In this article published author, wine writer and wine educator, Caro Feely, provides a list of must read books for those learning about wine and keen to broaden their wine knowledge. Caro is co-owner of Chateau Feely, organic and biodynamic vineyard in France.
I recently promised to provide a wine book reading list to our WSET students – to read beyond their WSET text books and provide a wider understanding of wine – wine books that entertain and also educate.
These are my top picks of books that offer learning but with a light touch.
* Note – these links are connected to my amazon affiliate account – if you buy through them I get a tiny kickback – a small contribution to the cost of operating this website- thank you for your support if you do. Alternatively I encourage you to buy from your local bookshop.
My favourite wine book in recent times. Bianca Bosker tells of her quest to become a sommelier and her tasting experiences – among others – in a high flying circle of New York sommeliers.
What you’ll learn – details about tasting, about wine and the underworld of restaurants and sommeliers. It is very entertaining and well written.
Find Cork Dork on amazon here Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste.
A voyage of stories about wine both old and new; some very amusing.
What you’ll learn – details about wine regions that Nathalie visits and wine tasting written in a very easy style.
Find this wonderful excursion on amazon at Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass
A mix of anecdotes and interesting people in the wine world with a good dose of why natural wine is good by author and sometime New York Times Wine Writer, Alice Feiring. My partner Sean Feely, the winemaker and winegrower at Chateau Feely also enjoyed this.
What you’ll learn – details about the world of wine from the perspective of Feiring’s passion, natural wine.
Find this great natural wine adventure on amazon at The Battle For Wine And Love.
Mike Veseth is a writer and economist. His books offer anecdotes and entertainment but also a lot of economics and business understanding for the wine sector.
What you’ll learn: economics of wine and business of wine through case studies.
Find Mike’s first book, the one I’m recommending as part of this list, at amazon here Wine Wars: The Curse of the Blue Nun, the Miracle of Two Buck Chuck, and the Revenge of the Terroirists and then also consider Mike’s two more recent books that offer good background reading Money, Taste, and Wine: It’s Complicated! and Around the World in Eighty Wines: Exploring Wine One Country at a Time
This book is charts what happened in some of the most prestigious wine regions including Bordeaux and Champagne during World War II, a horrific moment in Europe’s history.
What you’ll learn: what happened in the world of wine during world war II and how that history these regions.
Find this book on wine history on amazon at Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure.
An investigative journalist delves into the world of auctions for fine wines… this is a page-turning exposé based on a true story of the biggest wine fraudster.
What you’ll learn: this is a serious page turner that reads like a spy novel but in the process you’ll learn about the world of fine wine and also pick up a little about the regions associated with those wines.
Find this rocking high stakes wine auction at The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine.
My list would not be complete without a book about winegrowing. Shameless self promotion in recommending the first book in the memoir series about starting our organic vineyard in France.
What you’ll learn: what goes into running a vineyard and small boutique wine business, life in France and organic winegrowing. If you move onto the second in the series you’ll learn more about the subjects above but also about biodynamics and the third natural winemaking.
Grape Expectations: A Family’s Vineyard Adventure in France (Caro Feely Book 1). The series offers a ‘warts and all’ exposé of what its like running a vineyard and wine business and life on a vineyard. Read the second Saving Our Skins: Building a Vineyard Dream in France (The Caro Feely Wine Collection) and the third Glass Half Full: The Ups and Downs of Vineyard Life in France (Caro Feely Book 3).
These seven books offer a great insight into the world of wine that goes beyond the WSET or Sommelier text books. I’ll be creating another list of wine biographies and of vineyard books shortly so join our mailing list at the bottom right of this page to receive our seasonal newsletter, wine school, events, wine pairing, recipes and more info on this topic.
If you are interested in learning more about wine take a look at our online wine school page, come and do a multi day course or multi day tour .