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Although it might be hard to believe that we do things other than taste wine all day, we actually love to read over here at Cellar Thief! Obviously when we do crack open books, it’s about wine all the time. Whether it’s cookbooks with food pairings, a guide on how to taste, or a breakdown of the grand crus of Burgundy, we’re totally here for print. Check out our list below of some of our faves!
1. The Sommeliers Atlas of Taste by Rajat Parr and Jordan MackayTruly one of the best references for all of the historical appellations of Europe. Parr is a baller Master Sommelier while Mackay is a highly noted food and wine writer, and their combined love of the matter is extremely noticeable. There are books that show you maps of the 7 grand crus of Chablis and there are other books that tell you the flavor profile of Chardonnay grown in Chablis. No books describe the intricacies of the way that wine should taste based on the subregion, soil, and geography of appellation. Trust us on this one for an necessary reference.
2. The New Wine Rules by Jon BonnéForget all of the complicated and traditional rules you’ve learned- most likely their antiquated. What should you do instead? Crack open this rule book full of short & sweet information to update you on the modern techniques and suggestions of the wine world. Some of our favorites include Rule 26: A wine’s price rarely reflects its quality and Rule 47: You can drink rosé any time of the year.
3. The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh JohnsonOne of the oldest wine books on the list, ‘The Atlas’ as we call it, is almost as geeky as they come. For the map nerd in the friend group, the book is highly recognized for its cartography along with being one of the most authoritative and informative wine references in history. The book was first published in 1971 and is now in 16 languages so that’s basis enough to prove that its legit!
4. Cork Dork by Bianca BoskerWhat happens when a professional journalist wants to uncover the wonderful world of wine? She turns into a ‘cork dork,’ obviously! Bosker’s anecdote about staging as a sommelier in exclusive New York City restaurants, the power of taste and knowledge, and the pursuit of flavor will change the way you drink- and think about the guy opening your wine at dinner this Friday night. It’s a lot more of a storytelling session than any of the other books on the list, but we couldn’t put it down!
5. The New California Wine by Jon BonnéRaise your hand if you have noticed the resurgence of producers in California that are pumping out delicious and thoughtful juice?! We stand with Jon Bonné on this one and agree that there is a new generation of winemakers who have changed the face of viticulture in California. Pick up this book and learn about who these tastemakers are. Hint hint- we carry most of their wine!
6. The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeilAnother instant reference that you will use time and time again! Karen MacNeil spoils us with her intellect on classic regions and classic styles of wine made there but the best part is that she sprinkles personal tales, fun tips, and specific bottle recommendations from each region. Learning can be fun, y’all!
7. Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy by David Lynch and Joe BastianichShould be titled Almost As Good As a Trip To Italy. If you’re interested in Italian wines or want to learn more about Italian wines (which is basically everyone we know) look no further! Vino Italiano is an American’s reference to key Italian wine styles, producers, vintages and offers incredible recipes from Joe’s mother, Lidia. Bastianich. You might have heard of her! Try the Ricotta Fritta paired with Malvasia delle Lipari at the end of the Sicily chapter and get back to us.
8. The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis RobinsonComing from one of the OG leading ladies of wine, you know that this is a classic. It’s an essential for any wine lover and spills all the deets of every reputable appellation, varietal, technique, etc. The book will make you fall more in love with what’s in your glass and we can all agree that’s one of the best feelings!
9. Burgundy Vintages – A History from 1845 by Allen D. Meadows and Douglas E. Barzelay625 pages full of knowledge that the founder of Burghound is sharing with the world, and damn do we feel special when we read this. This is an essential reference book for all Burgundy enthusiasts and lists, ranks, and discusses each vintage from 1845. The harvests are examined meticulously in the context of era, and create a basis that will likely shape the future of Burgundy. Yes, please!
10. Wine All the Time by Marissa RossThe natural wine movement has made a huge movement and recent years and former comic and Bon Appetit magazine wine writer Marissa Ross has noticed. We giggled our way to the end of this one and love her enthusiasm for keeping wine light and fun. Get all your natty wine questions answered and recommendations fulfilled. Thank you Marissa!