Photo of Mark Storer

Mark Storer

Professional Wine Expert

Best Wine Book & Wine Guide

Books on or about wine are ubiquitous. You don’t even have to look very hard to find someone somewhere who has penned yet another tome about the pleasures awaiting you in a glass of this or a carafe of that. Some writers just really want to write about certain regions and so you find books on Bordeaux, France, or even just small parts of Bordeaux like St. Emilion.

But if what you want is to learn about wine, to know a little bit more than the basics, then there are some very fine books indeed that are worth their weight in gold and should be on your shelf. Indeed, my own path to wine writing and learning about wine was essentially a self-study course, guided by a few wonderful people who already had some wine knowledge, and then a two-day seminar and test that led to my certification as a sommelier (not a Master, mind you, just a first level guy). Some of the books listed here are ones I used in my course of study. Others, I’ve read since and found a great deal of information indeed. Whatever your level of understanding, a few good pages of wine writing can really enhance your knowledge and bring you a lot of enjoyment as your pursue your (and my!) favorite passion—fermented grape juice. Oh, by the way, a point of interest for the women out there. If it is true that cooking and the chef world is mostly male-dominated, this particular list of books about wine is not. Eight of these books are either by women or by a man and a woman. Just in case you were wondering…

How to buy wine can be mysterious and even more confusing after seeing all of the wine guide selections out there. For the best wine books, turn to our experts who offer wine books for beginners to experts who want to refine how to buy wine.

Best Wine Books by Mark Storer

The Best You Can Get

  • The Oxford Companion to Wine (Third Edition)

    Mark says: I actually had the good fortune to get a reply email from Ms. Robinson when I wrote her and thanked her for this marvelous collection. How she did all of the research for this I’ll never know, but what I can tell you is that, dictionary like, the Oxford Companion is the wine Bible for the 21st Century. There is hardly a topic in here that isn’t covered, hardly a wine that isn’t discussed at some length. From people to places, from grapes to grafts, from A to Z, Jancis Robinson is simply unmatched for wine knowledge and expertise. Buy it and I dare you to read the whole thing!

    • by Jancis Robinson
  • Sales and Service for the Wine Professional

    Mark says: I know what you’re thinking. Why did he put a book that is a reference for wine servers on a list for wine consumers? Well, there are several reasons. The book covers not only the basics of serving wine, but serving alcohol in general. It talks about restaurant service and teamwork and it talks about cleanup and drunkenness. It also handles which vineyards have the best Chablis and ingredients in various alcoholic beverages. Yes, it reads like a textbook, but if you’ve already read one of the others, done some tasting and sipping, collected some wines, get this book. Who knows? You might have a whole new career waiting for you?

    • by Brian Julyan
  • Wine Across America

    Mark says: So you’re more of a “are there any pictures with that book?” person. Well, Wine Across America is right up your alley. Another husband and wife team, he a photographer in Napa Valley, decided to set out across the US and document winemakers from every state. Not only are there great images here, but also a lot of fascinating information about wine from every corner of the U.S. It’s a lot of fun to read and you won’t even know that you’re learning something.

    • by Charles O’Rear and Daphne Larkin
  • Great Wine Made Simple: Straight Talk from a Master Sommelier

    Mark says: Aside from being an attractive, perky TV presence, Andrea Immer’s not just another pretty face. Her work has led to a great deal of “decoding” of wine for folks who otherwise thought it too snobby, too elite. Immer brings home knowledge and allows the reader to get inside the real workings of wine, how to taste it, what it really tastes like, and how to evaluate it. For these reasons, Immer’s work is top notch and well worth the time and money.

    • by Andrea Immer
  • Great Tastes Made Simple

    Mark says: Another Immer book makes the list, this time with even more simple, basic practical help. The book’s purpose is to pair food and wine and get an understanding for what tastes good together. One thing about wine that you learn over time is that it is a food friendly beverage. Yes, everyone likes to simply have a glass of wine occasionally, but wine goes best with food. Immer knows that, and knows what to serve with it. This book makes that task easy and approachable.

    • by Andrea Immer

You will be happy with any of these

  • How to Taste

    Mark says: Robinson’s second entry on the list is packed with details in a little more readable format than the Oxford companion. A Master of Wine herself and a phenomenally good teacher, Robinson sets out to capture her reader’s by breaking wine down to its components and teaching you about them from the ground up, so to speak. She’s an exceptional writer, a fine teacher, and, if all you ever read about wine is by Jancis Robinson, you’ll do just fine.

    • by Jancis Robinson
  • Windows on the World Wine Course

    Mark says: OK, here’s where I admit my own geek-dom. I got an e-mail back from Zraly, too. It was like getting a note from a rock star. I couldn’t believe he responded to a question I had after I’d read his book. He did, in rather complete detail, gave me some advice, and told me to look him up in New York if I get there. For the record, I haven’t gotten there and by now, I’m pretty sure if I did look him up, he will have forgotten our correspondence and probably call the police. Eh, I couldn’t blame him. His book, though, is exactly what it sounds like. Like his friend and colleague from the former Windows on the World restaurant at the top of the World Trade Center in New York, Andrea Immer, Zraly is a natural teacher. He combines humor with great knowledge and now, sadly, a memoir of a great restaurant and some fine people who lost their lives on 9/11.

    • by Kevin Zraly
  • Wine for Dummies

    Mark says: Husband and wife wine columnists for Wine Enthusiast and the New York Daily News among others, McCarthy and Mulligan have teamed up with the “for Dummies” folks to provide a truly un-snobbish look at wine and how it works. It’s the book to get when you’re a novice and it’s even good if you know a little something. Come to think of it, I lent my copy to my brother more than a year ago and I haven’t seen it since. Well, for that price, I can get another and another for someone else who might borrow it.

    • by Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing Mulligan
  • The Wine Bible

    Mark says: Karen McNeil is the director of the Wine Program for Napa Valley’s Culinary Institute of the Arts. She is indeed passionate about her subject and she writes with literary quality about the world she loves so much. Speaking of the world, the book is broken down into countries and regions and covers all the necessaries of each. It’s written with fluidity and charm and most of all, authority.

    • by Karen McNeil
  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wine Basics

    Mark says: Don’t let the title throw you; this is not a book that talks down. Like Wine for Dummies, it’s part of a series of books for Complete Idiots - on myriad topics. Wilson, however, really distills (or should I say ferments?) the essentials of wine here. She tackles regions, grapes, varietals, blends, and even goes into storage, stemware and a few other wine needs. It’s a great little volume to have to back up what you want to know.

    • by Tara Q. Wilson

Related Articles

Learn how to buy wine from the best wine book selections that are perfect for beginners to connoisseurs who are looking for wine recipes to the perfect wine guide. Our experts weed through the multitude of wine books for beginners to experts so you don't have to. Always the best price, our how to buy wine book selections will refine your wine tastes no matter where you start.