The 11 Best Wine Books Every Oenophile Needs In Their Library

Make room in your cellar for these essential tomes.

By Mike Desimone And Jeff Jenssen 02/12/2022

For wine lovers, the only thing that is equally pleasurable to drinking the fruit of the vine is enhancing one’s knowledge of the vinous treasure. Sure, there are online resources galore to brush up on your wine expertise, but many are akin to by the glass offerings, which just won’t do when you are seeking a jeroboam-sized increase in your mastery.

Finding a wine book that suits your needs is not as easy as it sounds. Many of the best-selling titles are beginner’s guides filled with information that you may already be familiar with or with graphics that look good on social media but are meaningless and repetitive on the printed page. Others, especially single subject books, border on textbook style and are jam-packed with minutiae but offer no enjoyment to the reader. Whether it be a broad overview of wine around the world or a deep dive into a single region, we seek out a broad knowledge base on the part of the author that appeals to oenophiles at different stages of their journey. We also prefer books that are written in conversational rather than professorial tone, because unless you are pursuing an advanced certification in wine, learning about it should be as pleasurable as drinking it. And most of all, we like a book that encourages us to open a bottle and bring the words on the printed page to life.

So for those whose libraries extend to bottles as well as books, here are the classic must-have tomes.


World Atlas of Wine 8th Edition

The World Atlas of Wine

If you have one wine book in your library, experts agree that it should be the latest edition of Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson’s World Atlas of Wine. First published in 1971, it has sold almost 5 million copies worldwide and with good reason. In an engaging and easy to read style it offers a wealth of information on classic wine regions and up and comers alongside eye-catching photography and wine country maps. Whether you are a seasoned collector or just dipping your toes into the world of wine, this is one wine book your library should not be without.

The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia

Sotheby_s Wine Encyclopedia

This 800-page tome covers the storied wine regions you would expect plus emerging and long overlooked production areas around the world. Published by National Geographic, this completely updated and revised version of a wine-world classic contains more than 400 images and 100 detailed maps. In addition to tasting notes, vineyard profiles, tasting room guides and a troubleshooting guide to wine flaws, The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia includes tips from well-known sommeliers and thousands of recommendations for reds, whites and rosés organised by producer and vintage.


Champagne: The Essential Guide to the Wines, Producers, and Terroirs of the Iconic Region


Written by noted Champagne expert Peter Liem, this award-winning box set includes a pullout tray with seven detailed vineyard maps that beautifully illustrate the region’s terroir. Many of us are familiar with Champagne the beverage, but very few have the in-depth knowledge of the appellation itself and its subzones that is provided in this book. Champagne: The Essential Guide to the Wines, Producers, and Terroirs of the Iconic Region lives up to its lengthy title with an exploration of not just the brands that dominate the marketplace but profiles of small grower-producers and a captivating look at the history and legends of Champagne.

Barolo and Barbaresco: The King and Queen of Italian Wine

Barolo and Barbaresco

The history of Barolo and Barbaresco, the legendary wines made from Nebbiolo, is intertwined with the tales of the noble families of Italy’s Piedmont region. In this comprehensive overview of Italy’s finest grape, the land it grows on and the people who turn it into wine, acclaimed critic and author Kerin O’Keefe brings the wines made around the city of Alba to life. Although the vintage and tasting notes could use some refreshing, there is enough background and history here to add substantially to your body of knowledge on Italian wine.



Inside Bordeaux

Inside Bordeaux

Sotheby’s Wine teamed up with Bordeaux specialist Jane Anson and British wine merchant Berry Bros and Rudd to create an updated guide to the terroir, chateaus and wines of Bordeaux. While many of us know the most renowned wines of the zone, with Inside Bordeaux Anson takes us on a journey that explores a more diverse view that includes next-generation producers, the acceleration of organic and biodynamic viticulture, and terroir-driven winemaking. Besides profiling well-known chateaus and hidden gems, the author also reveals recent research by experts at the University of Bordeaux that discusses the terroir of essential chateaus and appellations.

Windows on the World Complete Wine Course: Revised and Updated 35th Edition

Window On The World

Ask almost anyone in the American wine industry how they first became interested in wine, and the answer is likely to be “Kevin Zraly.” With more than 3 million copies sold, the wine educator’s Windows on the World Complete Wine Course is one of the best possible ways to explore wine from the major categories glass by glass. This updated volume is jam-packed with information on key grape varieties, winemaking technique, types and styles of wine, and how to decode a wine label, but most importantly it is a tasting textbook and guide to wine that will ratchet up your understanding of the real-life application of words on a page.


Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties Including Their Origin and Flavours

Wine Grapes

If you find yourself going down the rabbit hole of wine grape genealogy and parentage and want the definitive answer to your queries, look no further than this encyclopedic guide to practically every wine-producing variety known to humankind. Written by acclaimed wine authority Jancis Robinson MW, Master of Wine Julia Harding, and botanist and grape geneticist José Vouillamoz, this cloth bound volume includes gorgeously illustrated gatefolds with the family trees of grapes and classic ampelographic illustrations. From defining the varieties’ origins via DNA analysis, Wine Grapes also tells the story of how the grapes were named, their many synonyms, where they came from, and where they are now cultivated and made into wine.


In Vino Duplicitas: The Rise And Fall of a Wine Forger Extraordinaire

In Vino Duplicitas

Veteran wine journalist Peter Hellmann chronicles the stranger than fiction tale of Rudy Kurniawan, who rose from obscurity to acclaim as the foremost purveyor of the hardest to secure bottles known to man. Of course, it all turned out to be an elaborate con, but Hellmann’s fast-paced and engaging style will draw you in as effortlessly as Kurniawan entrapped the globe’s leading wine sellers and buyers in his too good to be true scheme.

Opus Vino

Written chapter-by-chapter by a global team of 38 on-the-ground experts and edited by seasoned wine journalist Jim Gordon, Opus Vino may be the first wine book that covered the entire world of wine rather than the tried-and-true locales that readers had come to expect. In addition to introductions to such well-known regions as Napa, Bordeaux and Rioja, the team went further afield to cover settings as diverse as Georgia, Mexico and Japan. Each of the 109 sections takes a deep dive into a winegrowing area with detailed listings of individual wineries and the wines they produce. It’s interesting to note how many “rising stars” at the time of publication are now standard-bearers of their region and the varieties grown there.


The Oxford Companion to Wine Fourth Edition

oxford companion to wine

First published in 1994, the latest version of Jancis Robinson and Julia Harding’s exhaustive tome contains almost 4,000 entries on a diverse range of wine-related topics. In addition to regions and grape varieties, The Oxford Companion to Wine Fourth Edition also covers subjects as evergreen as the history of wine and some of history’s greatest connoisseurs and tasters and more modern topics like wine apps and chemical additives. A team of 180 writers contributed to this edition, which includes a list of the world’s controlled appellations and allowed grape varieties, maps of all major wine regions, and many handy diagrams and charts. While much of this information may be available online, what you may come across will not be as thoroughly researched and thoughtfully presented as it is in this comprehensive volume.

Oz Clarke on Wine: Your Global Wine Companion

oz clark on wine

If there is anyone in the world of wine as charming and gregarious as Oz Clark, we have not met them. His personality truly shines through on the page, and as he tells the story of abandoning his acting career to pursue the pleasures of the vine, you feel as if you are there with him every step of the way. Within the fast-paced stories you will find explorations of major varieties and the style of wine they produce, the effects of climate change on wine, and the types of wine we can expect to be drinking in the future. There are wine books that you may turn to from time to time in order to burnish your knowledge or appreciation of a style or region, and then there is Oz Clarke on Wine, which is a page-turner that you won’t want to put down.


Red Wine: The Comprehensive Guide to the Fifty Essential Varieties and Styles

Red Wine the comprehensive guide to 50 essential varieties and styles

And, of course, you know you’re not going to get away without us recommending our book! Written by us with our friend and colleague Kevin Zraly, Red Wine delves into fifty different single varieties and regional blend styles, covering grapes from Agioritiko to Zinfandel and everything in between. We also wrote about blended single appellation styles like Bordeaux, Chianti and Rioja. Each chapter is packed with tasting notes, suggested food pairings and recommended wines from everyday bargains to worthy splurges, plus gorgeous photography. Don’t just take our word for it on this one; Red Wine won the Gourmand International Award for Best Wine Book in the World in 2018.


Subscribe to the Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

Timeless Glamour & Music Aboard The Venice Simplon-Orient Express

Lose yourself in a luxury journey, aboard an Art Deco train from Paris

By Belinda Aucott 03/11/2023

Watching the unseen corners of Europe unfold gently outside your train, window can be thirsty work, right? That’s why Belmond Hotels is once again staging a culinary train journey from Paris to Venice, aboard the glittering Art Deco carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient Express.

To celebrate diversity and inclusion in the LBTQ+ community, another unforgettable train ride is slated for 2 November.

On the journey, ample servings of decadent cuisine will be served and live entertainment will play looooong into the night. Trans-DJ Honey Dijon and Dresden’s Purple Disco Machine are both part of the disco-house line-up.

Passengers are encouraged to dress in black-tie or cocktail attire, before they head to the bar and dining carriages to enjoy their night, where they are promised ‘unapologetic extravagance’,.

Negronis, martinis, spritzes and sours will all be on offer as the sunlight fades.

So-hot-right-now French chef Jean Imbert is also in the kitchen rattling the pans for guests.

Imber puts a garden-green-goodness twist on Gallic traditions. He regularly cooks for the who’s-who. Imbert recently co-created a food concept for Dior in Paris, worked with Pharrell Williams to present a dinner in Miami, and he’s even been invited to Cheval Blanc St-Barth to cater luxe LVMH-owned property.

The young chef is vowing to create no less than ‘culinary perfection’ in motion with his own passion for fresh seasonal produce. There’ll be plenty of Beluga caviar, seared scallops, and lobster vol-au-vents.

“I want to create beautiful moments which complement the train, which is the true star,” says Imbert of his hands-on approach to delectable pastries and twists on elegant Euro classics.

“Its unique legacy is something we take pride in respecting, while evolving a new sense of style and purpose that will captivate a new generation.”

Check the timetable for the itinerary of lush inclusions here.

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe today

Stay Connected

Gentlemanly Restraint 

Art and science collide in the the newly released BR03A watch collection by Bell & Ross.

By Belinda Aucott 02/11/2023

In keeping with the brand’s design salute to aviation and military equipment, the pared-back face of the Bell & Ross BR03 Automatic takes its cue from the instrumentation in cockpits. It’s unabashedly minimal and confidently masculine style is set to make it a future classic.

Faithful to the codes that underpin the brand’s identity, the new utilitarian offerings sit within a smaller 41-mm case (a slight departure from the original at 42 mm Diver, Chrono or GMT.) and has a reduced lug width and slimmer hands. The changes extend to the watch movement, which has been updated with a BR-CAL.302 calibre. The watch is waterproof to 300 metres and offers a power reserve of 54 hours.

While the new collection offers an elegant sufficiency of colourways, from a stealthy black to more decorative bronze face with a tan strap, each is a faithful rendition of the stylish “rounded square, four-screw” motif that is Bell & Ross’s calling card.



For extra slickness, the all-black Phantom and Nightlum models have a stealthy, secret-agent appeal, offering up a new take on masculine restraint.

Yet even the more decorative styles, like the black face with contrasting army-green band, feel eminently versatile and easy to wear. The 60’s simplicity and legibility of the face is what makes it so distinctive and functional.

For example, the BR 03-92 Nightlum, with its black matte case and dial, and bright green indices and hands, offers a great contrast during the day and emits useful luminosity at night.

A watch that begs to be read, the the BR03-A stands up to scrutiny, and looks just as good next to a crisp, white cuff as it does at the end of a matte, black wetsuit.

That’s a claim not many watch collections can make. 

Explore the collection.

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe today

Stay Connected

First Drive: The Porsche 911 S/T Is a Feral Beast That Handles the Road Like an Olympic Bobsledder

The commemorative model borrows underpinnings from the GT3 RS and includes a 518 hp engine.

By Basem Wasef 23/10/2023

The soul of any sports car comes down to the alchemy of its tuning—how the engine, suspension, and chassis blend into a chorus of sensations. The secret sauce of the new Porsche 911 S/T, developed as a tribute to the 60th anniversary of the brand’s flagship model, is more potent than most; in fact, it makes a serious case for being the most driver-focused 911 of all time.

Sharing the S/T designation with the homologation special from the 1960s, the (mostly) innocuously styled commemorative model borrows underpinnings from the more visually extroverted GT3 RS. Yet what the S/T, starting at $290,000, lacks in fender cutouts and massive spoilers it makes up for in directness: a flat-six power plant that revs to 9,000 rpm, a motorsport-derived double-wishbone suspension, and a manual gearbox. It’s a delightfully feral combination.

Rossen Gargolov

Whereas the automatic-transmission GT3 RS is ruthlessly configured for maximum downforce and minimum lap times, the S/T is dialed in for the road—particularly the Southern Italian ones on which we’re testing the car, which happen to be the very same used by product manager Uwe Braun, Andreas Preuninger, head of Porsche’s GT line, and racing legend Walter Röhrl to finalize its calibration. The car reacts to throttle pressure with eerie deftness, spinning its 518 hp engine with thrilling immediacy, thanks to shorter gear ratios.

The steering response is similarly transparent, as direct as an unfiltered Marlboro, and the body follows with the agility of an Olympic bobsledder. Some of that purity of feeling is the result of addition through subtraction: Power-sapping elements including a hydraulic clutch and rear-axle steering were ditched, which also enabled the battery to be downsized for even more weight savings. The final result, with its carbon-fiber body panels, thinner glass, magnesium wheels, and reduced sound deadening, is the lightest 992-series variant on record, with roughly the same mass as the esteemed 911 R from 2016.

Driver engagement is further bolstered by the astounding crispness of the short-throw gearbox. The S/T fits hand in glove with narrow twisties and epic sweepers, or really any stretch that rewards mechanical grip and the ability to juke through hairpin corners. The cabin experience is slightly less raucous than the 911 R, but more raw than the wingless 911 GT3 Touring, with an intrusive clatter at idle due to the single-mass flywheel and featherlight clutch. Porsche cognoscenti will no doubt view the disturbance in the same way that hardcore Ducatisti revere the tambourine-like rattle of a traditional dry clutch: as an analog badge of honor.

The main bragging right, though, may just be owning one. In a nod to the year the 911 debuted, only 1,963 examples of the S/T will be built. Considering the seven-year-old 911 R started life at$295,000 and has since fetched upwards of $790,000, this new lightweight could bring proportionately heavy returns—if you can be pried from behind the wheel long enough to sell it, that is.

Images by Rossen Gargolov

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe today

Stay Connected

From Electric Surfboards to Biodegradable Golf Balls: 8 Eco-Conscious Yacht Toys for Green and Clean Fun

Just add water and forget the eco-guilt.

By Gemma Harris 18/10/2023

Without toys, yachts would be kind of sedentary. There’s nothing wrong with an alfresco meal, sunsets on the flybridge and daily massages. But toys add zest to life on board, while creating a deeper connection with the water. These days, there are a growing number of options for eco-friendly gadgets and equipment that deliver a greener way to play. These eight toys range from do-it-yourself-propulsion (waterborne fitness bikes) to electric foiling boards, from kayaks made of 100 percent recycled plastics to non-toxic, biodegradable golf balls with fish food inside. Your on-water adrenaline rushes don’t always have to be about noise and gas fumes. They can be fun, silent, and eco-conscious.

A game of golf isn’t just for land. Guests can play their best handicap from the deck with Albus Golf’s eco-friendly golf balls. The ecological and biodegradable golf balls are 100 percent safe for marine flora and fauna, and manufactured with non-contaminating materials. The balls will biodegrade within 48 hours after hitting the ocean and release the fish food contained in their core. For a complete golfing experience, add a floating FunAir green. From $3100 (FunAir Yacht Golf) and $315 a box (golf balls).

Fliteboard Series 2.0

The future of surf is electric, and Fliteboard offers an emissions-free and environmentally friendly electric hydrofoil. Flying over the water has never been as efficient and low impact, using new technologies with less than 750 watts of electric power. This second series boasts various performance factors for all riding styles. It also features an increased trigger range from 20 to 40 degrees for more precision and control. Fliteboard designed this series for every possible foiling ability, from newbies to wave-carvers. From $22,000.

Manta 5 Hydrofoiler XE-1

Hailing from New Zealand and using America’s Cup technology, Manta 5 offers the first hydrofoil bike. The Hydrofoiler XE-1 replicates the cycling experience on the water. Powered by fitness-level pedaling and assisted by the onboard battery, top speeds can reach up to 19 km per hour. The two hydrofoils are carbon fibre, and the frame is aircraft-grade aluminium. The onboard Garmin computer will relay all the stats. The effortless gliding sensation will accompany you through a workout, exploration or just circling the boat. From $950.

Mo-Jet’s Jet Board

Imagine five toys in one: The Mo Jet delivers just that. From jet surfing, bodyboarding, and e-foiling to scooter diving. This versatile, German-built toy is perfect for those who cannot decide. The Mo-jet uses a cool modular system allowing you to switch between activities. Whether you want to stand, be dragged around or dive, you can have it all. It even has a life-saving module and a 2.8m rescue electric surfboard. Made from environmentally friendly and recyclable polyethene, it also ticks the eco-conscious boxes. Complete with an 11kW electric water jet, it charges in 75 mins, offering up to 30 mins of fun. Adrenaline junkies will also not be disappointed, since speed surges from 0 to 27 knots in 3 seconds. From $18,000.

Silent Yachts Tender ST400

Driven by innovation and solar energy, Silent Yachts recently launched its first electric tender, the ST400. The 13-footer has clean-cut lines and is built with either an electric jet drive or a conventional electric outboard engine. The ST400 reaches speeds above 20 knots. From $110,000.

Osiris Outdoor ‘Reprisal’ Kayak

Kayaks are ideal for preserving and protecting nature, but they’re usually manufactured with materials that will last decades longer than we will and therefore not too eco-friendly. Founded by US outdoor enthusiasts, Osiris Outdoor has created a new type of personal boat. “The Reprisal” kayak is manufactured in the US entirely from recycled plastics (around 27 kgs) that are purchased from recycling facilities. The sustainable manufacturing process isn’t its only selling point; the lightweight Reprisals have spacious storage compartments, rod holders and a watertight hatch for gadgets. Complete with a matte-black finish for a stylish look. From $1100.

The Fanatic Ray Eco SUP Paddleboard

Declared as the most sustainable SUP, the Ray Eco is the brainchild of the Zero Emissions Project and BoardLab, supported by Fanatic. Glass and carbon fibre have been replaced with sustainable Kiri tree wood. And you can forget toxic varnishes and resins; organic linseed oil has been used to seal the board and maintain its durability. This fast, light, and stable board is truly one of a kind, not available off the rack. This craftsman’s love for detail and preservation is another first-class quality of the board. From $10,000

Northern Light Composite X Clean Sailors EcoOptimist

One of the most popular, single-handed dinghies in sailing’s history, the tiny Optimist has undergone a sustainable revival. Northern Light Composites and not-for-profit Clean Sailors have teamed up to launch the first sustainable and recyclable Optimist. Using natural fibres and eco-sustainable resins, The EcoOptimist supports a new circular economy in yachting. OneSail also produces the sail with a low-carbon-footprint manufacturing process. From $6000.

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe today

Stay Connected

The 50 Best Cocktail Bars in the World, According to a New Ranking

The World’s 50 Best organisation gave the Spanish bar Sips top honours during an awards ceremony in Singapore.

By Tori Latham 18/10/2023

If you’re looking for the best bar in the world, you better head to Barcelona.
Sips, from the industry luminaries Simone Caporale and Marc Álvarez, was named the No. 1 bar on the planet in the latest World’s 50 Best Bars ranking. The organisation held its annual awards ceremony on Tuesday in Singapore, the first time it hosted the gathering in Asia. Sips, which only opened two years ago, moved up to the top spot from No. 3 last year.
“Sips was destined for greatness even before it rocketed into the list at No. 37 just a few short months after opening in 2021,” William Drew, the director of content for 50 Best, said in a statement.
“The bar seamlessly translates contemporary innovation and technical precision into a playful cocktail programme, accompanied by the warmest hospitality, making it a worthy winner of The World’s Best Bar 2023 title.”
Coming in second was North America’s best bar: New York City’s Double Chicken Please. The top five was rounded out by Mexico City’s Handshake Speakeasy, Barcelona’s Paradiso (last year’s No. 1), and London’s Connaught Bar. The highest new entry was Seoul’s Zest at No. 18, while the highest climber was Oslo’s Himkok, which moved up to No. 10 from No. 43 last year.
Barcelona may be home to two of the top five bars, but London has cemented its status as the cocktail capital of the world: The English city had five bars make the list, more than any other town represented. Along with Connaught Bar in the top five, Tayēr + Elementary came in at No. 8, and Satan’s Whiskers (No. 28), A Bar With Shapes for a Name (No. 35), and Scarfes Bar (No. 41) all made the grade too.
The United States similarly had a good showing this year. New York City, in particular, is home to a number of the best bars: Overstory (No. 17) and Katana Kitten (No. 27) joined Double Chicken Please on the list.
Elsewhere, Miami’s Café La Trova hit No. 24 and New Orleans’s Jewel of the South snuck in at No. 49, bringing the Big Easy back to the ranking for the first time since 2014.
To celebrate their accomplishments, all of this year’s winners deserve a drink—made by somebody else at least just this once.
Check out the full list of the 50 best bars in the world below.
1. Sips, Barcelona
2. Double Chicken Please, New York
3. Handshake Speakeasy, Mexico City
4. Paradiso, Barcelona
5. Connaught Bar, London
6. Little Red Door, Paris
7. Licorería Limantour, Mexico City
8. Tayēr + Elementary, London
9. Alquímico, Cartagena
10. Himkok, Oslo
11. Tres Monos, Buenos Aires
12. Line, Athens
13. BKK Social Club, Bangkok
14. Jigger & Pony, Singapore
15. Maybe Sammy, Sydney
16. Salmon Guru, Madrid
17. Overstory, New York
18. Zest, Seoul
19. Mahaniyom Cocktail Bar, Bangkok
20. Coa, Hong Kong
21. Drink Kong, Rome
22. Hanky Panky, Mexico City
23. Caretaker’s Cottage, Melbourne
24. Café La Trova, Miami
25. Baba au Rum, Athens
26. CoChinChina, Buenos Aires
27. Katana Kitten, New York
28. Satan’s Whiskers, London
29. Wax On, Berlin
30. Florería Atlántico, Buenos Aires
31. Röda Huset, Stockholm
32. Sago House, Singapore
33. Freni e Frizioni, Rome
34. Argo, Hong Kong
35. A Bar With Shapes for a Name, London
36. The SG Club, Tokyo
37. Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo
38. The Cambridge Public House, Paris
39. Panda & Sons, Edinburgh
40. Mimi Kakushi, Dubai
41. Scarfes Bar, London
42. 1930, Milan
43. Carnaval, Lima
44. L’Antiquario, Naples
45. Baltra Bar, Mexico City
46. Locale Firenze, Florence
47. The Clumsies, Athens
48. Atlas, Singapore
49. Jewel of the South, New Orleans
50. Galaxy Bar, Dubai

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe today

Stay Connected