Some Wine Books
Last Updated 11/9/05
Books by Robert Parker
Books Not by Robert Parker
Robert Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide (5th Edition) (paperback)
Forget about the Wine Spectator and all the other randomly generated wine reviews, this is the only reference worth reading. It sucks to have to buy it, but it's worth it when you consider how many bad bottles of wine you can avoid by using it.
So if you're like me, and you feel the need to buy lots of expensive wines that you don't have time to taste first,
Parker is right for you.
- Robert Parker's Wines of the Rhone Valley
Great book. Many of the wines are no longer on the shelf, but it's still quite useful if you want to learn about Rhone producers. The book goes through each sub-region in the Rhone Valley giving some general information, but mostly focusing on the producers and their achievements going back several years.
Whether or not you share Parker's exact taste, and I'm not sure I always do, you can still learn a lot from his notes.
When he says a wine will last 20 years, chances are it will. You just have to learn what makes Parker rate wines highly.
Or I could just tell you. He seems to care more about concentration of fruit and less about the subtleties of flavor that make a wine appropriate to its region.
This approach works well in California, Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley, but tends to be less useful in Burgundy and many regions in Italy.
In these non-Parker regions, you have to take the given rating plus or minus 4 grains of salt.
Bordeaux : A Comprehensive Guide to the Wines Produced from 1961 to 1997
This is Parker's main strength. This is the book one can't help but consult whenever one is on the verge of buying a bottle of Bordeaux. Get back to me in 20 years, and I'll tell you if he was right!
Gambero Rossi: 2005 Italian Wine Guide
The book has comprehensive, up to date, and seemingly unbiased information on most of the producers in Italy. It not only helps you decide what specifically to buy, but its insights will deepen your understanding of the Italian wine-making industry. I guess.
In contrast to many wine books, which provide a general and/or historical approach,
Gambero Rossi teaches through concrete examination of the successes and failures of today's wine producers. What do I work for them?
For each producer they rate the most recent wines along with selected wines from previous vintages on a scale of one to three glasses, which seems much more realistic than the usual 100 point system.
- Hugh Johnson's
The Vintner's Art/How Great Wines Are Made (1992)
Great information. A really nice book if you care about why your favorite wines are the way they are.
- Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson's
The World Atlas of Wine (updated)
This is a great reference book for all the world's wine regions. Jancis! What a name!
- Hugh Johnson's
Pocket Wine Book (2006)
Let's give Hugh Johnson more money. Come on.
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