Friends who don’t work in the wine industry often ask me what books they should read to better understand wine. I’ve been giving them the wrong answer.
It dawned on me recently that most people who have not made a career out of wine don’t have abundant use for reference tomes that map topographical nuance or chart labeling laws and minutia about obscure wines they’ll likely never cross. Those books are only so helpful for someone attempting to forge a connection with wine. Or really, they’re not helpful at all.
Backstory, context, memory, and taste are resurfacing themes when I converse with curious friends about what they find compelling in wine. People are intrigued by individual bottles, remarkable estates, individualist growers and stories that lend perspective and relevance to wine as part of the larger fabric of life. That was what drew me to wine years ago; it’s what continues to capture the attention of so many people who make wine a significant part of their lives in one way or another.