5 wine books that changed how we think about wine

Great wine books that challenge the status quo.  Grab a glass of wine and curl up with one of these 5 gems this long weekend. Cheers!

Bursting Bubbles: A Secret History of Champagne and the Rise of the Great Growers

By Robert Walters 

books about wine - bursting bubbles

You won’t drink or think of Champagne the same after this book. 

Walters burst the myths surrounding the history of Champagne, and shows how the mysticism around this region was carefully built.

If you enjoy reading about marketing and branding, this book is a class on those subjects! Walters attributes Champagne’s rockstar status to some seriously savvy marketing moves – all of which he uncovers in detail in the book.

The author also delves deep into the realm of artisanal Champagne producers. Thanks to this book, we’ve discovered incredible producers, such as Egly-Ouriet, Selosse, Agrapart, Larmandier-Bernier, and Jérome Prévost.

Walters does a great job of telling the stories of each producer, painting vivid portraits, and linking them back to the unique traits of their wines.

The only downside? We ended up with quite a lengthy wishlist of Champagnes to taste, and some of them come with a pretty hefty price tag!

Godforsaken Grapes: A Slightly Tipsy Journey through the World of Strange, Obscure, and Underappreciated Wine

By Jason Wilson

books about wine - god forsaken grape

This guy is the most fun wine writer, hands down! Jason started as a cocktail writer, and entered the wine world by accident – his introduction to wine is a big part of the book, which we won’t tell you here because it would spolt it for you. 

The author shares stories of his travels in pursuit of wines made from grapes beyond the usual suspects (as the title says the strange, obscure, and underappreciated ones). His journey takes us to unexpected corners of the globe, from the vineyards of New Jersey to the mountains of Switzerland.

Our favorite part of this book was learning about the stories of the wines and regions from the point of view of the people whose lives are intertwined with the grapes.  

We guarantee, even the non-wine-geek will enjoy reading the book.  And for the wine geeks, you will find a kindred spirit and maybe even a new quest – to track down and taste these god-forsaken wines!

Palmento: A Sicilian Wine Odyssey

by Robert Camuto 

book about wine - palmento a wine odissey

If you have a soft spot for all things Italian (let’s face it, who doesn’t?), then this book is a must-read, even if you’re not a huge wine drinker.

I read this book before a trip to Italy, and it made me fall in love with Sicily, so much so that I changed my plans and spent way more time in Sicily than initially planned!

Palmento has this quality of being a wine book that leaves us with much less of an impression of Sicily’s wines than it does a fascination with the island’s food, culture, people, and landscape.

Camuto is an excellent storyteller with a gift to uncover the details that make Sicily’s vibrant culture and its people alive on the page. 

I can’t recommend it enough.

Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer’s Tour of France

By Kermit Lynch

books about wine - adventures on the wine route

Kermit Lynch is to wine what Anthony Bourdain is to food: witty, opinionated, kind, with impeccable taste, and an expert at demystifying what could be a very snobby subject. In his case, French wines.

This book, just republished for its 25th anniversary, is one of the most popular and widely read wine books. It’s fair to say that “Adventures on a Wine Route” catapulted Lynch to cult status as a French wine writer and critic.

In the book, he recounts his experiences visiting small European family wineries as a wine importer during the 1970s and 1980s.

Though Burgundy and Bordeaux are lengthy chapters of the book, my favorite part was when he visited Provence producers and shed light on their struggle as a wine region threatened by real estate speculation, with people seeking to buy wineries to convert them into vacation homes. It’s a story that feels all too timely and unfortunately familiar, echoed in regions around the globe far too often.

Natural wine for the people

By Alice Feiring 

book about wine - natural wine for the people

Alice Feiring is a handful – witty, opinionated, and incredibly passionate about natural wine. She’ll stop at nothing to convert you into a natural wine-only drinker (focus on ONLY).

She’s been an advocate of the natural wine movement for years, spreading the word (and stirring the pot!) through her blog, The Feiring Line.

Her book, “Natural Wine for the People,” is a comprehensive introduction to everything one needs to know about natural wines, addressing any questions the reader might have.

But beyond just facts, the book also serves as a platform for Feiring’s controversial criticisms of the mainstream wine industry. She’s not scared of expressing her opinions, especially when it comes to what she views as “sacrilegious winemaking practices”. For instance, while discussing the role of reverse osmosis — a widely used method to reduce alcohol levels in wine — Feiring boldly states that the practice “is akin to putting wine through a torture chamber because of the filtration methods used in the process.”

That’s the kind of colorful and passionate writing you’ll find throughout the book.

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