Looking for inspiration? Here are the best things to read, watch and listen to for wine lovers. We’ve picked out some of the best wine-related books, TV shows and podcasts for your enjoyment!
Under the Sky We Make – Kimberly Nicholas PhD
Kimberly Nicholas is a wine buff who grew up on her family vineyard in Sonoma. Now Associate Professor of Sustainability Science at Lund University in Sweden, she wrote her PhD at Stanford on the effects of climate change on the California wine industry. Subtitled ‘How to be human in a warming world’, her accessible book explains how all of us can play a part in effecting significant and lasting lifestyle changes to help tackle climate change. Nicholas also examines how climate change is affecting the notion of terroir and explains why the taste of Sonoma Pinot Noir has changed forever.
$18, GP Putnam’s Sons
Cheers! Around The World In 80 Toasts – Brandon Cook
A fascinating little book that sheds light on how different cultures raise a glass, and who, what and how they toast while doing so. From the Bulgarian ‘Ha3дpaBe’ (nazdrav’ay) ‘To health’, and Hawaiian ‘I ke ola’ (i kee ola) ‘To life’, via toasts in Uzbek, Indonesian, Hausa and many more, Cook offers insights on linguistics and drinking traditions around the world.
$29, Red Lightning Books
Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced And Stumbled Our Way To Civilization – Edward Slingerland
Starting from the premise that humans are ‘inveterate pleasure seekers’, Edward Slingerland explores the history and psychology of intoxication in his entertaining and thought-provoking book. He argues that over time getting drunk must have enabled individuals and cultures to endure and flourish. A fresh take on an intriguing subject.
£25, Little Brown
The South America Wine Guide – Amanda Barnes
Covering Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru, this informative book by regular Decanter contributor Barnes is a must-read for anyone interested in South America’s dynamic wine scene. Impeccably researched and beautifully designed, with helpful maps, producer recommendations, wine and travel tips, it fully reflects the passion and knowledge Barnes has for this region.
Wine films & TV:
Stunning cinematography will transport you to the misty forests and vineyards of Northern Italy in this soulful documentary. Meet the traditional Piedmontese truffle hunters, who live in harmony with the land – alongside their faithful truffle hounds – making wine, growing vegetables and foraging in the countryside for white Alba truffles. This homespun and rapidly disappearing way of life has a simplicity that’s completely at odds with the luxury market for truffles. A compelling and moving film.
Directed by Frank Mannion, this documentary celebrates the history, mystery and enduring appeal of Champagne. Featuring houses such as Louis Roederer, Pol Roger and Armand de Brignac, with comments from Champenois including Vitalie Taittinger and Dom Pérignon chef de cave Vincent Chaperon, it asks questions such as: will the French ever drink English sparkling wine?
In the latest season of this Amazon Prime show, host and sommelier Vince Anter explores wine regions across the Americas, visiting Walla Walla in Washington, the Finger Lakes in New York and Mexico’s Ensenada. Each episode takes in the history, culture and food of the region, as well as wine topics, meeting winemakers and visiting restaurants to convey the tourist experience. Viewers in the US can order featured wines from visforvino.com in advance.
The famed Bordeaux first growth property is the subject of a new documentary from the creators of the successful Somm film series (the third instalment Somm 3 was released in October 2018), directed by Jason Wise. The first time the Pauillac château has ever welcomed cameras behind the scenes, it offers a glimpse into the home, family life and wine business of the notoriously private Lafite branch of the Rothschild dynasty. Available on the Somm TV platform.
This hugely enjoyable podcast is hosted by Decanter contributors – and married Masters of Wine – Peter Richards MW and Susie Barrie MW. Episodes range widely through the world of wine, with the duo giving their unique takes on topics from rebooting Burgundy to finding the best rosé ever. In this episode you can find useful advice on what bottles to buy if you want to drink well but haven’t got lots of space to store wines.
Decanter contributor Tim Atkin MW interviews leading winemakers from around the world in his engaging podcast. In this episode, ‘Rhône Ranger’ Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard chats about his winemaking inspirations, biodynamics, climate change, the evolution of the California wine scene and his new project at Popelouchum in San Juan Bautista.
This episode of former sommelier Levi Dalton’s long-running podcast features Chris Howell, winemaker and general manager of Cain Vineyard & Winery in Napa.Recorded in April last year, before Cain suffered damage in the Glass Fire, it includes commentary from earlier interviews with Kelli White, author of Napa Valley Then & Now, and fellow Napa winemakers.
Sommelier Emily Harman and tattoo artist Guen Douglas focus on the Grenache grape in this episode of their entertaining podcast. Perfect for anyone who enjoys exploring new wines, each episode comes with a list of bottles if you want to taste along, ideas on food pairing (don’t miss the burger episode), insight on wine regions and styles, and plenty of anecdotes on the joys of drinking great wine. Available on Spotify and iTunes.