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Wine between hard covers

Though people now prefer to read books online, there are still some about wine that are a must-read

ANDREW J. LINN

Every wine lover has at some time or another forked out a good few quid for a glossy tome on the subject.

It was probably read once, or perhaps merely leafed through, before being relegated to the coffee table, where it will have been placed to impress visitors.

It is rather sad that most people no longer buy books, preferring to read them on the internet.

This came to mind when it was announced that the third edition of Karen MacNeil's The Wine Bible had been awarded the title of the single best-selling wine book in the USA.

Over 700 pages in length, the book was first published in 2018, the author being named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Wine.

Published in many languages, it covers every wine-producing country and has 400 photographs.

There is an established ranking of books about wine, starting with The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson.

No wine lover can be without this masterpiece in whatever form. Wine for Normal People also rates a mention, owing to Elizabeth Schneider's irreverent approach, including travel tips for those visiting wine regions, though to be honest it is questionable whether this aspect merits a place.

Jancis Robinson's The Oxford Companion to Wine was published in 1994 and has won every wine book award available, and while McNeil's Wine Bible is superb, Robinson's tome has been referred to as The Holy Grail of wine books.

It would need a judge and jury to make a ruling on which of the two works is best.