Most wine books are reference books, I own loads and use them all the time, but sometimes I just want to read a book about wine. Sadly most of them do not work that way. The number of wine books that I have been able to sit down and read, as I would a novel, have been few and far between.
It is out of print and my copy is long gone, but I remember Hugh Johnson’s first book – still his best in my opinion – ‘Wine’ with great affection and seem to remember reading it at a single sitting.
Jancis Robinson’s ‘Confessions of a Wine Lover‘ was a good read, as was ‘Wine & War‘ which dealt with the the German treatment of France’s wine industry during the occupation.
Patricia Atkinson’s ‘The Ripening Sun‘ was a lovely read that made me want to run away and create a vineyard of my own.
I also enjoyed ‘Phylloxera‘ and learned a great deal from it, but these are rare instances of books about wine that are not primarily for reference.
I would like more of these please, if any publishers are reading this, and more travel writing about wine regions and culture while we are about it – feel free to tell us about any that you know and love.
However, I am always surprised by how little fiction there is set around the world of wine – I cannot think of many such books at all. I once read a dreadful murder mystery set in a Port Lodge – the name escapes me sorry. I suppose that some of the books by Joanne Harris might count, but I have not tried them. Continue reading