best wine books

Best Wine Books of 2021

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My best wine books of 2021 include memoirs, novels and some excellent wine guides.   Personally I like nothing better than a good read.  If you are looking for an ideal stocking filler for a wine lover this Christmas then here is some inspiration.

The Pocket Wine Guide – Hugh Johnson

This book was at the top of Henry’s Christmas list every year and is a must for any wine lover.   It’s now in its 44th year of publication.   The ultimate practical guide to wine which includes details of the best vintages for 2021 as well as what to drink and what to hold on to.  

Cork Dork – Bianca Bosker

Bianca Bosker is a journalist who spent a year exploring the world of elite sommeliers and trying to uncover why some of us are obsessed with fine wine.  In this book she studies the science of taste and explores behind the scenes of the wine industry.   Bianca totally immerses herself in the wine world.  She trains for the (extremely difficult) Certified Sommelier Exam and falls in love with wine on the way.    Not only will you learn a lot about wine this is also a humourous book filled with unique characters.

Wine Girl – Victoria James

Victoria James became a top New York sommelier in her early 20s.  This memoir is the remarkable tale of Victoria’s life.  How a resilient young woman broke into the male dominated wine world guided by a true love of wine.  A great read which includes a guide of what to drink while reading the book.   

The Summer Job – Lizzy Dent

I zipped through this light hearted romance set in the Scottish Highlands.  Birdy poses as her friend Heather, a top sommelier, to take a job in a luxury Scottish hotel.  The only problem is she doesn’t really know anything about wine and pretending she does isn’t quite as easy as she thought it would be.   I enjoyed the combination of wine and romcom in this charming novel.    A perfect accompaniment for Love Actually this Christmas.

Wine Folly – Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack

I found this book invaluable when I was studying for my Level 3 WSET qualification earlier this year.   This visual guide to wine includes all the major grapes varieties as well as lots of practical wine information.  I found it complemented my other study guides and I keep referring back to it again and again.  I love the illustrations and the straightforward layout.  

Thoughts on a Wine Cellar – Henry Goulding

This is Henry’s book.  The story of why he loved wine so much and of our wine cellar.  It’s only on sale through our website at the moment however amazingly there is one review on Amazon which reads:

“Thoughts On A Wine Cellar” is just the most evocative, erudite, intelligent, warm and witty book. I can not recommend it more highly as a reading experience.

Henry Goulding takes the reader on a wine tour not just by giving tasting notes and technical information about the wines he is discussing, but by relating his very personal experiences of tasting those wines and explaining what they mean to him. He educates by telling stories and does so in just the most charming, self-deprecating, honest and funny way.

I can honestly say that I learned more about wine from this book than from any of the more formal guides. I couldn’t help myself reading “just another page” and, in the process, absorbed in a very three dimensional way the more technical information which has been dropped into the text so elegantly.”

These are my best wine books of 2021.  If you’d like to buy any of them you could support an independent bookseller at the same by shopping at

If you’re looking for the perfect gift to complement a wine book this Christmas we have just received a new delivery of stunning wine jigsaw puzzles by Water and Wines.