Hoping for recommendation for non-reference books
I'd like to buy a wine-related book as a gift. But not an instruction book, not a guide, not a how-to book.
What I'd like is a chatty narrative kind of book, maybe history, maybe a personal story. For instance, I see that Jay McInerney wrote a book on wine a few years ago. That sort of thing.
Any suggestions? I'm not a wine-drinker myself, so I have no idea.
Kermit Lynch's Adventures on the Wine Route is a great book, as others have noted. Even as a non-wine drinker you might like it.
The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine is a good book about the fraud behind a bottle of wine.
Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine is a good book about a tasting that put California wines on the map.
Kermit Lynch is a wine importer. Another wine importer, Neal Rosenthal, wrote Reflections of a Wine Merchant . It's not in the same league as Adventures on the Wine Route but I enjoyed it. Rosenthal isn't afraid to name names, which I enjoyed about it.
Terry Theise is another importer. He wrote Reading Between the Wines but I haven't read it yet.
Not strictly wine related, but I enjoyed A History of the World in 6 Glasses, which says each epoch had its symbolic beverage, including wine.
Just thought of another one. Wine and War, by Donald Kladstrup, is mostly an account of ways in which many of the great French wine producers did or didn't keep their wine and themselves out of the hands of the Germans during the second World War. Very fascinating read.
I've recently enjoyed Wild Vine: A Forgotten Grape and the Untold Story of American Wine by Todd Kliman http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Vine-Forgotten-Untold-American/dp/0307409368/
When the Rivers Ran Red: An Amazing Story of Courage and Triumph in America's Wine Country by Vivienne Sosnowski - http://www.amazon.com/When-Rivers-Ran-Red-Americas/dp/0230103375
The Ripening Sun: One Woman and the Creation of a Vineyard by Patricia Atkinson - http://www.amazon.com/Ripening-Sun-Wo...
I didn't think Billionaires Vinegar was an easy read....
"The Battle for Wine and Love: or How I Saved the World from Parkerization" from Alice Feiring.
quirky, fun, a bit pretentious, ...
"Liquid Memory: Why Wine Matters" Jonathan Nossiter (haven't read it yet, It's on the reserve list at the book store)
"Taste & Power: The wine world wars" from Jonathan Nossiter (but I've only seen it in French).
In french (just in case you want to learn french!):
"le dictionnaire amoureux du vin" from Bernard Pivot,
"La Face Caché du Vin" from Laurent Baraou et Monsieur Septime.