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Yak's Wine Bookshelf (in association with amazon.com)

Many visitors to my pages ask me to recommend good wine books, especially books that deal with Burgundy wines.
Listed below are my favorite wine books. They are all books that I own, I've read, I often re-read and I wholeheartedly recommend to those who seek a better understanding of the wonderful world of wine.
Some of the books are of general nature, others deal with specific regions. Naturally, the subject of Burgundy is the most thoroughly covered...
Now, in association with amazon.com, I can not only recommend these books, but let you click their links and go directly to amazon.com relevant catalog page. You can actually order any of the books listed here in a matter of 5 minutes!
From personal experience I can vouch for amazon's prompt, secure and excellent service. Their prices are usually extremely competitive too.

The Book Shelf

Prices and status are the ones quoted by Amazon when I last checked. They might change without notice. You will of course see the current parameters when you click the link.
Besides the books listed here, you will find about 1500000 additional titles on Amazon web site itself. Click on one of the logos above to link to their homepage.

I do hope you'll find this listing of wine books useful. Enjoy your browsing...

General Wine

  • Hugh Johnson - The World Atlas of Wine
    Hugh Johnson - the man whose writing has drawn more people to wine loving than anyone else I know of - has done a great job covering (in one volume!) both the essentials of wine making and wine drinking together with a detailed survey of all the important wine regions of the world. The book is stuffed with pictures, illustrations and maps.
    Amazon price: $35"Must have" mark: 9/10.

  • Hugh Johnson - Vintage; The Story of Wine
    A real masterpiece (and an obvious work of love)! Combining extensive research and scholarship with wit and eloquence, the book traces wine and wine making from ancient times to our day. It is both the "Story of Wine" and the history of wine. The story is told in the context of its geographical, cultural and technical background. Exquisite pictures and maps abound. A truly extraordinary book!
    Status: Currently out of stock"Must have" mark: 10/10.

  • Hugh Johnson - Pocket Encyclopedia of Wine 1999
    A yearly published pocket "encyclopedia". Nothing deep here, but a quick and easy reference to (almost) every wine made on this planet. I have the last six editions and will probably go on buying them year after year in the future...
    Amazon price: $10.40"Must have" mark: 7.5/10.

  • Robert Parker - Wine Buyer's Guide
    This 1200 pages 'concordance' of the wines of the world is as exhaustive survey of recent (~1990-1994) vintages for almost every wine and winemaker in the world. The style is very 'Parkerish' with lots of "awesome"s and "96+/100"s, but the work is monumental and should be extremely helpful to anyone interested in currently available fine wines.
    Amazon price: $20"Must have" mark: 8.5/10.

  • George Saintsbury - Notes on a Cellar Book
    The classic equivalent of modern day tasting-notes, by a wonderfully eccentric 19th century upper middle-class British scholar. The man had kept a meticulous wine diary where he marked down prices, his unabashed impressions, dinner menus and both serious and amusing anecdotes. Totally impractical of course but an unsurpassed pleasure to read.
    Status: Hard to find"Must have" mark: 8/10.


  • Robert Parker - Burgundy
    While I do not hold Mr. Parker as my Oracle when it comes to Burgundy wines, his comprehensive guide to the producers, appellations and wines of Bourgogne is as thorough and embracing work as anyone can wish for. His coverage of the producers is truly exhaustive - from the superstars to the smallest and modest. While the tasting notes section covers in detail the wines of the mid-80s (1983-1987) it demonstrates lack of real appreciation to the subtleties of Burgundy wines. The detailed survey of the appellations, the clear maps and the assessment of the producers are mostly valid today too.
    Amazon price: $31.5"Must have" mark: 7.5/10.

  • Matt Kramer - Making Sense of Burgundy
    A no-nonsense Burgundy book that - like most others - covers the general aspects of the region, the different appellations, the good (and not so good) producers and their wines. While not as monumental as Parker's or Coat's work, the book is extremely readable. When it comes to assessment of Burgundy wines, their ageability and their producers, I personally find it easier to identify with Mr. Kramer's than with Mr. Parker's. If you are interested in the exact acreage Monsieur Papon has in the vineyard of Volnay 'Champans' then this is the only book I know of that gives the detailed parceling of every Premier and Grand Cru vineyard in the Cote d'Or...
    Status: Hard to find"Must have" mark: 8/10.

  • Anthony Hanson - Burgundy
    Another 1000+ pages (B) book. As I said before, almost all Burgundy books are divided into three parts (or four if they contain tasting notes too):
    - General aspects of Burgundy wines
    - The appellations of the Cote d'Or (always surveyed from north to south)
    - The producers and their ware
    Mr. Hanson's coverage of the producers is both shallow and too biased on his accidental trade relations. His appellations survey is as adequate as almost every other writer's. But his in-depth general chapter (which IMHO could and should be published as a 300 pages book of its own) is without parallel! Simply a must for any Burgundy lover and for anyone seriously interested in this intricate wine region.
    Status: Currently out of stock"Must have" mark: 9/10.

  • Clive Coates - Cote D'or : A Celebration of the Great Wines of Burgundy
    The most recent and up to date definitive work on Burgundy! Clive Coates, in his sharp and wittily understated British style, has done it all! While coverage of the general and background aspects of Burgundy is not as superb as in Hanson's book, Coates survey of the producers and his countless tasting notes spanning the last 50 years(!) are by far the best of the lot. On top of dedicating at least a paragraph to every known and unknown producer, Mr. Coates gives us in-depth detailed 'profiles' of the best sixty domaines. Simply indispensable.
    Amazon price: $38.5"Must have" mark: 10/10.

  • Remington Norman - The Great Domaines of Burgundy
    In this unique work the author concentrates on the top hundred or so Burgundy producers. Following extensive interviews and tastings at the Domaines, Mr. Norman produced a fascinating book accompanied by many maps and pictures. In-depth coverage of each of the featured Domaines attempts to tell the complete story. From the early history to the latest acquisitions. From the practices in the vineyards to the implemented philosophy at the cellar. Sprinkled with anecdotes, quotations and tasting notes, this book aims at the serious Burgundy lover. The casual reader might find the extensive treatment of the individual vine-tending and winemaking methods a bit too technical.
    Status: $31.5"Must have" mark: 9/10.

  • Serena Sutcliffe - The Wines of Burgundy
    An introductory level Burgundy book (330 pages) by the head of the wine department of Sotheby's auction house.
    Good coverage of the important aspects of the region with an extensive though fleeting survey of many of her favorite (and less favorite) producers.
    Recommended for the casual (B) fan who doesn't want or need a deeper study of the Burgundy scene.
    Amazon Price: $16"Must have" mark: 7.5/10.


  • David Peppercorn - The Wines of Bordeaux
    An introductory level Bordeaux book, similar in scope to that of Serena Sutcliffe's Burgundy book, this time written by her husband :-)
    The book covers the various regions and sub-regions of Bordeaux. Following some general traits, characteristics and the relevant classifications, the author gives the essential information for every chateau and its wine.
    This was my first book on Bordeaux...
    Amazon price: $10.5"Must have" mark: 7/10.

  • Hubrecht Duijker - The Bordeaux Atlas
    A comprehensive survey of Bordeaux with a superb introduction by Michael Broadbent.
    The book is bursting with beautiful pictures and exquisite maps. It covers in-depth literally each and every chateau. Short history, current holdings, wine growing and winemaking style, together with personal assessment of each wine are clearly laid out. A first-class thorough reference book as well as a pleasure to browse at.
    The only thing missing are tasting notes and marks.
    Amazon price: $35"Must have" mark: 9/10.

  • Robert Parker - Bordeaux (Third Edition)
    A Comprehensive Guide to the Wines Produced from 1961 to 1997.
    Like most other books by Mr. Parker, this monumental treatise cover every aspect of the wines in question. This times those from the famous Bordeaux region. A detailed description of every known (and less known) wine is laden with the relevant statistics. This is followed by serious discussion of the Chateau, the typicity of its wines and the winemaking methodology.
    Many people though will (unfortunately) skip to the tasting-notes section for each wine, to find out the 'magic' Parker Number i.e the mark Mr. gave to a particular vintage of a particular wine. The tasting notes themselves are extensive, authoritative, and written in the usual Parker colorful style.
    Whether you hold Parker as your guru or not, this is the bible for Bordeaux. An indispensable book to every wine lover.
    Amazon price: $40"Must have" mark: 9/10.


  • Remington Norman - Rhone Renaissance
    An extraordinary and comprehensive study of the Rhone valley and its wonderful wines, plus a section on Rhone-style wines from around the world.
    Employing a similar approach, Mr. Norman (at least IMHO) has even surpassed here his previous achievement with the 'Great Domaines of Burgundy'! Focusing on each of the different Rhone appellations, the book gives a superb account of the climate, geography, history, grape varieties, winemaking methods, vintage assessment and a multitude of tasting notes. All that as a background to the beautiful in-depth coverage of every important grower and winemaker.
    A great book! Highly recommended to beginners and serious amateurs alike.
    Amazon price: $35"Must have" mark: 9.5/10.

  • Robert Parker - Wines of the Rhone Valley
    Another colossal work by Mr. Parker! As usual, the author concentrates a little more on grading individual wines, producers and vintages than on the background and the general picture. The book is very coherent, easy to refer to, and is packed with useful (and not so useful) information. It explicitly treats every winemaker in the region with specific notes and marks for every conceivable wine and vintage.
    Whether you are a Parker disciple or not, if you like Rhone wines this book is indispensible.
    Amazon price: $28"Must have" mark: 9/10.

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    Jacob "Yak" Shaya.