From the encyclopedic to the personal, five books to help you uncork the mysteries of wine.

The Accidental Connoisseur

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.

The World Atlas of Wine

By Hugh Johnson & Jancis Robinson

An essential reference compiled by two world-renowned oenophiles, covering everything from how wine is made to invaluable tips on choosing, storing, serving, and tasting—plus in-depth essays on every significant wine-producing region of the word. Large format, with hundreds of maps, photos, and illustrations.

Windows on the World Complete Wine Course
25th Anniversary Edition

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 easy-going authority will help you master the fundamentals and have fun while you’re learning.

Inspiring Thirst

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.

Questions of Taste 

Edited by Barry C. Smith

Is taste a function of the wine or the taster? Is an expert’s enjoyment more valid than yours? Featuring accessible essays by philosophers, a linguist, a botanist, a winemaker, and a critic, this lively volume explores such questions in a way that will deepen your appreciation of wine from bouquet to finish.