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Great wine books to read while in self-isolation

Need some new reading material while you're staying inside? We've rounded up seven top wine books, for every kind of reader...

Great wine books to read while in self-isolation

If you want a memoir… ‘Cork Dork’, Bianca Bosker

For an insight into the life of working in the New York wine scene, settle in to Bianca Bosker’s Cork Dork. A ‘high-octane account of her year in the New York wine scene’, Bosker was previously an editor at Huffington Post before pursuing a career in wine. As a New York Times bestseller, it’s got a broad appeal, for both the beginner and the seasoned oenophile.


If you want to laugh and learn… Red and White: An unquenchable thirst for wine’, Oz Clarke

Oz Clarke’s Red and White marks a slight departure from his previous books. Not just a technical reference book, it’s part autobiographical, including Clarke’s first venture into the world of wine, but also includes plenty of serious wine content. It’s ‘full of joie de vivre, wit, opinion and anecdotes,’ and it’s laugh-out-loud funny at times, said the Decanter review.


If you love claret… Inside Bordeaux’, Jane Anson

As any regular readers of her Decanter column will know, Jane Anson has incredible knowledge and access to Bordeaux. Her highly anticipated Inside Bordeaux will profile 600 châteaux across the region in exceptional detail. If you’re missing the buzz of Bordeaux en primeur this year, this might help see you through – but you’ll have to wait a little longer for its official release.

Available April 2020

If you’re improving your knowledge… The World Atlas of Wine’, Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson MW

The eighth edition of the World Atlas of Wine was released at the end of 2019, and is an essential item on the book shelf of any self-proclaimed wine lover. Written by Jancis Robinson MW and Hugh Johnson, this is the longest edition yet, with 230 maps, 22 of which are new – showing how much the wine world is evolving.

See our interview with Robinson and Johnson, on what’s changed over the years of producing the Atlas


If you want some light relief from the news… Monsieur Pamplemousse’ series, Michael Bond

Best known for creating Paddington Bear, Michael Bond also wrote a series of novels for adults, around a character called Monsieur Pamplemousse – a Michelin inspector who also solved crime, with his canine sidekick ‘Pommes Frites’.

A series of culinary adventures are set in France, continually referencing fine wines of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône and more… Read a taster of the books here. 


If you’re looking for a novel…. My Italian Bulldozer’, Alexander McCall Smith

Jane Anson shared some of her favourite novels that manage to effortlessly weave wine into the main story. My Italian Bulldozer is a romantic novel set in Tuscany, about a food writer who is travelling to get over a breakup.

See Jane Anson’s other wine novel suggestions here. 


If you want a visual guide to wine… Wine Folly: The essential guide to wine’, Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack

Online publication Wine Folly made a name for itself with its easy to understand graphics that help you get to grips with learning about wine. This book, which offers a visual guide to wine, was published in 2016 and covers major grapes and regions, as well as food pairing, glassware and methods of production. It may be particularly useful for anyone using this time to revise for future WSET exams.



See also

Top wine shows to stream while in self-isolation

Chianti with The Sopranos? Top TV shows and wine pairing ideas

Latest Wine News