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10 Best Wine Books for Beginners and Enthusiasts

There’s a lot of information about wine online, but if you’re new to the scene, all of this insight can quickly become overwhelming. 

If you’re a wine lover looking for a complete, comprehensive guide to fuel your knowledge, these are the ten best books to start with. 

Whether you’re interested in a wine-tasting book, a fictional story based on facts, or something visual, keep reading to find the perfect fit for your shelf. 

Best Wine Books For Beginners and Enthusiasts Infographic | DRINKS

1. The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson

A true classic in the wine scene, The World Atlas of Wine spans history, maps, photographs, production methods, and more. Its eighth edition also details changes in the global wine scene. If you’re looking to learn a lot about wine quickly, you’ll find a wealth of information by simply flipping through the pages.

  1. 2. Wine People by Michelle Wildgen

Cofounder of the Madison Writers’ Studio, Michelle Wildgen, showcases mouthwatering descriptions of food and wine alongside captivating drama in this high-stakes novel. The story takes readers from Italy to the Midwest as two opposite women are forced to become allies in a male-dominated wine industry. This novel is perfect for wine professionals and beginners as it provides knowledge alongside an interesting, cutthroat story everyone can enjoy.

  1. 3. The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil

A tried and true resource when it comes to wine knowledge, wine writer Karen MacNeil takes the reader through the fundamentals of everything from terroir to grape varieties in a comprehensive, entertaining way. It’s an easy-to-grasp overview that’s not overly simplistic, making it perfect for newbies eager to learn about wine.

  1. 4. Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker

Written by blogger and sommelier Bianca Bosker, this informative journey reads like a story as the author answers her own question, “What’s the big deal about wine?” Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste is the perfect book on wine for beginners, as readers feel like they’re learning alongside Bosker. Travel with Bianca as she visits elite sommeliers and wineries, taking her from amateur sipper to fellow expert. 

Cheersing glasses of red wine | DRINKS

  1. 5. Natural Wine for the People by Alice Feiring

The popularity of natural, biodynamic, and organic wines has been booming lately, but what do these categories mean? In Natural Wine for the People: What It Is, Where to Find It, How to Love It, James-Beard award-winner Alice Feiring sets the record straight with comprehensive definitions and tips for sourcing. If you’re curious about the natural wine scene, Feiring is considered the queen and will break down everything you need to know.

  1. 6. Wine Simple by Aldo Sohm and Christine Muhlke

If you’re more of a visual learner, this is the best book to learn about wine. Sommelier Aldo Sohm doesn’t skimp on the details as he takes readers through complex subjects alongside vibrant, informative infographics in Wine Simple: A Totally Approachable Guide from a World-Class Sommelier. Sohm has worked alongside Michelin star chefs for over a decade, so this book is packed with tasting notes, food pairings, and everything in between.

  1. 7. The Wine Dine Dictionary by Victoria Moore

Another bread-and-butter choice when it comes to wine tasting and pairing, The Wine Dine Dictionary: Good Food and Good Wine: An A-Z of Suggestions for Happy Eating and Drinking is an excellent guide for those who want to know exactly how to drink wine. Author and wine columnist Victoria Moore informs readers what to pair with dinner, great wine for special occasions and a full breakdown of why each pairing works. 

  1. 8. The New Wine Rules by Jon Bonné

For aspiring oenophiles looking to taste wine confidently without the stuffy rules, acclaimed wine writer Jon Bonné has authored the perfect simple, straightforward guide without the stress. The New Wine Rules: A Genuinely Helpful Guide to Everything You Need to Know throws out the old and instead tells readers exactly what they need to know. It’s ideal for newbies and a comprehensive reminder for those who have been in the wine industry a little longer.

  1. 9. Wine Folly: Magnum Edition by Justin Hammack and Madeline Puckette

More than a beautiful wine coffee table book, this gorgeous edition from Wine Folly won a James Beard Foundation Award in 2019. It’s one of the top-rated wine books for beginners as it details fun explorer maps of wine regions, detailed meal pairing and tasting guides, and info on more than 100 grape varietals. Not only is it incredibly informative, it’s visually appealing with easy-to-follow graphics. 

  1. 10. Sideways by Rex Pickett

The best book on wine for film lovers, Sideways is a funny and irreverent fiction novel that chronicles the misadventures of two aging friends as they taste their way through Santa Barbara wine country. Not only is it one of the most iconic books of its kind, but it’s also a renowned film directed by Alexander Payne. If you love road trip comedies and Pinot Noir, you’ll love Sideways.

Book, glasses, white wine | DRINKS

Read More, Wine More

Now that you know the best books for aspiring wine enthusiasts, it’s time to find the perfect choice for your bookshelf or coffee table. We recommend starting with one, then revisiting this list and working your way down. After just one page, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an expert.

If you’d like to enrich your wine knowledge further, check out our Podcast and Wine Online 101 for everything related to the world of wine.

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