Top reads

Here are the books, periodicals, and some web resources that I have found useful in both factual content and explanation.  Some are outstanding, and a jolly good read too – I see these as core texts, which are asterisked.

Producer guides

  • Caillard, C. (2013). Penfolds – The Rewards of Patience. 7th Ed. Hardie Grant Books.

Fortified wine

  • Elliott, T. (2010). The Wines of Madeira. Trevor Elliott Publishing. This was the only decent text on the market, until 2016, when Madeira: The Islands and their Wines, was published by Richard Mayson.
  • *Gordon, M.Z. (1990). Revised Ed. by John Doxat. Sherry, The Noble Wine. Quiller Press.
  • Jeffs, J. (1982). 3rd Ed. Sherry. faber and faber.
  • Martins, J.P. (2000). A Wine Lover’s Guide to Port. Publicacoes Dom Quixote.
  • *Mayson, R. (2004). Mitchell Beazley. Port and the Douro. [Sadly the proofing of this edition tailed off in later pages].  3rd Ed. 2012 now available.
  • Voss, R. (1993). Guide to Port and Sherry and other Fortified Wines. Mitchell Beazley.

Dessert wine

  • Brook, S. (1987). Liquid Gold – dessert wines of the world. Constable & Co., London.

Sparkling wine

  • Edwards, E. (2009). The Finest Wines of Champagne. Fine Wine Editions. Aurum Press, London.
  • *Forbes, P. (1972). Champagne, the Wine, the Land and the People.  Victor Gollanz, London.  An excellent history, look out for Dom Perignon’s not so popular statue, and the Mongolian features (still) apparent in some villages, stemming from Asiatic occupation a thousand years ago.  If you love Champagne and champagne then you must read this book, available from £0.01 + P&P from the book site that I cannot mention.
  • Grape Radio on Champagne – US wine discussion site with on the spot interviews and articles – Dom Perignon, Krug, Ruinart, Salon ..
  • *Halliday, J. (2008). Wine Atlas of Australia. Hardie Grant. Excellent coverage of regional terroir.
  • Liger-Belair, G. (2013) Revised edition. Uncorked: the science of champagne. Princeton University Press.
  • *Stevenson, T. (1998). Christie’s World Encyclopedia of Champagne & sparkling wine. Absolute Press.  [Later edition now available].

Regional and national guides

  • Clarke, O. (2004). Australian Wine Companion. Websters International Publishers.
  • Coates, C. (2000). An Encyclopedia of the Wines and Domaines of France. Cassell & Co.
  • *George, R. (2007). The Wines of Chablis and the Grand Auxerrois. Segrave Foulkes.
  • Halliday, J. (2008). Wine Atlas of Australia. hardie grant books.
  • Joseph, R. (2000). Vins de France. Grund. (In French)
  • Lichine, A. (1979). Alexis Lichine’s Guide to the Wines & Vineyards of France. Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
  • Livingstone-Learmouth, J. (2005). The Wines of the Northern Rhone. University of California Press.
  • Lynch, K. (2013). 25th Anniversary Edition of the 1988 issue. Adventures on the Wine Route – A Wine Buyer’s Tour of France. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, New York. [This reminded me to visit Domaine Tempier, and introduced, amongst others, Prieure de St Jean de Bebian, close to Pezenas, Cassis whites, and Chateau d’Epire at Savennieres].
  • Lynch, K. (2004). Inspiring Thirst, Vintage Selections from the Kermit Lynch Wine Brochure. Ten Speed Press, Toronto.
  • *Penning-Rowsell, E. (1985). 5th Ed. The Wines of Bordeaux.  Penguin Handbooks.
  • Phillips, R. (2017). The Wines of Canada. infinite ideas Classic Wine Library.
  • Reinhardt, S.  (2012). The Finest Wines of Germany. Fine Wine Editions. Aurum Press.
  • Strang, P. (2009). South-West France – The Wines and Winemakers. University of California Press.


  • EU wine-related law – AOP, IGP, AOC, Landwein and so on …
  • INAO – France, useful for detailed appellation information, and an alternative more user-friendly guide by Vin et Vigne
  • VDP – Germany, independent quality wine producer association


  • Bird, D. (MW). (2010). 3rd Ed. Understanding Wine Technology. DBQA Publishing.
  • *Goode, J. (2005). The Science of Wine. University of California Press.
  • *Goode, J., Harrop, S. (2011). Authentic Wine. University of California Press.
  • *Riberau-Gayon, P., Dubordieu, D., et al. (2007) 2nd Ed.  Handbook of Enology, Vol.1.  John Wiley and Sons.  [Contains clear authoritative materials on all wine making methods.  Loads of chemistry, but unneeded unless you are a chemist].


  • *Berry Bros. and Rudd Wine School. (2015). Exploring and Tasting Wine, A wine course with digressions. Berry Bros. and Rudd Press.
  • *Broadbent, M. (2003). Wine Tasting. Mitchell Beazley.  [An excellent practical guide, with a wide range of colour guides and tasting notes].
  • *Burton, N., Flewellen, J. (2014).  The Concise Guide to Wine and Blind Tasting. Acheron Press. [Summarises factors leading to regional styles, with lots of supporting history and anecdotal evidence].  I have used this to construct global maps of varietal characteristics, which is not so clear-cut as it used to be, as traditional (olde worlde) producers take on modern (new world) styles as part of their repertoire.
  • Evans, L. (2007). How to taste wine. Barbara Beckett Publishing, Sydney.
  • *Lenoir, J. 2006. Le Nez du Vin, 54 aroma kit.
  • *Lenoir, J. (2006). Le Nez du Vin, Les Defauts.  Twelve wine fault aroma kit.
  • *Peynaud, E. (1987). The Taste of Wine. Translated by Michael Schuster. The Wine Appreciation Guild.
  • Simon, P. (2000). Wine-tasters’ logic. Faber and Faber.

Wide ranging wine related content

  • Decanter magazine – goes without saying.
  • *Lewin, B. (MW). (2010). Wine Myths and Reality. Vendange Press Dover. [This text tells it how it really is, some brilliant insights].
  • Noble Rot, editor Dan Keeling, a twice-yearly food and wine commentary magazine.


  • Faith, N. (1992). Guide to Cognac and other brandies. Mitchell Beazley Wine Guides.
  • Harrison, J., Ridley, N. (2014). Distilled. Mitchell Beazley

Updated 05/01/20

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