, yet entertaining course on the fundamentals of wine. Learn everything you need to know from climate and terroir to how to master food and wine pairings.
Wine Simple by Aldo Sohm
The title of this one says it all. This is easy to digest for wine newbies. The pages are filled with fun, informative graphics that breaks down complex subjects without skimping on the details. Learn the basics, everyday tips and techniques to help develop your palate.
The World Atlas of Wine, 8th Edition by Hugh Johnson & Jancis Robinson
“Love it. Swear by it. Still reference it from time to time,” says Tasting Director Anna-Christina Cabrales.
Few wine books can truly be called classics, but this one certainly deserves the designation. Inside, you’ll find maps and photographs that show how the wine landscape continues to evolve around the world. The most recent edition zooms in on recent changes in the global wine scene, with a wealth of information on the history that came beforehand.
Wine Made Easy by Gianluca Rottura
Written by a New York City wine shop owner, this book dispenses with tricky graphs and hard-to-read maps in favor of plain English descriptions of general wine terms, plus a rundown of favorite American fare and the best wines to accompany them. This tome is perfect for beginners looking for something akin to a school workbook to deepen their knowledge.
Rosé All Day: The Essential Guide to Your New Favorite Wine by Katherine Cole
Respected wine writer Katherine Cole demonstrates that pink is more than just a pretty color in this rosé-focused book. “Aside from the pretty-and-pink illustrations and infographics, this book served as a comprehensive guide throughout my journey as a rosé novice,” shares Digital Editorial Assistant Jaime Brown. Cole delves into the rich history of rosé through regional descriptions, food-pairing suggestions and savvy advice on how to start a collection of your own.
A Hedonist in the Cellar by Jay Mclnerney
This collection essays from a novelist-turned-wine-columnist details the author’s early days as an oenophile. “He brings a novelist’s flair and imagination to stories about wines and the people who make them,” shares Capone. Amazon reviewers applaud Mclnerney’s approachable reporting and narrative skills, which Capone believes can lure anyone into the world of wine. “It’s not a reference book at all, but following McInerney down into the cellar is infectious.”
Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker
What’s the big deal about wine? Sommelier and blogger Bianca Bosker posed this same question before becoming infatuated with its complexity. This pick reads like a story and is as intoxicating as it is informative—making it an inspiring way to kickstart your own wine journey.
Wine Enthusiast 12-Bottle Compact Wine Cooler
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Published on November 18, 2022