A colleague at work the other day said…

“One of the problems with working in wine is that nobody gives you wine books”

This struck me as very true. Over the last few months I have been buying/seeking out quite a few publications as there has been some exciting stuff going on. The fact that so much wine commentary has moved on-line seems to have meant that anyone publishing anything in “hardcopy” has really needed to hit the spot. For me the Pomerol book from Neal Martin was the first of these “new approach” books where personality and opinion rather than scores and facts seem to be the key. Neal’s book has been out a while so I’ve not included it in the below but thoroughly recommend it. One of the reasons that I know the three things below fit the bill as well are that I spend time dragging them around with me or at least having to give serious thought to whether they should be on my desk or at home…

Noble Rot (Website)
The picture is of edition 7 but essentially everything they have produced has been great. There are several reasons:
Tone: It is not afraid to talk about the very best estates in the world but does so without big star-struck or patronising to the reader, both of which are traps that others fall into. It is concise but not flippant. Wine is talked about as a part of life rather than an academic study.
Writters: Some of the best there are at not getting dragged down with (unnecessary) detail. Having many of theme keeps it fresh.
Format: I love the size, big enough for good illustrations but small enough to carry around, another bonus is that it is available on iPad etc.
Subjects: There is a main theme to each edition to give it focus which is good. The topics have not all been obvious either. Yes they have done “Burgundy” but they also did “Jura”.
Issues: My only issue it that they have not done Piedmont yet but it is on the cards
Keep up the good work!

Barolo and Barbaresco – Kerin O’Keefe
Ok so very few people will be surprised that the next two books are Piedmont related. 
This book is superb whether your level of knowledge is small, large or growing. The first section gives a great overview of the region then the next few chapters go through sub-region by sub-region picking out particular producers. The big names are all there but plenty of small ones two. The real attraction though is the easy to read style of writing that is engaging and amusing. 
There is plenty of opinion and you can detect whether the author loves or merely likes the specific producers. I like the sense that the book has not been edited to death or that the author has worried about what they write. I keep going back over sections as and when I have certain producers wines and I find it both accurate, engaging and useful. I also have the Brunello book by the same author and that seems similarly good though I have not read it as widely yet. Recommended!

Barolo MGA – ENOGEA – Allesandro Masnaghetti  www.enogea.it
So this is “quite” a specific and geeky book but it is such an important one also. I only  received it the other day and have been using the Enogea apps and maps for quite some time. Ok so I find the subject mater fascinating but regardless of that the maps and images alone make this book almost impossible not to browse through, there is such depth of information but at the same time you can just dip in and out. The only problem is that the second you press print on this something changes and I feel awful for the author that this happens. Anyway I am going to go and look through it again now!