November 20 2007
I think most wine lovers have a bookshelf full of wine books. Few other niche subjects are so ripe for publishing to an at once wonky yet socially hungry audience eager to demonstrate their knowledge, hence the perpetual stream of new titles.
We’ve seen some recent publishing around wine as a topic that combines the more esoteric convergence of our favorite subject with weighty, more philosophical concerns. I’m talking about books like Wine & Philosophy edited by Fritz Allhoff and Questions of Taste edited by Barry C. Smith, for example.
And, we’ve seen non-fiction wine-related books take a turn to the more narrative oriented. Think of books like House of Mondavi by Julia Flynn Siler and To Cork or Not to Cork and Judgement of Paris, both by George M. Taber, not to mention older titles like The Far Side of Eden by James Conaway.
Frankly, this expansion of the publishing profile is refreshing to me, and likely all of you, as well. You can only publish the introductory guide to wine so many times, even if it seems another ½ dozen or more pop up annually—like mushrooms after a hearty spring rain.
As the holidays near, I’ve given thought to the books that I would gift to the budding oenophile—a combination of introductory text and books that look at wine from a broader context. Here’s my list of Top Six books that I would gift along with an honorable mention or two. What are the books that you would replace from this list and with what other titles would you replace them?
Honorable Mention: The Accidental Connoisseur by Lawrence Osbourne
Please leave a comment and tell me how badly I’m missing the boat on a particular book, or, of course, feel free to agree.