Enjoying a great glass of wine is a both a relaxing and pleasurable experience. Whether in the comfort of your own home, or out socializing with others, this experience can be enhanced with knowledge and understanding of essential foundations of wine origins, wine characteristics, wine pairing and other wine foundational information. Increasing your knowledge of wines has the potential to enhance both your taste and social experiences, especially when you know what to look for.
When learning about wine, a good book can be a great resource. There are all different kinds of wine books on the market that help you glean information about how wine is made, different types and flavors of wine, great ways to pair wine with food, and much, much more. Also, if you know someone who enjoys wine, a wine book can make a perfect gift.
If you are thinking about purchasing a wine book, you have come to the right place. Our experts have sifted through countless options that are available on the market today that all have subtle differences in regards to content, style, and format. We have scoured through the product information and details to share our recommendations on five different highly rated wine books.
Our picks highlight notable product features along with pros and cons that will help you make your product comparisons. This article also includes additional resources, such as, frequently asked questions and important things to consider that will help you get the information you need to make a good choice when purchasing a good book about wine for yourself or to give as a gift. This article will help you get the information you need to make a good decision for your purchase and will help you get what you need to expand your knowledge of wine.
Best Overall – Wine Folly: Magnum Edition: The Master Guide
This hardcover guide is a must-have guide for wine knowledge which includes information about: more than 100 grapes and wines, a wine region explorer, line labeling and classification, food and wine pairing, and wine tasting. Written by an award winning author, this 320 page book is a wonderful resource to help you become a wine expert. If you enjoy a book that not only is full of great information, but also has beautiful pictures this is a great pick. It is an attractive book that make the perfect gift for any wine lover.
- Great resource for different wine-related topics
- James Beard Award Winning book (a prestigious award recognizing culinary excellence)
- Hardcover, good coffee table book
- Informative, but not too technical
- Vivid infographics
- Available in hardcover and kindle
- Some wines and wine regions are not represented
Best for Beginners – Wine: A Beginner’s Guide
Wine: A Beginner’s Guide is the perfect resource for anyone who is interested in wine to learn wine in a simple, easy to read, and easy to learn format. This paperback book is 160 pages and includes information covering topics, such as: how wine is made, wine tasting, wine serving and storage, and pairing. This book also comes in multiple formats, making the purchase versatile, based on your individual preference.
- Great information for anyone seeking foundational information about wine
- Includes rich, information-full text and vivid photographs
- Combines theory, history, and culture
- Available in paperback, kindle, Audible audiobook, and audio CD formats
- Some information is a bit complicated, and could be expanded upon further for an ultimate beginner
Best Wine Encyclopedia – The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia
This 800 page wine encyclopedia is a comprehensive resource for everything wine related. This book has over 400 images and 100 maps and arranged geographically to highlight wine regions. This book also has information about flavor notes, vineyard profiles, tasting room guides, information about grapes and much, much more. This book has all the information you need to become a wine expert.
- 800 pages of wine information, very comprehensive
- Colorful illustrations
- Table of Contents and index helps you find the information you need
- Great coffee table book
- Very large, heavy
Best Essential Guide – Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine
This essential guide is packed with information and colorful images and infographics that will help you get the information you need to learn the fundamentals of wine. This 240 page book is full of information and answers to questions relating to taste profiles of a wide variety of wines, food and wine pairing, wine regions, serving wine and tasting and identifying flavors. This book is full of practical information to help you build your confidence and skills pertaining to wines.
- Award winning author
- Easy to read and understand
- Full of practical information
- Great for visually-oriented individuals (full of infographics)
- Great for beginners
- Available in paperback, kindle and spiral bound formats
- Not as thorough for in-depth answers and explanation than some other books
Best Pairing Guide – The Food & Wine Guide to Perfect Pairings: 150+ Delicious Recipes Matched with the World’s Most Popular Wines
This 272-page beautiful hardcover wine pairing cookbook is perfect for connoisseurs. Arranged by wine types, you will find inspiration for perfect food pairings for your favorite wines and for a variety of occasions. This book has information about wine characteristics and the principles behind paring and includes over fifteen recipes.
- Color photographs
- Delectable recipes
- Rich with information and inspiration
- Available in hardcover and kindle formats
- Does not include dessert pairings
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to know about wine?
Follow these 10 topics for the most important things to know/learn about wine:
- Types of wine
- Wine regions
- Wine characteristics (tastes)
- What makes wines taste different (wine profiles)
- How to communicate your wine preferences
- Wine etiquette
- Information about wine aging
- Wine vintage variations
- Wine pricing
- Experimenting with wine (tastes, food pairing, etc;)
These are all great topics, which the featured books in this article highlight in different ways and forms.
What are the benefits of learning about wine?
Learning about wine has several benefits including increased confidence in regards to selecting wine and satisfaction with your purchase. Learning about wine can enrich your social experiences and bring excitement and depth to interactions with friends and family. Learning about wine can help you develop your tastes and instill a greater appreciation for your food and beverage choices.
Why should I purchase a book about wine?
Purchasing a book about wine is a great way to get a solid resource packed full of information all in one place. You can find information on the internet, but not all of the information is professionally edited. Wine books can be enjoyed as leisure reading or for research and information. Wine books also make excellent gifts.
What to look for when choosing a good book about wine
As you can see, there is a wide variety of wine books available in the market today. Here are a few things to consider when purchasing a book about wine for yourself or for a gift.
When choosing which wine book you will purchase, the content is one of the most important things to consider. First you need to decide what kind of book you are looking for. Here are some questions to consider:
- Are you looking for an all in one guide?
- Are you seeking out a book that is written for beginners or wine connoisseurs with some foundational knowledge?
- Are you looking for a coffee-table style book or a book?
- Are you more interested in text based information or infographics?
- Are pictures and images important to you?
- Do you want to learn about different wine regions?
- Are you looking for a book that has recipes and inspiration for pairing wine and food?
Determining your answers to these types of questions can guide you in different directions for your purchase. This article features different books that address specific preferences baked on these questions.
The wine books featured in this article come in a variety of formats including hardcover, paperback, kindle, audiobook, spiral bound and book on CD, however each book does not come in each and every one of these formats. Be sure to read the product descriptions so that you purchase your book of choice in the format most desirable.
When considering your purchase, think about the size of the wine book you are purchasing. You can find the measurements and how many pages a book is in the details of the product listings online. Larger books with the most number of pages will have the most information, but they can be big, heavy and sometimes even overwhelming to read. Books with fewer pages, may not have all of the information you desire. When considering the size of the book you are purchasing, consider where you will be storing it. Is it a coffee table book? Will it fit on your bookshelf? The size of your book has considerable significance.
Some books are much wordier than others and are more text based. Some books have more pictures, diagrams and infographics. Think about what kind of book will work best for your learning/reading style in terms of ease of reading. A content rich book with lots of text may be your preference, where you can get your information page by page. A book with more diagrams and infographics may be easier for you to read and understand. Different styles of books offer different benefits, based on your individual preferences based on how best you process information in texts.
Consider the copyright/release date and the publication date of the book/version your are considering so you make sure you have the most up to date version if the book has been reprinted or updated.
When purchasing a wine book other things you may want to consider in terms of credibility include:
- several of the books featured are award winning authors. For example, The James Beard Award is a notable award for culinary excellence.
- Blurbs are quotes or recommendations by reputable individuals (other authors, celebrities, etc;) that are offering their support and endorsement for the content in a book in the form of a quote on the front or back of the book. Take these recommendations seriously as they do not get printed without forethought. If notable individuals are endorsing the book you can trust their recommendations.
Just like with any purchase, some wine books cost more than others. Hardcover books with color illustrations typically cost more. Books with more pages can cost more than books with fewer pages. But, higher price points often correlate with the quality and presentation offered in a book.
Purchasing a high quality book about wine will be a good investment that will contribute to your enjoyment when savoring a glass of wine. Wine books are great resources for all different kinds of information about wine. Books about wine also make great gifts. Having the knowledge of what to look for when making a purchase can help you make a confident purchase, especially with all of the choices that are available on the market today. Each of the highlighted wine books in this feature are highly recommended. Consider all of the information provided and your individual preferences in terms of content and format when making your choice of which wine book will be the best pick for you.