Wine is a question of knowing. If you are drawn to the world of wine, you will need two things: a good book and a corkscrew. The more you know, the more you'll enjoy each new bottle.
In no time at all, you'll be talking about the influence of climate on the aromatic and grape profiles of a wine. You will get into the mind of a wine producer and familiarize yourself with every step of the winemaking process. From grape to bottle, wine is a fantastic journey to take.
Of course, conquering the vast knowledge behind all styles of wine and all regions is a major challenge. It's about taking your time. You get better with every wine tasting class and visit to wine country, one sip at a time. But hitting the books is what separates sommeliers from wine tourists. Every paragraph, picture and card is as sweet as a sip of your favorite wine and gets you closer to your goal.
Here are some of the best wine books to research and read from start to finish. The pages are drenched in wine expertise, and you'll be soaking up in no time.
Best wine book for beginners
Even seasoned professionals and professionals appreciate the colorful diagrams and infographics in Wine Folly: The essential guide to wine.
Certified Sommelier and New York Times bestseller, Madeline Puckette is behind this fantastic project that took a solemn and in-depth approach to wine knowledge for the inexperienced through cutting-edge design and clever layouts. The science of wine tasting, wine pairing and each varietal and wine region is dissected into 310 color pages, including 35 maps.
New Magnum Edition: the main guide is a real treat to have in the house. And don't think for a second that the minimalist layout and eye-catching color scheme make this piece of literature less serious than the most renowned wine encyclopedias. With the books by Wine Folly, it's easy to learn while having fun, whether you're just immersed in the world of wine or have decades of experience on the ground as a Sommet.
Best books on Italian wine
Matt Kramer Giving meaning to Italian wine: discovering the greatest wines and the best values of Italy, by renowned Wine Spectator contributor, is a true gem for honest reviews and detailed wine profiles for every central wine region from Piedmont to Sicily. Written in a unique 'Buyer's Guide' style, Kramer's masterpiece makes it easy to understand the value and rarity of each style of wine. It will also help you make better decisions when sourcing your Italian wine.
Best Wine Book Online with L1 Sommelier Certification
If you are looking for a more practical method of learning wine, and one that offers a professional wine certificate at the end, this offer may be for you. Fully online with dozens of videos and weeks of content, this is the kind of gift for the aspiring sommelier. Level 1 sommelier certification from the National Wine School. Oh, and here's a $ 250 coupon to cut the price in half: level1wsop.
Best Natural Wine Book
Natural wines are all the rage, but even more so the scientific approach to our beloved fermented drink.
The book A natural history of wine, by Ian Tattersall and Rob DeSalle, anthropologist and molecular biologist, takes you on an unexpected journey through all things wine. From its millennial history to what goes on in wine, from the ripening of the grapes to the fermentation - all with a meticulous scientific approach and a laid back, friendly tone.
This book has all the answers and will give you an incomparable understanding of wine. From yeast to terroir, and even a chapter on the effects of wine on our body.
Best books on food and wine pairing
Our personal favorite is the Omnibus Drink & Pairing Cookbook Corked and forked. Written by myself with the help of the whole team here at the Wine School. Published in 2011, it still holds up. It hit the bestseller list and then sold out. We still have a few signed copies of the 1st edition.
It is difficult to find a more complete book on food and wine pairing than Perfect pairings: practical advice from a master sommelier on pairing wine and food by Evan and Joyce Goldstein.
Restaurant veteran Evan Goldstein has seen it all from classic French pairings to new global fusion cuisine and lesser-known wine styles from around the world.
The intuitive approach to wine and food pairing, both old and new, along with numerous wine examples and recommendations, makes it easy to put dozens of examples in the book into practice.
Best Wine Atlas
The one and only World Wine Atlas, a collaboration between the legendary Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson is the only book you'll need for a detailed overview of every wine region on the planet, with the most accurate, exquisite maps and brilliant commentary.
We're talking 416 pages covering everything from wine making to Western Europe's most obscure wine regions. If you were to memorize this book, you would have the knowledge of a true master; it's a staple in every wine student's library.
Best wine tasting notebooks
Our favorite wine notebook is this bad boy. We designed it for our own sommelier-instructors and you can see it in action in almost every wine tasting and sommelier course taught here: Wine school wine tasting notebook.
Coming back to the insightful design and creative approach of Wine Folly, Wine Folly Wine Journal is as practical and user-friendly as the tasting notebooks. This is our second favorite tasting notebook.
The 4.9 x 6.9 inch notebook with 160 pages and a tasteful red ribbon page marker will be your companion on every wine tasting and vineyard visit.
Each page is designed to rate wine with a professional 4-step tasting method, making it suitable for serious wine enthusiasts and students. The included wine color chart seals the deal for us.
Knowledge is priceless
Knowledge is priceless, and knowledge of wine is also enjoyable! Build your wine library and advance in your quest to master wine.
What makes so many great wine books is just the tip of the iceberg. Let us know your favorite wine books and share them with the Wine School of Philadelphia community.
We would recommend either Wineworks Premium or Wineworks Superior as your first 30 Bottle Kit Wine. Both of these ranges are designed to produce a good quality wine that is ready to drink within 2-4 weeks but will benefit if left up to 6-8 weeks. Furthermore, they also have a great selection of wines to choose from.
If you’ve never made wine before or you simply don’t have any of the equipment or ingredients any longer then you could purchase one of our bundles. These bundles allie all the required equipment along with your prefered wine pack so that you can have everything delivered to your door and just get started. The Wineworks Superior Starter Bundles are a great choice if you want to keep the equipment budget down but still choose the quality of wine you’d like to go for. Whereas, the Wineworks Luxury Starter Bundles offer a better quality equipment pack and still let you choose from a great choice of wine kits.
The two most important critères of making wine are Cleanliness and Temperature. Firstly remember everything that comes into contact with the wine should be cleaned and sterilised ( see below ). Secondly maintain a constant temperature between 21-26°C ( 69-79°F ). It is much better to be on the cool side and constant than hot one minute and cold the next. Airing cupboards are definitely no, no’s. ( See below )
Clean and sterilise all equipment. Here’s a selection of Sterilisers you can use and if you not quite sure which steriliser to go for then you can take a look at our Beginners Wine Making Part 1 - Cleaning, Sterlising
Wineworks Superior wines : These usually take 10-15 days to ferment, and a further week to clear. Again the wine can be drunk immediately but we recommend ageing it 4 weeks but you can leave it up to 12 months. The time you will leave it will depend very much on your stocks. So get plenty built up. The reds benefit more than the whites with ageing. Certain packs ( see the list below ) are suited more to the experienced wine maker and take around 4 weeks to ferment and then left for a further 2 weeks. These products does really benefit from ageing. All the kits we list in this section require little ageing.
As it’s new to you it will probably take in all 2 hours for your first batch. However, once you are used to it 1 hour is about the maximum amount of time needed. We would also point out bar the bottling side; it takes just as long to make 6 bottles as it does to make 30 bottles, so we strongly recommend you make the larger quantity. After all 6 bottles doesn’t go very far as we said before !
From our experience it is much better to maintain a constant temperature than a fluctuating one. We suggest 21-26°C ( 69-79°F ), although if it is cooler than this, it is not a problem, it just takes slightly longer to ferment. If you can’t maintain this then we supply three different forms of heating equipment : Brew Belt / Heat BeltThis is a simple insulated electric cable that wraps round your conteneur and provides a gentle heat. It is very souple and extremely easy to use. Heat Tray ( 4 demi/5 Gallon Fermenter ) This is like a flat tray that provides a gentle continuous heat that goes under the fermenter. Immersion HeaterThis drops into the container, through the bung and can be thermostatically controlled to maintain the exact temperature. Similar to a fish tank heater. All these can be added to our starter pack packages. See our video showing the genres of heating equipment available for your fermentation.
It is important to clean
If you’ve made it this far, hopefully understanding a bit of what we’ve said, then you’ll want to know how much it will cost to get started ! As you may have noticed, we’ve put together a couple of equipment kits which include everything you need, and take the confusion out of buying. You can make your first 30 bottles of Wine for approximately £65. 00. That’s all in ( Equipment