Ten wine books to read during holidays

by Dec 17, 2020News0 comments

(Photo by Michal Osmenda on Wikimedia Commons)

(Photo by Michal Osmenda on Wikimedia Commons)

Dear reader,

We’ve been spending quite a lot of time at home. There’s the pandemic, and we’re all some sort of quarantined. There’s the true winter coming. Personally, for me nothing beats reading a nice book in the couch in my PJs (okay, moving on…).

If you’re a wine lover like we at Alti Wine Exchange are, bear with me for some tips on books about wine for these holidays.

Months ago, I made you a list of of wine-related novels (oh, and also a list of films and shows about wine, as well). I hope they will give you some hints of what to look for at any time of the year, but here are a few other choices that could cheer you up!

These ten reads are great to learn more about wine, enjoy the most of wine talks for your holidays, or simply to chill a bit.

Wine books to enjoy this Christmas and for holidays

A Life in Wine

Steven Spurrier

The wine expert behind the legendary 1976 Judgment of Paris has revamped and enriched his 2018 memoir, Wine: A way of life. Great for insights from someone who has seen the world of wine change so much as time went by – also due to his own efforts.

Inside Bordeaux

Jane Anson

The Decanter columnist, a major Bordeaux specialist, launched this year her long-awaited book on the history and details on hundreds of the region’s châteaux, showing how the idea that terroir is historically overlooked in Bordeaux has more and more proven to be a misconception.

In the meantime, you can also meet the unmissable Bordeaux traits in Julien Miquel’s series!

Big Macs + Burgundy

Vanessa Price

A light-hearted approach to wine pairing! Sommelier Vanessa Price shows just how you can have great pairings out of unsuspicious and exotic choices – like the one that makes for the title of the book, fried chicken with Champagne and more. So much fun for wine lovers that care more for good wine than for fancy experiences.

Oh: want a quick introduction to the world of pairing, also luxury aside? Our post from some months ago may help you out right now for pairing tips!

Which Wine When

Bert Blaise and Claire Trickett

In times of quarantines and all, sometimes wine lovers just want to make it simple, down-to-earth. Just as the unusual pairings above, this book also shows interesting pairings with everyday meal – takeaways, snacks, cheese and charcuterie… always with affordable options.

More pieces on wine tasting? Here you go.

The World Atlas of Wine (8th edition)

Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson

wine atlas jackman robinson.jpgwine atlas jackman robinson.jpg

For this latest edition of the wine atlas that has been going strong for decades, a brand new design comes out, whereas very interesting new information is featured, such as new added regions, 20 new maps and extended details on many winemaking areas – showing just how much the wine world has been evolving since this piece’s inception.

The 24-Hour Wine Expert

Jancis Robinson

Once again going with the superstar British critic and wine writer, this is a great option for beginners, with insights from specialists, authors and tasters to help you know everything you need on a short notice to pick the right bottle, identify your wine and find out pairings, among others.

Wine Folly: The essential guide to wine

Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack


Again on easy tips: Wine Folly’s book is a great choice to introduce yourself to regions, grapes, pairing styles, glassware, production and more. Easy to understand and beautifully designed, as their blog usually does. Very good as a gift to both experts and wannabe-oenologists!

Gold in the Vineyards: Illustrated stories of the world’s most celebrated vineyards

Laura Catena

The author-vintner does a classy and careful approach of visually highlighting “the true stories of love, family, betrayal and war at the origin of twelve of the New and Old World’s most famous vineyards”, and what led to great wines in history – with details on families such as Rothschild, Mondavi and Antinori (and much more).

Oh: we have launched wines by the greatest winemaking minds of each of these families. Don’t miss out!

The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste: A Field Guide to the Great Wines of Europe

Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay

Should we define it that way, this is almost a full course on the geography of wine in Europe. A dive into the continent’s terroirs and history of winemaking, providing also formidable connections between the different producing regions and their produces’ flavors, aromas and character.

Wine and the White House

Frederick J. Ryan, Jr

Last but not the least, a wonderful book by the publisher and CEO of the Washington Post. Fred Ryan, who worked at the White House and has been a long-time Napa enthusiast, makes a comprehensive account of the love of U.S. presidents for wine throughout the centuries.

Want a bigger glimpse of this book? Check our post on the American presidents’ favourite wines and wine styles.

* * *

Whew! That’s it.

I think these reads might just be a great pick even if you’re still thinking of a last-minute Christmas gift.

But if you really want to make your Christmas meaningful and valuable, grab any of our Christmas gift cards and give your loved ones the best investment-grade wines for the future.

Happy holidays!

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