What do you give a wine lover for Christmas – aside from more wine? Here are three outstanding books they will love!
Corkscrew by Peter Stafford-Bow
This novel is billed as “the improbable but occasionally true, tale of a professional wine buyer.” It is a madcap romp that covers wine adventures from South Africa to Italy to the back alleys of Britain. It follows the cheeky adventures of Felix Hart from his expulsion from school to his rise as wine buyer for a major supermarket chain.
There is a leopard attack, a fatal stampede, human trafficking and enough consumption of high end wine to keep wine lovers flipping the pages to the end. One of the most interesting features is Felix’s efforts to earn the coveted “Minstrel of Wine” certification. This involves tasting and identifying more than a hundred wines and then putting on a performance of classical music. The results are hilarious.
This book gets a big thumbs up from me. Please note that this is not for youngsters or those easily offended. It includes plenty of wine, women and gunplay.
Corkscrew is published by I AM Self Publishing and is available for $12.99 on Amazon or your local bookstore.
Vertical: Passion and Pinot On The Oregon Wine Trail by Rex Pickett
What wine lover doesn’t know Sideways by Rex Pickett? The movie adaptation won more than 350 film critic awards as it followed the adventures of Miles and Jack in California wine country. Some may recall it as the movie that torpedoed Merlot sales.
The good news is that Miles and Jack are back in the saddle, this time taking their antics to Oregon. Times have changed. Miles is now a successful author and Jack is a down on his luck alcoholic with his best days in his rear view mirror.
There are over-the-top moments aplenty, including Miles nearly drowning in a vat of Merlot at the International Pinot Noir festival. Vertical is published by Loose Gravel Press and is available on Amazon or your local bookstore for $14.95 in paperback. As in the original, adult themes abound.
But First, Champagne: a Modern Guide to the World’s Favorite Wine by David White
You’ve gotta love the title – But First, Champagne. We agree with that sentiment and can confidently recommend this book as a good companion as you sip a bottle of bubbly
David White weaves history, winemaking knowledge and information on the region into his attractive hardcover book. Wine lovers will found something not generally included in wine books: detailed narrative on subregions of Champagne including Montagne de Reims, Vallee de la Marne, Cotes des Blancs and The Aube. If you don’t know the three grapes that make up Champagne, shame on you. You can read about Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier in the book.
You’ll also find profiles of the regions leading producers and insight into the “grower” Champagne trend. Perhaps my favorite inclusion is the history of sabrage (sabering open Champagne) and a step by step guide to doing it.
Nicely illustrated with photos, this is a great gift for Christmas. But First, Champagne is published by Skyhorse Publishing and sells for $29.99 on Amazon or your local bookseller.