What are the wine books every wine lover should own?

We thought about it. We argued. We drank some wine. Argued some more…

And then we decided: let’s go for it. No messing around: choose just the six BEST books every wine lover needs, whether enthusiastic newbie or jaded expert.

It wasn’t easy. But this is the DEFINITIVE listing. A lot of thought and research went into this. Even some reading.

Along the way we came across some bits that stopped us in our tracks. Like Hitler’s secret wine cellar, ‘freak’ wines, the link between a dentist’s drill and the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold, fish finger sandwiches, some cheeky poetry, the ‘one-night-stand’ of wines…

And of course the quote about the salad and the sex toy 😳

And that’s from one of the most reputable voices in wine…

In this episode, we heroically save you from the drivel and point you firmly towards the stuff of dreams.

We choose the all-time six best wine books – plus six runners up (to make a full case of 12). With a few honourable mentions along the way.

We also reveal our pet hates about wine books – and question whether books have a future at all.

Perhaps, in your cheerful opinion, you believe we’ve got this list wrong. Maybe missed off the most life-changing publication EVER. Or you just fancy wading into the debate.

Either way: do get in touch! Links below…


Books featured in this episode include:

  • The World Atlas of Wine (2019, 8th edition, Mitchell Beazley)
  • Wine & War (2001, Coronet Books)
  • Adventures on the Wine Route (2013, 25th anniversary edition, Farrar Strauss & Giroud)
  • The Billionaire’s Vinegar (2008, Crown Publishers)
  • The Wine Dine Dictionary (2017, Granta)
  • The Drops of God (2011, Vertical Inc)

Also featured:

  • The Oxford Companion to Wine (2023, 5th edition, Oxford University Press)
  • Wine Folly (2015, Avery)
  • Christie’s World Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine (2019, Bloomsbury Absolute)
  • The South American Wine Guide (2021)
  • Wine Science (2014, 2nd edition, Mitchell Beazley)
  • Tasting Victory (2020, Unbound)

Get in Touch!

We love to hear from you. 

You can send us an email. Or find us on social media (links on the footer below).

Or, better still, leave us a voice message via the magic of SpeakPipe:


Here are the wines we taste in this episode. Click on the wine name for the Wine Searcher link to find where you can buy this wine around the world. Selected UK stockists are included where appropriate – often with the best price available:


You can find our podcast on all major audio players: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Amazon and beyond. The button below will redirect you automatically to this episode on an audio platform on your device.

Launch podcast on your device