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Snooth User: Nina Syr

Looking for good books

Posted by Nina Syr, Apr 27, 2012.

I completed couple of wine courses. Thinking about continuing studying. But meanwhile I want to read more about wine. I have couple of enciclopedias. I would appreciate some suggestions. I need something to read for intermediate level.

Thank you!

I checked previous similar chats, but I would love to know more!


Reply by jamessulis, Apr 27, 2012.

Although there are plenty of good wine books I only rely on a wine encyclopedia because it doesn't really get dated. I find most all of my information right here on Snooth through reading Gregory Dal Piaz amongst others. The information given here is like a gigantic flood. Daily articles are astounding and if you peruse the forum and use the search the snooth forum, viola it comes up. Another good source is Wine Spectator which is a monthly magazine subscription cost around $50 per year which is an excellent current day upscale mag. Between these two sources, I suppose an occasional book would be supplemental.

Lefty - The Great Pacific Northwest

Reply by gkerns, Apr 28, 2012.

I too am somewhat of an intermediate having completed the Advanced level of the WSET series.  If you can get copies of the WSET texts (I think they are available on Amazon), they are very good for general overviews of many areas of wine including grape growing and wine making.  One of my favorite books is Wine Myths and Reality writted by Benjamin Lewin, Master of Wine.  Although a great reference, it is also readable.  I have read it front to back (although I certainly don't retain all of it).  Other good references are Hugh Johnson's Wine Companion and The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson.  I also find Jancis Robinson's and Hugh Johnson's World Atlas of Wine indispensible when it comes to the geography of wine.  Another book I consult frequently is Grapes and Wine by Oz Clarke which does a great job of seperating all the many synonyms for all the different grape varieties.

Reply by Nina Syr, Apr 28, 2012.

jamessulis, thank you very much! I will continiue reading snooth and also look closely on all snooth articles!

gkerns, thank you! I'll keep those books in mind!

Reply by Nathan Ophardt, Apr 30, 2012.

Hi Nina - the web can be a great resource, but if you like a true reference book, The Oxford Encyclopedia of wine is V. detailed but thorough. Oz Clarke is also a great idea, we have "Let Me Tell You About Wine" - it's short and sweet, to the point, packed with info, and also a beautiful color layout. Hope these help! Our blog is geared at people like us, we love wine and we want to learn more and don't know where to start. I would be honored if you looked there, too.  Good luck!!

-Tina (

Reply by joebernardinoATyahoo, Apr 30, 2012.



Reply by Richard Foxall, May 1, 2012.

Wine Lovers Companion by Herbst and Herbst is a great resource that fits in a handbag and has tons of good info. 

I second Grapes and Wines. Or third it, or something.  Beautiful book with scads of info and Oz Clarke is unabashed about his personal tastes.

And accessing Snooth with your smart phone while shopping is a big help.

Spectator wears me out so I only buy it occasionally and I am not fond of the "empire" -- Cigar Afficionado, Malt Whatever... In general, I'm against the points business entirely and find their writing about wine only somewhat useful.  I actually like their coverage of the business side better but it's a small part of the picture. 

Whatever you read, you have to filter it through the tastes and prejudices of the writer.  I like GdP, but we probably differ on a few things--definitely our reference points for Pinot Noir are different--just to cite one example.  Best is when you can actually try the wines that the writer is writing about--then you barely need the writer, but you also have some sense of what they are on about.  If you live in NY, find out how to get an invite to a Snooth tasting.  (Hint:  Next time I go to NY, I'm going to bug GdP again!)

Reply by Nina Syr, May 2, 2012.

Thank you everyone!

Foxall, I live it Toronto. I try to do tastings whenever I find any!;0)

Reply by Matthijs Visser, May 2, 2012.

My two cents: since I enjoy history, I'm a big fan of Hugh Johnson's Story of Wine. Many of the others on my book shelf have been mentioned above already as well.

In terms of magazines, I prefer Decanter over Spectator. I find it goes somewhat more in-depth and I appreciate their reliance on panel tastings (as opposed to individual tasters), since it generally provides a good sense of which wines wil be generally liked and for which wines opinions will be divided.

Reply by Terence Pang, May 11, 2012.

To the good recommendations from others here, I would add Chateauneuf du Pape Wine Book by Harry Karis. I bought my copy from Amazon, it's a phenomenal read! And so many pretty pictures! (that turn more pretty after you've had several glasses whilst flipping the pages)

Reply by Mike Madaio, May 11, 2012.

If you are interested in Italian wine, Vino Italiano is outstanding. Though in many ways it is an encyclopedia-type book, there are enough stories and historical anecdotes to make it a fun book to read as well.

I also recently read I'll Drink to That, which is a combo history of Beaujolais and bio of George DuBoeuf. It is very different from most of the books listed here in that it's a book you read from start to finish, but I found it to be quite interesting (and I don't even drink that much Beaujolais).

Reply by Richard Foxall, May 11, 2012.

I've been eying that Karis book for a while.  Looks like I need to break down and buy it.  Not cheap, but the whole mystique of CdP just kind of intrigues me.

Reply by shsim, May 11, 2012.

If you are interested in history, Wine and War is great! By Donald Kladstrup. It talks about world war one and how the french in each major production area protected their wine etc. The authors interviewed many well-known winemaking families (Rothschild, Huet, Drouhin of Burgundy etc). Fun way to get to know the regions!

Reply by Mike Madaio, May 11, 2012.

Count me in with the anti-Spectator crowd. It is pretty much a glorified buyer's guide for rich people. Sure, there are occasionally some good articles (everything by Matt Kramer, for example), but more often it's just ratings in article form. For education and entertainment, you're probably better off with Wine Enthusiast. It's not as "serious", but it is more interesting.

Reply by Nina Syr, May 16, 2012.

Thank you very much everyone! I love history, and I'm  interested in Italian wine very much! I really appreciate your help!

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