The Best Beginner Wine Books
Whether you’re determined to become the world’s next leading sommelier or just want to drink wine more confidently, these books are at the top of the list for learning about wine. The books on our list are organized by page count, which also kind of signifies their level of depth and/or breadth.
Great Wine Books for Beginners
Hilarious (and helpful) scratch and sniff guide for adults
The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert
22 pages. SRP $19.99
Experts will tell you that wine is a complex topic that can never be truly understood or fully mastered. And yet, Master Sommelier Richard Betts does a great job of summing up the most important facets of wine in this 22-page board book complete with scratch-and-sniff stickers. It’s silly, joyful, and unpretentious while still conveying the core concepts of wine tasting.
A modern, visual guidebook for exploring and tasting new wines
Wine Map of New Zealand
Get to know the regions and the wines of New Zealand on this illustrated map.Buy Map
Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine
233 pages. SRP $25
To summarize this book more objectively here is the most upvoted helpful review on Amazon:
“Such a lovely and well thought out book. The format provides you with building blocks for a better understanding of wine, wine regions, tasting profiles, the storage of wine, food pairings, and the book includes flavor wheels for pretty much every varietal you can think of. This is definitely wine novice-friendly guide in that you can skim it for as much info as you care to know… but it’s also a great reference for a true aficionado who wants to dig deeper or use it as a quick reference or review. The graphics make the presentation of info easy to grasp and fun to read, and the content is well written. I really like the phonetic help with some of the regions – “Blaufränkisch” wasn’t exactly part of my vocabulary before. Using it in a sentence will be MUCH easier now that I have this book. :D” –HappyCamper
Make your own wine tasting course
Kevin Zraly Windows on the World Complete Wine Course
333 pages. SRP $27.95
Kevin Zraly has taught wine beginners for more than 30 years and this book is his companion guide for students attending his course, but it can help you too. For those of you who are ready to dive into some educated drinking, Windows on the World acts as a terrific companion for self-study. Each of the chapters outlines a theme (such as white wines of France, wines of Italy and Spain, etc.) which you can use to create your own educational wine tastings. If you do, you can rest assured that you will learn a great deal about wine.
A beautiful, comprehensive textbook
World Atlas of Wine 7th Edition
400 pages. SRP $60
This hefty volume amasses the combined knowledge of seasoned wine writers, Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson, and is loaded with regional information, map closeups, and detailed notes about the world’s most important wine regions. The book communicates in a clear and direct manner that is somewhat dry, but it’s also loaded with valuable, factual information. The new edition includes updated content and additional wine regions, including Croatia and China.
The complete, comprehensive guide
Wine Bible 2nd Edition
968 pages. SRP $24.95
Karen MacNeil released the second edition of the Wine Bible after 15 years, and it’s been a great effort. The largest section of the book features detailed chapters on many of the world’s wine regions and their top wines: from the more famous Bordeaux and Burgundy in France to lesser known Canada, Republic of Georgia, and even China! So, if you’re looking for a book to grow into that overviews the vast majority of wine production in the world, this one packs quite a punch.
The interior photo of World Atlas of Wine is from the 6th edition. Sorry folks.
Why’d you include your book, isn’t that biased? We collected top ranking/rated books from the last 5 years and Wine Folly was on that list.