By no means is this my comprehensive reading list – but these are some of the resources I have been led to find, which I am happy to promote and recommend. As my studies go on, I anticipate so will this page. These resource readings are in +surplus of additional required L1 coursework and study modules from any approved WSET or CMS educator. Nonetheless, the never static library of a wine student might start something like this:
Traditional Hard Cover Books:
- “The World Atlas of Wine, 7th Edition” by Hugh Johnson, Janis Robinson. Excellent resource for maps and creating mental reference points in the geography of any wine region
- “Wine Bible, 2nd Edition” by Karen McNeil. Arguably one of the most academic texts for WSET L1, but also a staple recommended by the Court. Author has personally traveled to every wine region in the world, and in the 2nd edition alone she tasted 10,000 new wines prior to publishing.
- “Windows on the World Complete Wine Course” by Kevin Zraly. Generally, this is known as one of the best foundational offerings to wine student beginners. It is an accessible read, and honest to the very core of its voice. Kevin Zraly perfectly imparts his years of professional experience and expertise as a working Somm and a wine teacher. He writes with a finesse that results in an a great reading treasure we should all be thankful for.
- “What to Drink with what you Eat” by Andrew Dornenburg & his wife Karen Page. Their other writings focus primarily on culinary points of view, so to experience a book for wines written from the chefs perspective – and to see it so well done – is an oddly good find.
- “Wine: A Tasting Course, Every Class in a Glass” by Marnie Old. Suggested to me by a local Sommelier friend of mine in Dallas whom has an impressive, long standing resume in wine and fine dining service. The readability of this book reminds me of Wine Folly. She is currently studying for L2.
- “Wine Folly, The Essential Guide to Wine” by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack. 100% recommend this purchase to anyone starting out in wines and looking for beautiful graphics, organized presentation on wine fundamentals, styles, regions. They also win for being the one of the funnest wine reads out there. A visit to their website of the same name will prove my point, it’s a can’t miss.
The Obvious Print Magazines:
- Decanter Magazine
- Wine Enthusiast
- Wine Spectator
- Noble Rot. London based, publishes quarterly, a various “who’s who” of contributing authors, reads like the Rolling Stone of the wine world. It’s exciting, friends, and if you can get your hands on a print copy you should. It’s not sold here in Texas, but I found a copy while in Seattle and it seems they can be ordered online from the Noble website.
Leisure Wine Reading:
- “Cork Dork” by Bianca Bosker. When the academia of wine study goes dry as a mouth full of tannins, draw inspiration from Bianca’s wine path. She is such a genuine, thankful, intelligent soul. I cannot rave enough, so much so that I posted an entire review of her book here on The Client Bar last August, and annotated her entire book for my personal entertainment.
- “Secrets of the Sommeliers” by Rajat Parr. Regarded as maybe the industry’s best at blind tasting wines, Parr is not only a Sommelier, but a winemaker and a restauranteur. And hardly is there a more impressive biography to be found. Informative, impressive, and interesting.
- “The New Wine Rules” by Jon Bonne. A quick, pocket sized read to bring wine experience into modern vernacular. If I would have found an easy to read, digestable tidbit wine book this instructive in my 20s, the world today would be a different place.
Wine Writers / Bloggers / Journals:
- Jancis Robinson is the site page of its namesake, British author of The World Atlas of Wine, the 24-Hour Wine Expert, editor of the Oxford Companion to Wine, active tweeter, site publisher, and wine teacher.
- http://www.thewinewrite.com by Randy Smith – who covers so much of my home terroir it makes me feel like I never left home. His extensive work is breathtakingly impressive to a wine rookie like me, and I feel like I’m cheating knowledge by reading his work. Lean on his experience and thoughts, you’ll be glad you did and better for doing so.
- www.winestainedlens.com is a blog written by the sister of a very close friend of mine, who brilliantly combines her talent for journalism and photography with her knowledge and passion of wine.
- www.thewinestalker.net written by Mr. Joey Casco, Certified Specialist of Wine and Certified Specialist of Spirits based out of Cape Cod. I found his work while tweeting and as Twitter often does, it pulled my attention away after stumbling on Joey’s work. The blog is well constructed, thorough, informative, helpful, and funny.
- https://www.sommselect.com/category/blog/ is the penned voice of the team at SommSelect, which you may recognize as belonging to Ian Cauble, MS of the SOMM documentaries.