Books on Wine

There is much written on the subject of wine and the following list of books is by no means exhaustive. Some of the books have been recommended to members in our Newsletter and in special offers, some have been suggested by our buyers as being particularly useful. If there's a book that you think is good do let us hear about it so that we can share it with other members.

General guides

The World Atlas of Wine

By Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson

Compiled by two of the world's most authoritative wine writers, Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson, this geographical tour of the world of wine is a fascinating read. The latest edition of this highly successful book summarises all regions of the wine making world in terms of their geography and climate - illustrating for readers the links between terroir and wine quality. The 200 clear, detailed maps which accompany Robinson and Johnson's elegant prose set this book apart from its imitators.

The Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Jancis Robinson's exhaustive encyclopaedia of all things vinous is a must for any wine enthusiast's book shelf. If you purchase just one book on wine, then make it this one. Covering every aspect of wine from grape varieties to labelling laws, the history of wine to buying en primeur; this hefty tome is the essential reference book for both wine novice and seasoned connoisseur.

Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book

By Hugh Johnson

The very best concise wine reference. Updated annually, this portable guide to what to drink now is packed with facts, vintage and producer information.

Oz Clarke Pocket Wine Book

By Oz Clarke

Thoroughly and meticulously updated each year. The guide includes a handy country by country index as well as a full producer index helping you find over 4,000 of the world's top wine producers.

Michael Broadbent's Wine Vintages

By J.M. Broadbent

As well as being a superlative and practical guide to wine vintages from the 1890s to today, this is an interesting read for anyone who has ever wondered why vintage conditions have such an effect on the quality (and price!) of wine.

Wine Report 2009

By Tom Stevenson

This insider's guide to the world of wine is one of the most up-to-date on the market. Published annually it covers the latest news and trends from across the globe. Each wine region is covered by a different expert able to report on rising stars, must-buys and the most-recent harvest.

Essential Winetasting

By Michael Schuster

An excellent starting point for those new to wine. This detailed wine tasting course starts with a guide to how to taste wine and then explores all major grape varieties, wine styles and regions. Michael Schuster, who runs his own wine school in London, guides the reader through nine practical tasting sessions and offers advice on food and wine matching, storage and serving to enable readers to enjoy their wines to the full.

Wine Grapes

By Jancis Robinson MW, Julia Harding MW and José Vouillamoz

Leading wine writer, author and broadcaster, Jancis Robinson MW, tends not to do things by halves. Her latest book, a comprehensive guide to almost 1,400 grape varieties, is ambitious by anyone's standards. Together with co-writers Julia Harding MW and botanist José Vouillamoz, it took four years to compile. 1,200 pages long, this is the most in-depth book on grapes you are ever likely to find. Beautifully illustrated and meticulously researched.

Books on wine regions


By Robert Parker

A comprehensive guide to the wines of Bordeaux. Whilst we may not always agree with Robert Parker's opinions or wine scores, there is no denying his in-depth knowledge of the châteaux of this region. A superb reference guide from one of the wine world's most influential personalities.

The Finest Wines of Bordeaux

By James Lawther

Another excellent book by the editorial team at The World of Fine Wine magazine. James Lawther MW has identified 90 producers with the finest wines and the most interesting stories to tell. Intimate portraits in an approachable style with beautiful photos by Jon Wyand. Many of our favourite suppliers are included.

Wines of Bordeaux

By David Peppercorn

A compact guide for those looking for something a little less hefty than Parker's tome. Peppercorn, one of the UK's leading authorities on Bordeaux, profiles over 1000 leading and lesser-known châteaux and provides vintage reports and quality recommendations. (NB: Revisions are not always fully updated.)

The Wines of Burgundy

By Clive Coates

Clive Coates' 2008 book updates the 1997 edition (below) but removes the excellent domaine profiles of the former. It has a good introduction and description of vineyards, and short notes on producers, which are graded by a star system, but most of the book is composed of tasting notes.

Cote D'Or: A Celebration of the Great Wines of Burgundy

By Clive Coates

This award-winning book is often referred to as the 'bible of Burgundy', not least because of the excellent domaine profiles which are sadly missing from Clive's 1997 updated edition.

Wines of Burgundy (Mitchell Beazley wine guides)

By Serena Sutcliffe

Sutcliffe's succinct work, modestly priced, now out of print, is an excellent introduction if you can get hold of it. Look on – a wonderful global gathering of second-hand booksellers

The Great Domaines of Burgundy

By Remington Norman

Third edition of an excellent book with detailed descriptions of the 'top' 141 domaines. It usefully includes some quite modestly-priced domaines, for example Prudhon in St Aubin, as well as the 'great'. A few selections not merited but generally very reliable.

Gigondas: its wines, its land, its people

By John Livingstone-Learmonth, Georges Truc, Jean-Baptiste Amadieu, Louis Barruol, Véronique Raisin, Ilka Kramer

This magnificent 500-page work includes commentary on the tasting of 50 vintages by John Livingstone-Learmonth, chapters on geology and history, as well as descriptions of every estate, with contributions from Kermit Lynch, Christophe Tassan, Alain Senderens, Alain Passard, Kelly Mc Auliffe, Ned Goodwin, Andrew Jefford, Lincoln Siliakus and Josh Raynolds. It's available in English and French directly from the Gigondas winemakers' website at

The Finest Wines of Champagne

By Michael Edwards

Winner of the Louis Roederer International Wine Book Award, this is another one in the excellent series by the team at The World of Fine Wine magazine. There is an informative section on the history and background of Champagne but the main focus of the book is the producers, with over 100 profiles of both the big names and the up and coming growers. Several of our suppliers are listed.

The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy

By Nicolas Belfrage

Another book in the excellent series by the team at The World of Fine Wine magazine written by Nicolas Belfrage who also wrote our How to Buy Italy guide published on this website. The book is well-organised as well as well-written and beautifully illustrated throughout with some sumptuous photos by Jon Wyand.

The Wine and Food Lover's Guide to Portugal

By Charles Metcalfe and Kathryn McWhirter

Be sure to pack this delightful guide when travelling to Portugal. Or better still, use it to plan a gastronomic tour of this exciting wine-producing country. Packed with invaluable information about where to find the best food, most interesting places to stay and, of course, which wines to drink!

Wine related subjects

Great British Wine Accessories 1550-1900

By Robin Butler

Wine Society member Robin Butler's beautifully produced boxed book has been written with wine lovers in mind rather than collectors of corkscrews and labels. The history of British wine paraphernalia in all its idiosyncratic glory is wittily presented and sumptuously photographed.

The Story of Wine

By Hugh Johnson

Hugh Johnson charts the history of wine from the dawn of civilisation to the present day. A fascinating, captivating read which would make a great gift for any wine lover.

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