Top 10 Wine Books for the Holidays

Get the best for the wine lover in your life


One good thing about the wine lover is that there is always something new to buy for him or her each holiday season. I mean, you have 100,000 new wines to choose from! Daunting is it? Well, you also have a never ending crop of new wine books that are printed each year.

One nice thing to see is the proliferation of different styles of wine books. Where once they were quite focused on tasting notes and the most popular regions, today they run the gamut from silly and fun to heavy and dense with information. These are the best of the new releases, so stock up for your favorite wine lover. At least with these books you know you'll be buying something they like!

#10 Wine Lover

by Tim Fenton MW

Sometimes, the best thing about wine is that it can be trivial, frivolous and fun. This is not a wine book you should buy for those wanting to learn about the details of winemaking or the character of recent vintages. This is the wine book to buy for your friends who are hip to the funnier side of wine. Let them enjoy the quips, jokes, quotes and tips designed to enlighten and amuse us all.

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#9 Real Men Drink Port ... and Ladies Do Too!

by Ben Howkins

Here's a book that manages to amuse and entertain. If you want an interesting and complete overview of the Port wine industry without having to read a text book, I can think of no finer tome. Ben Howkins is well known for his knowledge of Port, and is able to convey fascinating details with passion as he examines the history of both Port wine and the Port drinker from early days to the present. There are some behind the scenes surprises revealed here that make this an essential book for the Port lover.

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#8 A Vineyard in My Glass

by Gerald Asher

Gerald Asher made a name for himself as the long time wine editor for Gourmet magazine. Over that span of three decades, he witnessed firsthand the transformation of regions and an entire industry. In his casual and easy-to-read style, he conveys many of his best wine moments to his reader, recalling great wines, exciting finds, revelations and the winemakers who made them. This compilation of his best essays is a joy to read and reflects many of the changes he witnessed.

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#7 A Toast to Bargain Wines: How Innovators, Iconoclasts, and Winemaking Revolutionaries Are Changing the Way the World Drinks

by George Taber

George Taber is one of the great authors in the wine world, having written the probing and definitive account of the famed Judgment of Paris. He's out with a new book, and this take is a decidedly lighter tone. It's not frivolous by any means, just incredibly pertinent.

The subtitle says it all: "How innovators, Iconoclasts and Winemaking Revolutionaries Are Changing the Way the World Drinks" Learn why inexpensive wine is better than ever and see who George thinks is among the best.

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#6 Kevin Zraly's Complete Wine Course

by Kevin Zraly

So you want to learn about wine? Then take a course from the master. No one has taught so many people, so well, and over such a long period of time (sorry Kevin) than Kevin Zraly. His course has been honed over many years and is the same course work he uses to teach his renowned Window on the World wine class. Easy to read, easy to understand and broken down into convenient lessons that make sense, this book is simply the best way to learn about wine!

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This is Kevin's 40th year in the wine business, and to celebrate, he has updated all the material on vineyards in Austria, Hungary, Greece, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, and Argentina. Plus, he completely refreshed the tasting section with flavor profiles that also discuss winemaking, created a new Best of the Best chapter, and included more than 20 smart phone tags throughout the book that link to videos of Kevin talking about wine. As always, the book offers the chapters: Wine Basics, Tasting Wine, Matching Wine and Food, Frequently Asked Questions About Wine, and a Selected Glossary. Zraly goes region by region, with the wines organized from simple to complex, allowing readers who follow Kevin's order to experience the finest wines and a wide diversity of tastes, styles, regions, and countries.

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  • your links don't always work and your e-mails are far too frequent! If that can not be changed I will likely stop using your service

    Nov 28, 2011 at 4:54 PM

  • Snooth User: PLMO
    853999 20

    Tim Fenton's a man after my own heart! I love telling little stories about wines I sell...about my trip to that vineyard, how a celebrity had a runner purchase a particular wine from me, it helps make wine less daunting and more personalized! That book's going on my wish list!!!

    Nov 28, 2011 at 7:37 PM

  • You know what's really good?

    Giving someone a book on, for example, port - and also giving them the wine it describes!

    Nothing like drinking a wine while you're reading about it.

    (Or am I simply posting my own Xmas wishlist...? Is that you, Mrs K?)

    Nov 29, 2011 at 6:27 AM

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