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Decanter Bookmarks: Things to read, watch and listen to for wine lovers

Every month the Decanter team selects the best books, podcasts, films, shows and more for wine lovers.

Looking for inspiration? Here are the best things to read, watch and listen to for wine lovers. We’ve picked out some of the top wine-related books, TV shows, podcasts and more for your enjoyment!

Read

Climbing the Vines in Burgundy

by Alex Gambal

Subtitled How an American came to own a legendary vineyard in France, this memoir tells the tale of Gambal’s journey from Washington DC to Burgundy. It reveals how he managed to acquire some of the most coveted vineyard land in the region (the first non-Frenchman to own Montrachet grand cru vines) and set up a boutique winery that he went on to sell to Burgundy’s Boisset family in 2019.

Oz Clarke’s Story of Wine

This updated version of Oz’s 2015 book The History of Wine in 100 Bottles charts the history of wine and winemaking through 100 specific, significant bottles. New chapters cover phenomena that have had a significant impact over the last decade: climate change (and how it has transformed grape-growing in the UK), orange wines, natural wines, alternative packaging and wildfires.

Wine Witch on Fire

Or to give it its full title, Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation and Drinking Too Much. It’s an honest memoir, written by award-winning US wine writer Natalie MacLean, charting how she overcame struggles in her life, personal and professional. She gives an insight into what it’s like to work as a woman in the male-dominated wine industry, and recommends some of her favourite wines along the way. It’s honest, raw and inspirational.

The World in a Wineglass

Written in US wine editor Ray Isle’s usual engaging style, this guide sets out to help readers choose more delicious, interesting and environmentally friendly wines that won’t
break the bank. After outlining how organic / biodynamic/ sustainable/ regenerative wines are made, and why it matters, Isle introduces his favourite independent wineries around the world who ‘work in ways that benefit the planet, rather than screw it up’.


Watch

The Most Expensive Wine in the World

The wines of Bordeaux’s Liber Pater can command prices of US$30,000 a bottle. This documentary shines a light on Loïc Pasquet, the man behind the label, who spent time in prison for failing to comply with Bordeaux’s agricultural laws and practices, giving a rare insight into why he feels so strongly about doing things his own way. (Apple TV, £8.99 or Winemasters.tv, $7.99 to rent for one week)

Street Somm

Streaming in the US on the Tastemade channel, and produced in partnership with Constellation Brands, Street Somm features hip-hop entrepreneur and self-taught wine
expert Jermaine Stone, as he explores six culinary hubs across the US – from New York to San Francisco – with numerous stops in between. Each episode sees Stone pair up
with a different food expert, and highlights signature dishes, unexpected wine pairings and the stories behind both.

The Mega Trade

Wine educator Sam Povey set himself a challenge this summer: to trade his way, with his followers on social media, from a bottle of Yellowtail Shiraz all the way up to a bottle
of one of the world’s most expensive wines, Domaine de la Romanée Conti’s Romanée Conti. It’s all taking place on his entertaining and informative @sampovey.wine Instagram page. As Decanter‘s November issue went to press, he had worked his way up to Domaine Coffinet-Duvernay, Bâtard-Montrachet GC 2018.

Stefan Neumann’s Blind Tasting Course

Hosted by Master Sommelier Stefan Neumann, this online video course is aimed at anyone sitting wine exams that involve blind tasting, but will be useful to any wine lover looking to hone their skills. Fifty bite-sized videos lasting three hours in total are divided into nine modules, covering not only how to identify grape variety, region and vintage blind, but also how to sharpen your senses, build a taste profile and expand your vocabulary.


Download

Decanter Know Your Wine app

Available for iOS (iPhone) – Android coming soon – the popular learning and quiz app has been updated. The app delivers learning material in bite-sized chunks, with modules on major vineyard regions, growing grapes, winemaking and wine styles. A new daily two-minute quiz, with leaderboards, sees users answer the same 10 questions to test their knowledge. Free to download, with an annual (£20) subscription unlocking all 1,500 questions across 82 modules.


Listen

The Four Top Podcast

Oregon-based wine writer and journalist Katherine Cole is executive producer and host of this James Beard Award-winning podcast, which sees weekly episodes distil down wine-related news stories of the moment in a chatty and instructive way. It’s a mix of more serious and lighter stories, and the bite-sized length of the episodes (typically 20 minutes) make them ideal for staying informed on the move, or during coffee breaks.

Spanish Wine Experience

Produced by the owners of Madrid wine shop and tasting space Madrid & Darracott, this podcast devoted entirely to Spanish wine has a back catalogue of about 180 episodes, and Series 3 has just started. Find deep dives into popular regions and styles such as Rioja and Cava, plus plenty for those looking to discover Spanish wine’s more obscure side – anyone for a glass of Tostado do Ribeiro? Listen on Apple Podcasts

Alcohol, wine and health podcasts

Search for ‘Professor David Nutt’ wherever you look for your podcasts, and you’ll find many individual episodes of different series featuring the neuropsychopharmacologist and former UK Government advisor. He details the science of alcohol consumption in a fascinating way. Meanwhile, over at Wine Blast (S4, E13) Susie Barrie MW and Peter Richards MW talk to Professor Tim Spector about wine and the microbiome, highlighting how red wine drunk in moderation can boost gut health.

Looking Into Wine

What’s it like being the editor of Decanter magazine? Find out in a special 30-minute ‘Careers in Wine’ episode of Italian sommelier Mattia Scarpazza’s Looking Into Wine podcast. The interview with Amy Wislocki, who has been at the helm of the magazine for 23 years, touches on topics such as how Decanter has changed during that time, how to succeed as a wine writer, and how the magazine coped during the pandemic.


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