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Wine Guidebooks

the 24 hour wine expert

Jancis Robinson, published by Penquin

Jancis Robinson is a prolific wine writer by anyone's standard. So to distil 40 years of her wine knowledge into a handbook for people who know a little and want to know more proved quite a task. The 24 Hour Wine Expert is the result - a Penquin paperback covering the basics to enhance the pleasure of wine drinking. It is packed full of good advice and information - a great gift for friends and family.


Wine Trails: 52 Perfect Weekends in Wine Country

Lonely Planet Publication

Travel and wine are two passions at burgundytoday and this Lonely Planet publication hits the spot on both counts. If you know Burgundy well, you will still glean useful nuggets, after that just dream of visiting Napa and Sonoma, Tuscany and Rioja, and also off-the-beaten-path regions in Georgia, Greece and beyond.

Amazon description: 'Detailed itineraries recommending the most interesting wineries and the best places to stay and eat in 52 wine regions near major cities make this perfect for travel enthusiasts who enjoy wine. Winemakers offer personal insights into what wines to taste and why they're special and help you to understand a place, its people and their traditions through the wine that is made there. Gorgeous photography, maps and in-the-know authors complete the package'.

Putting over the passion

If you need a reminder of why this wine region keeps beckoning you, take a look at Youri Lebault's book, 'Discovering the vineyard climates of Burgundy'. Concentrating on the Côte d'Or in the wake of its UNESCO ranking, Youri explains the 'climates' and origins of the vineyards leading up to the present day, he talks to some of the well-known growers such as Aubert de Villaine of Romanée Conti who has written the preface to the book, to Olivier Leflaive and Sylvain Pitiot. Lebault operates a luxury-end wine tour business and the final section of the book is devoted to tourist routes which he recommends. All this is presented with intoxicating pictures by Armelle photographe and good maps by Syvain Pitiot making you want to arrange your trip to the vineyards tout de suite. As one reviewer of Youri's trips says: he will 'enhance your experience beyond all your expectations'

The book is available in an English version and a French one, costing 25 euros, plus postage from Youri. A great Christmas present for any Burgundy enthusiast.

Jancis Robinson and Julia Harding, published by OUP Oxford

New in September 2015, here is an essential reference work for anyone interested in the enormous, rapidly changing subject of wine around the world. It has been vigorously updated with good photography and maps.


Land and Wine
- The French Terroir
Charles Frankel, published by University of Chicago Press

Frenchman Charles Frankel is primarily a geologist and specialist in planetary exploration and in this book he takes twelve wine regions in France and examines them geologically across time starting with Anjou. So for example he talks about what happened during the Jurassic period when Pouilly-Fuissé and the Mâconnais were flooded depositing oyster beds and coral reefs. Some wines are discussed in depth, there are good maps and illustrations and all in all this is a well-written study with a refreshing slant on the subject of terroir


Wine Science (2nd edition)
Jamie Goode, published by Mitchell Beazley

Journalist Jamie Goode is known for his successful site wineanorak.com and his wine writing. He has worked as a scientific editor for 20 years so he knows a thing or two about this subject, the science of wine. This is an updated version of his earlier book Wine Science and it shows just how much the world of wine has changed over the last few years. The whole wine process is discussed from the biology of the grapevine to the importance of barrels in winemaking.  


Jura Wine With Local Food and Travel Tips
Wink Lorch, published by Wine Travel Media

Winner of the André Simon Food and Drink Book Award 2015

With Burgundy amalgamating with the Franche-Comté region for completion in January 2016, this is the perfect time to take a look at the wines of the Jura region. This review is from jancisrobinson.com. 'Covering the region’s appellations and its history, a synopsis of the terroir, the various grape varieties, and the producers, the book also offers an insight into the secrets of vin jaune made from the local Savagnin grape. Other topics examined include the importance of natural over cultured yeast; the predominance of used oak barrels in maturing white wine; Savagnin ice wines; the thirst for Crémant du Jura; the delicacy of vin de paille (French for straw wine); and Louis Pasteur’s influence on his native land. There is also a section on the Jura’s culinary delights and curiosities'.




My Favourite Burgundies

Clive Coates, published by University of California Press

Master of Wine, Clive Coates has spent four decades of his distinguished career in Burgundy. Here he shares his vast insider's knowledge of one of the world's most exciting, complex, and intractable wine regions. Coates updates and supplements the domaine profiles featured in his two previous books, Côte d'Or and The Wines of Burgundy with new in-depth assessments of specific vineyards. Divided into three sections - Vineyard Profiles, Domaine Profiles, and Vintage Assessments - My Favorite Burgundies considers the leading vineyards and today's top estates, and features detailed maps and a wealth of tasting notes that reflect how the wine develops as it ages. Enlivened by Coates' singular, firsthand knowledge and precise descriptions, this is an indispensable guide for amateur and professional oenophiles alike.



The World Wine atlas 7th edition
Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson published by Octopus

For 42 years, the World Wine Atlas has proved to be an invaluable reference source. A lot is changing in the world of wine. The winemaking techniques are encompassing technology, there are new wine growing areas including China, trends include lighter, fresher wines and different grape types. If you are a wine lover, the completely updated 7th edition of the book, published October 7 2013, will fascinate with its sumptuous photography and extensive maps. It will make you want to travel or taste different wines from the comfort of your home and lust for more information. The authors, Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson are considered to be two of the most famous and respected wine writers in the world making this a very readable yet informative book.


Wine Grapes – A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, including their origins and flavours
Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and José Vouillamoz published by Allen Lane (Penguin) in the UK and Ecco (Harper Collins) in the US.

A mammoth work, four years in the making, 1,200-pages long, weighing 7 lb/3 kg. this is beautifully presented and illustrated, as you might expect for a reference book costing £120/$175. On her website, Jancis describes how the book came about and says: 'But perhaps the most compelling ingredient of the lot for those of us who are nuts about wine is the sheer scale of original material in Wine Grapes on the relationships between different varieties. One of our 14 family trees, that devoted to Pinot and its relatives, charts the relationships between no fewer than 156 different family members. The picture that is emerging is that, as with other groups of plants, there is a surprisingly small set of ‘founder varieties’ from which most other grapevines are descended. Until being involved with this book I had not heard of three of the dozen founder varieties so far identified. And I very much look forward to French reaction to the likely geographical origins of the founder variety of Bordeaux’s grandest red wine grapes…


The Finest Wines of Burgundy: A Guide to the Best Producers of the Cote d'Or and Their Wines
Bill Nanson, published by Aurum Press Ltd UK

Burgundy wine aficionados will know the name Bill Nanson well. He produces an in-depth quarterly newsletter about the wines, the villages and the producers in the region with extensive tasting notes. His book is one of a series on the wine regions of the world, available through the American publisher in November 2011, and in January 2012 from the UK publisher. The product information says:

’Burgundy has an appeal and a fascination immeasurably greater than its comparatively small production might suggest. Here, over many centuries, plots of vineyard land were gradually demarcated and individually named. The Burgundy of today has woken from the lethargy of the 1980s; over the past 20 years it has seen a massive increase in the proportion of wine that can proudly wear on its label ‘Grand Vin de Bourgogne.’ The producer profiles and maps in this guide illuminate a journey through both the well-worn vineyard paths and the backstreet wineries of the Côte d’Or, highlighting the most interesting people, places, and wines along the way’.


The Great Domaines of Burgundy
Remington Norman and Charles Taylor, published by Kyle Cathie

The first edition of this book was highly acclaimed by the critics and won several prestigious awards. Now completely revised, The Great Domaines of Burgundy will be a valuable addition to any wine lover’s library.

'Subdivided into hundreds of domaines, often family-run and sometimes covering no more than a few hectares, Burgundy can be off-puttingly fragmented even to wine experts. In compiling this revised edition the authors revisited all the domaines that appeared in previous editions plus scores of 'rising stars', to select the very best and most interesting of them - and remove those that no longer come up to scratch. They have spoken to winemakers about their grapes, their soil and their techniques - and, of course, sampled their wines. Following on from the domaine-by-domaine guide are descriptions of the microclimates of the region, the most important grapes and wine styles, as well as tips on buying, storing and tasting wine and a rundown of recent vintages'.



Grand Cru: The Great Wines of Burgundy
Remington Norman, published by Kyle Cathie

Following on from the success of his prize winning book The Great Domaines of Burgundy (see above) Remington Norman takes an inside look at the Grand Cru: The Great Wines of Burgundy Through the Perspective of Its Finest Vineyards.

‘From the complex tapestry of Burgundy's vineyards come some of the world’s most compelling wines - thrilling Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays of precision and refinement, as intellectually stimulating as they are sensuous. The source of this magnificence is the vineyards and in particular the thirty-three individual sites at the apex of the Côte d’Or's vinous pyramid the Grands Crus. Grand Cru describes each in detail together with their aspirants, the top Premiers Crus. These profiles are framed by discussions of the factors that contribute to quality, the concept of terroir, the idea of Grand Cru itself, how the Côte was formed and the evolution of its current reputation…’



Essential Winetasting
Michael Schuster, published by Mitchell Beazley

"Essential Winetasting's" step-by-step approach teaches you everything you need to know to taste wine like a professional - from how to look at and smell a wine to how to taste and assess it. The book begins with a clear outline of how to taste. This is followed by a detailed but accessible account of how wine is made and an exploration of every major grape variety and of how its wines differ around the world. Finally comes the real joy of this book - a series of nine practical tastings which illustrate the key differences in wine styles, flavours and quality. Every stage of tasting is illustrated with specially commissioned photography and there are maps of every key wine region



Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2017
Hugh Johnson, published by Mitchell Beazley

The original and best, "Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book" is the ultimate compact guide. Now in its 40th edition, it is the UK's number one wine book appealing to wine-lovers and professionals alike. It is the key reference for enthusiasts, investors and collectors with information on wines, growers, and regions, plus invaluable vintage details from experts around the world.

Inside Burgundy
Jasper Morris, published by Berry Brothers and Rudd
Winner of the 2011 André Simon Prize

Jasper Morris MW is Berry Brothers and Rudd’s Burgundy wine expert. In October 2010, this wine merchant launched Morris’ book Inside Burgundy. 

Jasper Morris Inside Burgundy is written by an expert who combines three decades of intimate on-the-ground knowledge of Burgundy with the healthy scepticism of an international wine merchant. Jasper Morris has lived, breathed, bought and sold Burgundy since 1981. He has a home there, he makes his living there. He has built up over 30 years the kind of exact, on-the-ground knowledge that only someone based in the region can acquire.

Alongside his treatment of the vineyards, Jasper brings out the role of the vignerons and today’s influence on them, and thus their wines. We learn the histories, their philosophies, their relationships (so many cousins, so many marriages, so many tangled inheritances – as Jasper says, the book really demands the subtitle ‘The Sex Life of Burgundy’).

Internationally acclaimed wine writer, Steven Spurrier, says in his foreword to Inside Burgundy: “To sum up, Jasper Morris has found a way to illuminate the bafflingly complex relationships between people and place, vigneron and vineyard, which are at the heart of Burgundy. Authors have tried before and superb books have resulted; none, however, has succeeded quite so well in presenting the detail, in making clear the pattern, without drowning the reader in nuance, exception and ambiguity.”

The book, priced £50, is available from www.bbr.com

The Pearl of the Cote
Allen D. Meadow, published by burghoundbooks.com

The Pearl of the Cote by Allen MeadowsAficionados of Burgundy wine drool at the thought of Vosne Romanée so in homage, a glossy 347 page book about the legendary wine has just been written and published by Allen Meadows. About the author, Clive Coates says ‘Allen Meadows, known as the Burghound, has been producing a splendidly in-depth newsletter on the wines of Burgundy for ten years now. A retired banker in his 50s, he had many years of drinking the stuff before he dared start commenting’. Covering all aspects The Pearl of the Côte, the book, like the wine, doesn’t come cheap at $59 dollars a throw, but the people in the know are praising it highly. www.burghoundbooks.com

A Life Uncorked
Hugh Johnson published by Phoenix

'Hugh Johnson, the pre-eminent wine writer of our time, now brings to his fans around the world his
first major new book in a decade ‘A Life Uncorked’. This delightfully opinionated autobiographical tour through the world of wine weaves Johnson's wide-ranging ruminations, memories, and observations on his remarkable life, together with information on every aspect of wine - from its technical production to its cultural significance. In luminous, utterly engaging prose, he taps into his enormous experience to consider topics such as tasting, cellaring, choosing, understanding, comparing, and buying wine, as well as wine's more ephemeral and personal pleasures, lures, and mysteries’


The Wines of Burgundy
by Clive Coates

Ten years after the publication of the highly acclaimed, award-winning "Cote D'Or: A Celebration of the Great Wines of Burgundy", the "Bible of Burgundy," Clive Coates now offers this thoroughly revised and updated sequel. This long-awaited work details all the major vintages from 2006 back to 1959 and includes thousands of recent tasting notes of the top wines. All-new chapters on Chablis and Cote Chalonnaise replace the previous volume's domaine profiles. Coates, a Master of Wine who has spent much of the last thirty years in Burgundy, considers it to be the most exciting, complex, and intractable wine region in the world, and the one most likely to yield fine wines of elegance and finesse. This book is an indispensable guide for amateur and professional alike by one of the world's leading wine experts, writing with his habitual expertise, lucidity, and unequalled first-hand knowledge