On the Third day of Christmas…


…my true love sent to me three wine books.

Matthew Jukes is a brilliant wine writer, he is hugely knowledgable but avoids the pomposity and pretension often to be found in wine writing. Sadly for us, his latest publication “Taste Food and Wine 2009” is only available in Australia and although friendly antipodean book merchants may be persuaded to ship this excellent volume, there’s not much chance of it getting here by the 27th. So those of us in these Northern climes should take a look at his “The Wine Book: Tells You Everything You Need to Know About the Wine You’re Drinking” for a thoroughly enjoyable introduction to grapes, wine regions and how to taste wine.

1001 Wines You Must Try Before You Die” is produced by the team at The World of Fine Wine magazine and very fine reading it makes. This is not just a narrow review of the same old, established wines – but a truly catholic selection of classics and curiosities. And the stunning photography has to be mentioned. Fascinating reading, and perfect for dipping into every now and again.

Finally the wonderful “Notes on a Cellar-Book” by George Saintsbury which was republished a couple of months ago. This charming memoir covers everything form Romanee Conti to beer, in a combination of anecdote, tasting notes and menus. Simply a joy.