VisitVineyards.com's Top 12 Wine Books 2009
By Tricia Brown
Whether wine expert, wine novice or just wine curious, with our list of the best wine books reviewed over the past year or so by the VisitVineyards.com team it doesn't matter, as there is something here for every wine lover's library.
For those who just want to learn more about wine - from understanding, selecting, enjoying and even investing - to the professional winemaker looking for solutions to a winemaking problem, our favourite wine books are for anyone and everyone who has any kind of interest in wine - from casual drinkers to those already working in or contemplating a career in the wine industry.
Here are our picks for a dozen of the best wine books to come our way in recent times. We've seen many others and some we haven't reviewed but are excellent - such as Burgundy by Clive Coates - and others didn't make the cut (or, as with wine samples, we simply were not sent). More are coming soon including the sumptous Champagne and Chandeliers by Bernadette O'Shea.
The late Len Evans' book How to taste wine is included as a footnote; it remains a benchmark for brevity, wit and information and is as relevant today as when it was first published.
Australian Wine Companion 2010 - James Halliday (Aus)
Our number one for 2009. It's a highlight of the wine collector's year - profiling nearly 1500 wineries and vineyards, with nearly 6000 tasting notes and vintage rating charts - the release of the 2010 edition of the James Halliday Australian Wine Companion »
The Australian Wine Encyclopedia - James Halliday
Our number two. This book by wine expert James Halliday is one that every serious student of Australian wine has needed for some time. There are over 800 entries on everything from the personalities of the wine industry and major wine estates, to obscure grape varieties and winemaking terms. If you know even a half of this you’ll be a walking Australian Wine Encyclopedia yourself »
The Oxford Companion to Wine - Jancis Robinson (UK)
An essential addition to any wine lover's library, The Oxford Companion to Wine covers everything from wine history to the most current wine-making techniques and terms »
Wine Wise - Steven Kolpan, Brian Smith and Michael Weiss (USA)
Want to learn more about wine? You could do a lot worse than starting here. This is an up-to-date, consumer-friendly, introductory to medium-level wine book - suitable for the wine novice, to lend to your vinicurious friends, to settle dinner party arguments or to expand your own wine knowledge »
A Taste of the World of Wine - Patrick Iland, Peter Gago et al
Four wine experts share their international wine knowledge. Refreshingly ego free, this introductory wine text is a must-buy for any serious student seeking A Taste of the World of Wine »
Heard it Through the Grapevine - Matt Skinner
Straight forward, colourful and informative, in this offering Matt Skinner consolidates his knowledge of wine gathered over the years and presents it in an easily accessible and most readable format »
The Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide 2009 - Nick Stock
Internationally awarded wine journalist, Nick Stock tasted his way through over 5000 wines to select the top 1200 for inclusion in this 2009 edition of the Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide »
The 2010 edition has recently been published and will be reviewed shortly.
Australian Wine Vintages 2010 - Rob Geddes
Robin Bradley has handed over the reins of Australian Wine Vintages 2010 ('the Gold Book') to wine master Robert Geddes, and there are some great changes, the biggest of which is the increase in the number of five gold star wines from 16 to 94. Who's in and what will get wine buyers buzzing »
The World Atlas of Wine - Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson (UK)
Written by the world's most authoritative wine duo, the unparalleled clarity and details of the maps remain core to the Atlas. Each of the 200 wine region maps has been thoroughly researched and updated. A must-have book and reference work for all wine enthusiasts »
The Wine Maker's Answer Book - Alison Crowe (USA)
Professional US winemaker Alison Crowe shares her knowledge generously and simply in this small volume that promises answers to every question and solutions to every winemaking problem »
Taste Food and Wine 2009 - Matthew Jukes & Tyson Stelzer
Matthew Jukes and Tyson Stelzer are heading a new wave of wine commentators who just want you to drink and eat better, broaden your horizons and amaze your tastebuds. The 2009 release of Taste Food and Wine is a compilation of the best wine these lads can find; they say it's the very best wine list they've ever put together »
Unfortunately there is no 2010 edition planned - look out on your iPhone shortly, perhaps...
West Australian Wine Guide 2009 - Ray Jordan
Ray Jordan's 7th annual guide to West Australian wines is a must-have for anyone buying or interested in the wines of Western Australia, and a great model in terms of design and content. His wine recommendations are excellent »
The 8th edition will be released early in 2010.
How to taste wine - Len Evans
This book is Len Evan's final legacy to the wine world, and to us remains a benchmark. It's as relevant today as when it was published. Completed shortly before his sudden death in 2006, it puts many other wine books to shame – firstly, for its brevity »
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