From the encyclopedic to the personal, five books to help you uncork the mysteries of wine.
By Lawrence Osborne
“Nothing requires more taste than wine,” says Osborne. It is the genius of his “irreverent journey” through the world of vines and vintages to take taste itself as his muse and to chase it — “as solid as a soap bubble” — through Italy, France, and California in this singular, shrewd, very funny book.
By George M. Taber
For most of the history of winemaking in America, California wines were considered mere bumptious colonial cousins of their sophisticated European counterparts. But in 1976, when several Californian wines shockingly triumphed over the finest French vintages in a blind tasting, a new era in viticulture was born. George M. Taber, the only journalist present at the momentous event, turns the story of the upset, and its consequences, into a tale to be savored.
By Kevin Zraly
Frank Prial of The New York Times got it just right when he said, “If you have never bought a wine book before, start with this one.” From grape varietals to bottle labels, vineyards to store shelves, Zraly’s easygoing authority will help you master the fundamentals and have tasty fun while you’re learning.
By Kermit Lynch
Since the early 1970s, when he opened his now famous Berkeley shop, wine merchant and importer Kermit Lynch has been waxing eloquent, erudite, and cantankerous in his monthly store brochure. This selection from his legendary communiqués is the most delicious browsing book a wine lover can discover.
By Benjamin Wallace
When a scion of the Forbes family paid a record $156,000 for a single bottle of wine at auction in 1985, he thought he was getting a 1787 Chateau Lafite Bordeauxone that had been owned by Thomas Jefferson. The truth proved far murkier. Delving into the controversy provides author Benjamin Wallace ample opportunity to explore the fervor at the heart of wine collecting.