We are bombarded with mountains of digitalized information in today’s technologically advanced and social media-influenced era, but one thing will never change: books! Literature is a great form of escapism and a powerful tool for independent study, especially when it involves wine. Here are a few great recommendations to steer your educational wine journey in a fun direction while providing a refreshing break from the digitalized world.
Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil
This nearly 1,000-page book acts as a fundamental wine encyclopedia that is fun, approachable, and educational with over half a million copies sold worldwide. Author Karen MacNeil has devoted her life to wine education and has blessed us with this all-encompassing wine book that includes everything you need to know from the grape and terroir to purchasing and storing with helpful pictures and maps carefully layered throughout.
The Wine Bible is thoughtfully organized, as seen in the table of contents, into each major wine-producing country (the chapters). These chapters include every helpful bit of information about which grapes are grown there, the different sub-regions and their respective classifications, the food eaten there, and a few fun facts along the way.
Champagne, as described in the book by Karen MacNeil: “a great champagne possesses the contrapuntal tension of opposites – like a sword enveloped in whipped cream”.
Related: What is Wine?
Wine Folly – The Essential Guide to Wine by Madeline Puckett and Justin Hammack
This is one of those wine books that you’ll be looking for every time you start a new wine tasting or when you have that burning wine question you need answers to right now! It’s super fun and easy to read with eye-catching visual reference guides on every page. As mentioned on the first page, this book offers simple guidance for those wanting to break into the wine world, whether you want to navigate the restaurant wine list or have a small collection of value wines.
For example, on pages 82-83, Madeline Puckett teaches us about Chenin Blanc while including clean, colorful, and sharp visuals of different fruits to explain the dominant flavors without using any words. Underneath is a large and colorful flavor wheel that includes every single possible flavor that the wine can possess from herbal, secondary, dried, tropical, citrus, and earth. To the right is a colorful chart explaining where the grape likes to grow, the climate and flavor correlation, common price points, and a short excerpt on additional Chenin Blanc information.
What To Drink With What You Eat by Andrew Dornenburg, Karen A. Page
The authors of The Food Bible bring you another bombshell collaboration and this time it’s all about our two favorite things in the world, food, and wine! This book includes over 1500 fun and thought-provoking entries on food from Chinese and French that get along well with drinks like wine and tea. One of the most valuable aspects of this book is the collective intellect that went into its creation. Dozens of the world’s best restaurants suited with expert-level sommeliers and chefs had their helping hands in ensuring this book would be somewhat of an antithesis for food and wine lovers alike. Planning a hot date with your partner or a casual dinner party with some friends? This is the book you want!
What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?
The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”
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