A healthy dose of wine-related pastimes in print (or, of course, your Kindle). Because a book is wo/man’s best friend, they say. Or at least we do.
We Don’t Want any Crap in our Wine, Camilla Gjerde
The very first book focusing exclusively on female natural winemakers offers nine endearing portraits of iconic, kick-ass European vigneronnes like Alice Bouvot of Octavin or Arianna Occhipinti, sharing their unique stories, struggles and motivation with much color and detail.
Foottrodden: Portugal and the Wines that Time Forgot, Simon J. Woolf & Ryan Opaz
New, self-published book by the renowned author of Amber Revolution: How the World Learned to Love Orange Wine (see below) and a long-term Porto-based guide and connoisseur of Portugal wine and culinary culture. Together, they take us on a breath-taking journey through this exciting and storied, yet still a bit under-the-radar country and its idiosyncratic grapes, makers and regions.
Sparkling Wine for Modern Times, Zachary Sussman
Pet-Nat, Growers Champagne, Lambrusco… the world of fizz is wonderfully wide and dynamic, so a little companion might come in handy! This new book by the award-winning wine journalist covers bases of sparkling wine-making, its most prominent regions (and makers) as well as its broad new horizons.
Poetry is Growing in Our Garden, Anders Frederik Steen
Respected sommelier of the nordic restaurant icons like Noma or Relae who became a cult natural winemaker after relocating to Auvergne with his wife and co-winemaker Anne: Anders Frederik Steen surely has some stories to share. The first edition of his “Thoughts on wine-making and wine-drinking” aka journal entries collected between 2013 and 2020 disappeared similarly quickly as the limited releases of his wines, but a reprint should be already in process.
Fruktstereo: The Cider Revolution, Mikael Nypelius & Karl Sjostrom
Staying on the “nordic-somm-turned-drinks-artisan” note, our dear partner Fruktstereo, the hilarious Swedish duo, finally published their explorative book in English in 2021! Recipes, stories, best practices, a little bit of science and heaps of dedication: this book is a perfect gift for y’all fermentation geeks out there!
Speaking about geeks, this compact and comprehensive book written by a professor of geology who happens to be a dedicated & educated wine lover is a joyous gift to anyone who’s obsessed with the different types of soil and the notion of terroir per se. (Even though, spoiler alert, you can’t taste the rocks in wine, Maltman convincingly argues.)
The history of Australia seen through alcohol sounds like not just intoxicating, but also pretty enticing read, and Max Allen, the renowned journalist and author of multiple wine books absolutely delivers. From the first native ferments with millenial tradition to settlers’ dangerous rum, this stuff surely is well-crafted and addictive…
You Had Me at Pet-Nat: A Natural Wine-Soaked Memoir, Rachel Signer
And since we’re in Australia, let’s pay a visit to a friend of ours, the journalist Rachel whose debut book recounts her personal journey from New York natural wine shops to a new life as a winemaker, author and mother in the charming South Australian region of Adelaide Hills.
The Noble Rot Book: Wine from Another Galaxy, Dan Keeling & Mark Andrew
Heavy with insight, British humor and rare French bottles, but free of any sort of stuffiness: this impressive volume from the minds behind the Noble Rot magazine and restaurants is a true work of love. Shiny on the outside, approachable and instantly seizing on the inside, this is our secret Christmas gift tip for any kind of wine lover.
Wine, Unfiltered. Buying, Drinking, and Sharing Natural Wine Katherine Clary
A holistic picture of the lively natural wine world and its culture, painted by the author and creator of the Wine Zine. Including Christian Tschida’s opinions on biodiversity our captain Jenny Lefcourt’s views on why natural wine matters.
The Juice: Vinous Veritas, Jay McInerney
The brilliant author of Bright Lights, Big City or The Good Life is also an incredibly dedicated wine & food aficionado – enjoy his savvy language and palate in this collection of essays on biodynamics, Champagne and many more.
Be it a memoir, a comprehensive guide, a deep dive into the ancient Georgian wine culture or musings on soil’s impact on flavour (co-authored by the Loire trailblazer Pascaline Lepeltier), our friend Alice, the doyenne of US natural wine writing, is there to keep you company.
Adventures on the Wine Route, Kermit Lynch
Speaking about OGs, this is one of the most entertaining and knowledge-laden wine books out there. Written in the 1980s based on Mr Lynch’s importing hunts in France, it’s incredible how much of his ideas are still super valid even 30 years later. A must.
Lulu’s Provencal Table, Richard Olney
One of the fondest chapters of Kermit Lynch’s afore-mentioned books is dedicated to Domaine Tempier, it’s wines but also the food and general Joie de vivre served at this Provencal estate. It will probably leave you craving to know more about Lulu’s (the matriarch of the family) famed feasts – and this book, fore-worded by Alice Waters, is where you can get it.
Wine. All the Time., Marissa A. Ross
Hilarious, unpretentious, knowledgeable, visually compelling… Our Cali pal Marissa (Bon Appetit’s wine editor & Natural Disasters podcast co-host) is all these things, so no wonder her book follows suit. Perfect unstuffy introduction into the wonderful world of natural wine.
New Wine Rules, Jon Bonné
Navigating all the rituals, rules and BS around wine can be quite tricky, but (former Punch, now Resy editor) Jon Bonné comes to the rescue with this easy-to-digest and fun guide.
Natural Wine, Isabelle Legeron
The French MW and founder of RAW fairs serves a congenial introduction to the world of natural, biodynamic etc. wine; good gift for the people you’re trying to evangelize.
Wine and War: The French, the Nazis and the Battle for French’s Greatest Treasure, Don & Petie Kladstrup
“To be a Frenchman means to fight for your country and its wine.” Breath-taking story of French vintners protecting their treasures from German troops during WWII.
Wine Grapes, Jancis Robinson
For all you geeks out there: this award-winning slab of 1280 pages and nearly 1400 grape varieties should keep your mind occupied for a while. If it doesn’t, you can continue with Ms Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine (although that one sports just meagre 912 pages).
Native Grapes of Italy, Ian d’Agata
For you indigenous grape geeks out there, Italy is the land of wonders, as this thoroughly researched book shows with its nearly 2000 (!) native grapes.
Love skin contact wines? So does Simon J Woolf. History, methods, re-rise to fame, producers and food pairings: you’ll even dream of maceration, qvevris and amber color for the rest of your life after reading this one.
The Wine Girl, Victoria James
Michelin-starred restaurants are no stranger to the toxicities of the restaurant world, as Victoria James (now Bev Director & Partner at Cote NYC), who became a sommelier in one at only 21, recalls all too well in her captivating memoir.