The Best of the Web
My current favorite site for searching for elusive wine books is AdAll.com. They have great new and used book search engines tied to over 40 booksellers.
Anthony Dias Blue
Epicurious carries Anthony Dias Blue's monthly column online, together with an archive of past columns and articles on various general wine topics. http://eat.epicurious.com/drink/ewg/index.ssf?/drink/wine/ewg/ewg.html
David Rosengarten's website provides extracts from his newsletter, highlights of his food and wine tastings, information on TV, radio and in person appearances and information on subscribing. http://www.davidrosengarten.com/
Erik Skovenborg is a Danish wine lover with a wide variety of interests, including a love of wine books and book plates. In his words: "The world of wine is a treasure chest when it comes to beautiful and varied motifs -- not only as splendid illustrations for wine books, but also as an inspiration for book-plate-designing artists." Erik provides not only some beautiful examples, but also an extensive bibliography of the best literature on bookplates with winemotifs. In Danish and English. http://www.skovenborg.dk/
After many years of limiting most access to print subscribers and buyers of his Buyers' Guide and the Parker cellar software CD-ROMs, Robert M. Parker Jr. has finally launched a Website containing substantive database information from his publications, including 43,000 tasting notes from The Wine Advocate, excerpts from his books and links to wine merchants carrying reviewed wines. It doesn't come for free. Online access (after a short, content-limited free trial) requires a $99 annual subscription fee. But for those who depend on RMP's advice, it's worth a look. http://www.erobertparker.com./
Richard Best is based in Oakville, Ontario, and maintains the Frugal Oenophile with a good collection of his articles on wine, as well as information on his wine tastings and a book on wine. There's good content here, from a professional writer. http://www.frugal-wine.com/
Jancis Robinson reviews a few wines each week on the free bit of her site, writes fairly regular reports on wine news and other wine-related subjects, and maintains an excellent diary of her upcoming public appearances. Her husband Nick has a nice page of food notes, there are some travel tips, and, as if we didn't already know all about her, there is also a good biography. The meat of the site appears on the subscription-only purple pages, however (£69 /$129 / €99 a year) with much more detailed news and views, thousands of tasting notes, notably of en primeur wines, the world's only online version of The Oxford Companion to Wine, and a forum described by La Revue du Vin de France as the wine world's most courteous.
John Roberts Wine Books
John Roberts Wine Books, based in London, specializes in out-of-print, scarce and rare wine books, as well as new books on Port and other wine subjects. Books are sold worldwide, by mail-order only.
Kevin Attick's Resonant Publishing provides generous extracts from his three wine guides, to Maryland, New Jersey and Lake Ontario wineries. Also extracted are sections from From This Hill, My Hand, Cynthiana's Wine, by Paul Roberts. A young author and publisher to watch in the wine world.
Don Rice has compiled a comprehensive bibliography of articles and books on the wines of the Loire Valley entitled: "Contributions Toward a Bibliography of Loire Valley Wines and Viticulture." http://members.aol.com/loireindex/bibintro.html
Lynn Anderson is an "Editor, Writer, Engish Teacher Extraordinaire!" She is fluent in Danish, English, Italian and French, and her website provides a fascinating insight into the preparation of one of Robert Parker's books. She describes in detail why Parker's first draft contains so many errors, describes her techniques for discovering hundreds of errors in his set of Italian tasting notes, and lists the errors she discovered, all with the kudos from Parker for her thoroughness. To find this article, click on one of the language flags, click on RÉSUMÉ, page down to the book list and click. Her work on the Parker wine guide is described about halfway down the page. http://www.lynnanderson.com/
Mitchell Beazley's World of Wine now covers the books of Hugh Johnson, as well as a dozen other wine authors: Michael Cooper, Serena Sutcliffe, Roger Voss, Burton Anderson, Jan Read, Michael Broadbent, Jancis Robinson, Remington Norman, Joanna Simon, Fiona Beckett, Oz Clarke, Stephen Brook, Michael Schuster, Hubrecht Duijker, and John Radford. There are good biographies of each author and links to ordering information for the books in print. New information appears often.
Napa Valley Wine Library Collection
In 1961 in St. Helena, Francis "Paco" Gould, M.F.K. Fisher and James Beard convinced local vintners and other citizens to establish a collection devoted to wine, to be housed at the St. Helena Public Library. Over the years, the Napa Valley Wine Library Collection has grown to over 3,500 titles and more than 50 periodicals are currently received. A successful and lengthy project recorded and transcribed oral histories of those associated with the local wine industry. The collection also includes the Wuttken Wine Label Collection, with more than 100,000 wine labels from all over the world, organized by country and winery.
The 4th edition (2000) of Penfold's Book "The Rewards Of Patience" by Adrian Read and Andrew Caillard MW has been made available for free download as a series of Adobe Acrobat Files. This book provides details on the full Penfolds range of wines and tasting notes and cellaring recommendations on most vintages. The notes reflect a review of the wines by Penfolds and a panel consisting of James Halliday and Tim White; U.K. wine writer Anthony Rose and New York-based Andrea Immer. Red Vintages up to 1998 are included, current Vintage notes are elsewhere on the site. Thanks to Murray Almond for this suggestion, who writes: "Even though it's a Penfolds publication, I find the "Rewards of Patience" a valuable resource and recommend you take a look at it." http://www.penfolds.com.au/
Quite Simply Span-e
Quite Simply Span-e is a superb source of information on the world's wine economy "cool, collected and free."
The site is maintained by Pierre Spahni, who is the author of THE INTERNATIONAL WINE TRADE, Second edition, 2000, ISBN 1 85573 542 3. Spahni's set of links to wine statistics is outstanding. For anyone interested in the area, this is an essential source of information. http://www.span-e.com
Ron and Sharon Herbst
The "Wine Lover's Companion" by Ron and Sharon Herbst is online at Epicurious with over 3,500 definitions of wine words and phrases. Epicurious also maintains a food related dictionary. http://eat.epicurious.com/dictionary/wine/
Sean Thackrey maintains a commercial site including a database of those who handle his wine. A fascinating feature of the site is "The Thackrey Library: an Archaeology of Pleasure." "It is an attempt to provide an online archive of early texts on the making and understanding of wine, not excluding those somersaults and mysteries, jokes and inspirations that are part of the pleasure this is all about. Since, to my knowledge, no such anthology has ever been offered, even in print, it is by far the most important contribution I can hope this site might make." Fascinating reading.
Second Harvest Books
Second Harvest Books specializes in used and hard to find books on wine, while also carrying a general assortment of books on most subjects. They operate from a warehouse on the Oregon Dunes (home to Frank Herbert's Dune series). http://www.secondharvestbooks.net
Sonoma County Wine Library
Sonoma County Wine Library collection serves growers, wineries and wine-related businesses and is largely supported by subscribers to their service. The collection includes more than 4,000 volumes, some of them dating back 500 years, and more than 75 scholarly journals, trade publications, newsletters, tasting notes and consumer publications. The collection also includes extensive files of journal extracts, press kits, current market research, statistical compilations, legal and legislative reports and photographs documenting winemaking in Northern California from the 19th century to the present. http://winefiles.org is a searchable database of information on wine, wine-making and grape growing, digitized from an extensive vertical file. http://www.sonoma.lib.ca.us/wine.html
Although specializing in corkscrews, Vintage Antiques offers an excellent selection of wine books and ephemera. The images may take a while to load, but they are beautifully scanned and the detail is extraordinary. Some lovely viewing (and buying) is offered here. http://home.pacbell.net/dean_w/
Wine Appreciation Guild
The Wine Appreciation Guild is a leading publisher and seller of wine books. Located in San Francisco, the Guild is a commercial enterprise which was established in 1973 when the Governor dissolved the Wine Advisory Board, a state agency established in 1939. The Guild maintains an excellent online catalog of books, distributes regular hard copy catalogs by mail, and attends many wine related events, offering a good collection of its books and educational materials. http://www.wineappreciation.com/
Wine Book Shelf
The Wine Book Shelf on Wine Lovers Page is operated in conjunction with Amazon.com. As a longtime wine journalist with a reputation for independence, I've chosen to link with Amazon.com because I believe it enjoys a well-earned reputation for honesty and good service that I can support. The terms of our arrangement, and a great list of books can be found on the Wine Book Shelf.
Wine Price File
Wine Price File, an annual publication available both in hardcopy ($48) and on diskettes, contains actual retail and auction prices of collectible wines, with more than 94,000 listings for 17,000 wines based on 300 retail price lists and auction catalogs. This commercial site serves primarily to promote the book, but it does contain "Sample Wine Prices" for about 10 first growths and "super seconds" of Bordeaux plus Chateau d'Yquem. Also note its intriguing Wine Price Barometer, a chart showing the average monthly price per bottle for all the wines profiled in the Sample Wine Prices list. Associated with Wine Technologies, which also publishes the Robert Parker Cellar Software.
WineReader.com maintains an excellent collection of wine related books, together with well written short reviews and descriptions. It also maintains a comprehensive list of wine related web links. http://www.winereader.com
The Rest of the Web
Bob Campbell is New Zealand's Master of Wine, who keeps an online diary, and posts regular reports on his wine experiences. A good list of wineries, tasting notes and a wine forum are featured on his site.
California State University, Fresno
California State University, Fresno maintains the Sanoian Special Collections Library, Enology and Viticulture Collection, at the Fresno campus. The total number of books in the collection is now approximately 4,000. The focus of the collection is on the history and development of wine, wine-making and viticulture with an emphasis on pre-1940 works. The collection covers all areas of the world involved in wine-making, in all languages. http://www.lib.csufresno.edu/SubjectResources/SpecialCollections/Enology.html
Éditions la Valsainte
Éditions la Valsainte has released an English edition of the original text published in 1826 by Jean-Jacques Dufour, a Swiss Wine Grower who left his family home in Montreux-Vevey, Switzerland, and settled in what was to become Vevay, Switzerland County, Indiana. The book is richly illustrated, and there are a few extracts and illustrations on the website. "He tells us the strange story of the 'sand grapes', which grew on the islands of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and were naturally 'pruned' every year when the ice broke. The vines were thought to have been introduced to these islands when the French uprooted and threw vine plants into the river upon their departure from New France." Interesting early American wine making. http://www.valsainte.ch/
Greek Wine Guide
Nico Manessis is the world's leading authority on Greek wine, and the fourth edition of his Greek Wine Guide is superb. He has also published a useful series of maps to Greek vineyards. http://www.greekwineguide.gr
Jake Lorenzo is the moving spirit behind Wine Patrol, a revolutionary, clandestine organization. Let Jake explain: "Jake Lorenzo is Sonoma’s best known private investigator. He specializes in high society murder cases, but since Sonoma doesn’t have any high society, and rarely has a murder case, he’s had to survive performing seedy divorce work for Sonoma County winery owners. Since many of these winery owners try to beat him out of his hard-earned fees, Jake has often accepted wine in payment for his services. Drinking his way through these payments has made Jake a wine expert." His thesis: make your own wine, and he has a book to help you along the way. http://www.winepatrol.com/
Joslin Hall Rare Books
Joslin Hall Rare Books is an institution in Boston and in the rare book world generally. Their page of Wine and Spirits books is often updated, portrays the cover of each book offered, and describes them elegantly in wonderful little mini-reviews. http://www.joslinhall.com/
The British wine writer Malcolm Gluck, wine correspondent for the Guardian and columnist for the Scottish Sunday Post and the Sunday Express and self-described "champion of the ordinary drinker," has a Website featuring "Gluck, Gluck, Gluck," his six-part series on BBC2.
Maven Videos for Women
Jancis Robinson's wine-appreciation videos are now available online from Maven Videos for Women, where you'll also find the Cooking at the Academy video series and many others as well.
Mille Howie's column, WINE WORDS, was begun in 1979 in the Healdsburg Tribune, and continues there weekly. Millie also is a regular contributor to WINES & VINES, PRACTICAL WINERY, STEPPIN' OUT, and CALIFORNIA VISITORS' REVIEW. In 1980 she coauthored the book PRIDE OF THE WINERIES. In community affairs, Howie is the founder of the Russian River Wine Road, and co-founder of the Sonoma County Wine Library. http://www.wineontheweb.com/milliehowie/milliehowie.html
This site is provided by Oz Clarke's publisher to present his biography and a list of his books in print. Limited content. http://www.ozclarke.com
Thomas Jefferson Wine and Food Society
Jim Gabler is the author of three wine books, including the fascinating story of the U.S.'s first wine connoisseur, Passions: the Wines and Travels of Thomas Jefferson. The Thomas Jefferson Wine and Food Society is basically an advertising site for Gabler's books and some excellent reproductions of classic wine books from Bacchus Press. Free membership will give you weekly emails in which Gabler recommends three wines under $20, and periodic special reports and recipes. There is also a good short history of Jefferson and his love for wine.
Touch Wood Books
Touch Wood Books is a source for many New Zealand wine books, which generally are not available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Wayward Tendrils Quarterly
The Wayward Tendrils Quarterly does not have a site of its own, but it is nonetheless a fascinating publication for anyone interested in wine books. now numbers nearly 150 wine book enthusiasts around the world. Yearly membership dues ($20 USA/Canada and
$25 overseas) include subscription to their noteworthy Quarterly newsletter which features member articles on all aspects of collecting wine-related books and ephemera: biographical and biblio-graphical essays of the authors and their
books, guides to collection development and collection care, book reviews, lists of member "Wants" and "Duplicates," news & notes of the wine book world, and much more. If you enjoy wine and its literature, this is for you. http://bookdaemon.com/tendrils.htm
Wine Institute Library
The Wine Institute Library collection consists of about 3,000 titles and currently maintains subscriptions to over a hundred publications. Strengths include a historical and photo archive chronicling the history of the wine industry in California. The historical archives consist of extensive files on prominent wine industry figures, newspaper clippings, technical, legal, and marketing information. The photo archives are rich in images of California wine history. Major categories include vineyard practices, harvesting, cooperage, winery exteriors from the 1930's through the 70's as well as a historical section of even older photos dating back to the last century with many vintage images of California wine industry pioneers, important early events, and wineries. Rare wine lists, menus, historical wine periodicals and an old wine label collection are also part of the collection. http://www.wineinstitute.org/wilib/
Winetitles publishes a wide variety of books related to viticulture, winemaking and wine appreciation, particularly for Australian and New Zealand wines. http://www.winetitles.com