Reading & Viewing


Andrew Dornenburg & Karen Page, “The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine” and “What to Eat With What You Drink”: Everything anyone could want or need to know about matching up beverages and food.

Steve Heimoff, A Journey Along the Russian River”: A look at the geography, the geology and most of all the people who have made the Russian River Valley home to distinctive wines

David Kamp and David Lynch, “The Wine Snob’s Dictionary”: An endlessly droll compilation of “definitions” of vinous terminology.

Don & Petie Kladstrup, Wine & War: The French, The Nazis & the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure”: A splendid yarn, equal parts rollicking and harrowing, about how some of France’s foremost vintners made it through an occupation and a war. Here are some cool factoids I gleaned from the book.

MoveableRick Kushman, “A Moveable Thirst”: A funny, incisive visit to every tasting room in the Napa Valley.

Kermit Lynch, “Adventures on the Wine Route”: Smart and focused, Lynch chronicles his early visits to French wineries.

Natalie MacLean, “Red, White and Drunk All Over”: As charming and disarming as the title would portend.

Karen MacNeil, “The Wine Bible”: A graceful, approachable compendium on wine, a great indoctrination for wine devotees at all levels.

Elin McCoy, “The Emperor of Wine: The Rise of Robert M. Parker Jr. and the Reign of American Taste”: A deeply reported, incisive and insightful biography of the most influential figure in the late-20th-century wine world.

Maximilian Potter, “Shadows in the Vineyard”: A wonderful yarn about a horrid plot to poison the world’s most revered vines. Oh, and a true story to boot.

J.M. Scott, “The Man Who Made Wine”: A poignant novella in which an older Bordeaux vigneron looks back on his life in the vineyard.

George M. Taber, “Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine”: A cogent look back at the historic contest, how it came together and what it wrought.

Terry Theise, “Reading Between the Wines”: An insightful, inspiring and guffaw-filled trip through the importer extraordinaire’s life and mind. 

Benjamin Wallace, “The Billionaire’s Vinegar”: History, of wine and the world in several centuries, writ large, in a riveting page-turner.

Wintry wine-soaked favorites


“Blood on the Vine”A thoroughly engaging French TV series in which a wine expert expands his horizons into sleuthing.

“Oz & James’s Big Wine Adventure”: A funny but also edifying journey to French wine regions with wine writer Oz Clarke and race-car driver/bon vivant James May. And then they went to California.

“The Secret of Santa Vittoria”: A delightful, very 1960s comedy — hammy and cheesy — about an Italian town trying to keep the Nazis from scarfing up their wine.

“You Will Be My Son”: A compelling drama/mystery about an aging Bordelais vigneron’s unsettled succession plan.

Great lines: Quips and other vinous quotes on celluloid.