Books
23 Feb 2006 by Jancis Robinson

See also DVDs and my suggestions for general reading, written 2005, here.


THE WORLD ATLAS OF WINE, 7th edition

Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson (£40 Mitchell Beazley/Hachette)

Published 2013
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The 7th edition of The World Atlas of Wine was released in October 2013 to such high pre-orders that a reprint was undertaken immediately. The text and maps have been comprehensively reviewed since the previous version, released in 2007. An additional innovation is the existence of an iBook version, pictured left. This has been specially designed for the iPad and includes the capability of zooming in on the maps to see unprecedented detail.

You can read more about this landmark publication at its dedicated website.

Order now from Amazon US or Amazon UK



AMERICAN WINE, The Ultimate Companion to the Wines and Wineries of the United States

Jancis Robinson, Linda Murphy (£40 University of California Press/Mitchell Beazley)

Published February 2013
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This is the first comprehensive and authoritative reference work designed to celebrate how important wine is to Americans today. Linda Murphy writes particularly engagingly on the wines, wineries and winemakers of the world's fourth biggest wine producer, the United States of America. More than 200 breathtaking photographs, profiles of key personalities and graphics bring to life the vitality of American wine culture and 54 detailed full-colour maps locate key regions, wineries, and vineyards. Organised by region, American Wine doesn't just concentrate on the well known wine states of California, Oregon, and Washington but ventures across the country to introduce gems such as racy Rieslings from Michigan and New York, Bordeaux-style wines from Virginia, bright-fruited Tempranillo from Texas and southern Oregon, and characterful Nortons from the Midwest.

See this clip from CBS Morning Show.

Order now from Amazon US, B & N and IndieBound, or from Amazon UK


WINE GRAPES, A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, including their Origins and Flavours


Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding, José Vouillamoz (£120 Penguin/Ecco)

Published October 2012
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The beautifully designed, 1,200-page, full-colour Wine Grapes is published by Allen Lane (Penguin) in the UK (cover design as shown on the left) and Ecco (Harper Collins, cover design shown on the right) in the US in October 2012. It provides comprehensive details on all 1,368 vine varieties currently making wine in commercial circulation - including their origins, how they grow, where they are planted, how their wines taste and previously unpublished information on how they are related. 

In September 2013, a much-needed ebook of Wine Grapes was released. This version has been optimised for e-readers, and while it isn't a perfect port (for example, the wine grape family trees were necessarily excluded), it is far more convenient for many people than the heavy print version.

For more information on this completely original new book, see winegrapes.org

Order now from Amazon US or from Amazon UK


THE WORLD ATLAS OF WINE, 6th edition

Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson (£35 Mitchell Beazley)

Published 2007

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See videoclip, photograph and reaction from purple pagers.

'This is the best collaboration of two Brits since Lennon and McCartney',
Washington Post

This new 6th edition is fully revised and updated, with 200 maps, 20 of them brand new. Since its first edition in 1971, the Atlas has sold over 4 million copies in 14 languages.

In Sep 2008 this new edition of the Atlas will be published in: Italy, Taiwan, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, Brazil, Holland and Denmark.

Also in the pipeline for late 2008 or early 2009: Russia, Korea, Hungary, Spain.

Order now from Amazon US or from Amazon UK


THE CONCISE WORLD ATLAS OF WINE

Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson (£20 Mitchell Beazley)

Published 2009

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Just out, as trailed on TV Jancis, is this season's offering for your bookshelf, or rather for your briefcase, backpack and what is quaintly known by some as the glove compartment of your car, the Concise World Atlas of Wine.

It is aimed at students and travellers, or simply those on a budget. With its slightly smaller format, lightweight jacket, a minimum of photographs and much briefer introduction, it gives you all the texts and all the maps without frills - and it weighs just 1.22kg, or well under 3lb (compared with the full sixth edition's 2.25 kg).

RRP of the new Concise edition is £18.99 /$29.99 (as opposed to the giveaway price of £35/$50 for the mother book) and similar amounts in other currencies. Needless to say, Amazon offer huge discounts, bringing the price of the Concise down to £12.34/$19.79.

Order now from Amazon UK or from Amazon US


THE OXFORD COMPANION TO WINE, 3rd edition

Edited by Jancis Robinson (£40 Oxford University Press)

Published 2006



'the one essential book for any wine lover' Eric Asimov, New York Times

'No wine-lover's bookshelf should be without the superlative new edition of The Oxford Companion to Wine' Jonathan Ray, Daily Telegraph

'beefed up with impressive scholarship by its assistant editor Julia Harding', The Times

A major new edition of the ultimate reference book on wine, described by Michael Franz in the Washington Post as 'the greatest wine book ever published', which was jolly nice of him. Nearly 4,000 entries, 300 new ones, and more than 160 international contributors, including 73 new to this edition.

It has been published in German by Hallwag as Der Oxford Weinlexikon, in French by Hachette as L'Encyclopédie du Vin and, amazingly, in Danish as Oxford Vin Leksikon by a wonderful woman who has had to virtually create a Danish wine vocabulary. There are currently plans to translate this third edition into Dutch, Danish, Japanese, Italian, German and Hungarian.

Exclusively available online to Purple Pagers.

Order now from Amazon UK or Amazon US


HOW TO TASTE / HOW TO TASTE WINE

Jancis Robinson (£20 Octopus, Simon & Schuster and many others in many languages)

HowtoTasteHowtoTasteUK
This should really be called JR's Wine Course (but that title was already taken) because it's a way of learning about wine by a series of tasting exercises (not all of them involving wine). This is a heavily revised version of a book I did in 1983 called Masterglass, which Mrs John Avery claims she used to teach her friends about wine. Revising it in 2000 (substituting Jacob's Creek for Hirondelle) and again, very thoroughly, in 2008 taught me a lot about how the world of wine has changed. It appears as How to Taste in the US, published by Simon and Schuster, and as How to Taste Wine in the UK, published by Conran Octopus.

'clearly designed and commendably well written' Tim Atkin, The Observer, UK

'a thorough, no-nonsense approach to unlocking some of the mysteries of appreciating and enjoying wine' Frank Prial, New York Times

'for those who want to learn how to taste wine, the Robinson approach is hard to beat!' Gerald D Boyd, San Francisco Chronicle

'Robinson's reputation as a brilliant wine writer and expert, by anyone's definition, doesn't get in the way of her presenting a thoroughly helpful book, approachable, well-balanced and often fun' Bonnie Walker, San Antonio Express-News

Order now from Amazon UK or from Amazon US


JANCIS ROBINSON'S WINE COURSE

Jancis Robinson (BBC Books originally)

Revised edition published 2006

This is a fully revised, updated and expanded edition of one of my most useful books, the one I've come to call Oxford Lite - a full colour, beautifully designed, bells-and-whistles introduction to wine designed for those who don't necessarily know anything at all about it - but all underpinned by Master of Wine knowledge, ie very solid facts under all the, I hope, encouraging prose. In this new edition are 32 more pages - an increase of 10 per cent, most of the new space going to New World wine regions, plus a bit more on Italy. The new, fully revised edition is also already available in German (Hallwag), Dutch (Spectrum), Danish (Gyldendal), Polish (WIG Press), Hungarian (Alexandra) and Spanish (Art Blume).

I wrote the original edition to go with our 10-part BBC TV series Jancis Robinson's Wine Course when it was first shown in 1995. It was designed to be a complete introduction to wine with the authority of the Oxford Companion but much more basic and with lots of lovely pictures. It was a bestseller in the UK and also published in the US, in Germany as Weinkurs and in France as Tout Apprendre sur le Vin. (It's the ultimate compliment to a wine author to see their book translated into French.) I revised the vintages and things for the paperback edition in 1999 but this new, longer book is a full and complete update, revision and expansion.

I am, as any regular visitor to this site must know by now, a workaholic, so I have gone through the original volume with a fine toothcomb and now believe it's as fine a hardbacked introduction to the delicious subject of wine as you could hope to find.

Comments on the first edition: 'a vintage volume... the most notable volume of its kind since Kevin Zraly's Windows on the World wine course...Robinson makes you want to sign up for the course.' Peter M Gianotti, Newsday

'She has an encyclopedic grasp of her subject and doesn't put a foot wrong ... a splendid introduction to the world of wine, authoritative without self-importance, informative without pedantry, sure-footed without arrogance and, with its crisp
and often witty style, it confirms the fundamental thesis of the book that "the point of wine is to give pleasure".'
Stephen Brook, Decanter

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VINES, GRAPES & WINES

Jancis Robinson, 1986

This was my first major reference book, written back in the mid 1980s when it was obvious that grape varieties were going to become increasingly important. It's amazing though to think that in certain (mainly French) quarters, cépage (French for grape variety) was a dirty word. Funnily enough, when Hachette got round to publishing it in French as Le Livre des Cépages, it was a big success for them - presumably bought by growers rather than drinkers. The book is very pretty and still preferred by many to the more up-to-date pocket alternative (see below).

'This is the most important book about wine since Mr Hugh Johnson's The World Atlas of Wine of 1970', The Economist

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TASTING PLEASURE / CONFESSIONS OF A WINE LOVER

Jancis Robinson, 1997

I was very flattered when a very senior, wine-loving editor at Viking, New York, asked me to write this 'professional memoir'. He called the US edition Tasting Pleasure; the UK edition also, coincidentally, published by Viking/Penguin, was known by the American subtitle, Confessions of a Wine Lover. It's the story of how I got into wine, the people I've met, places I've been and, most of all, what I've eaten, drunk and spat out. Some people said it made them feel rather queasy. It made me feel very old.

'she writes about wine and the people who make it in a style both personable and reporterly; she refuses to take herself too seriously; and she is something of a gossip' Coleman Andrews, Saveur

'worth buying just for the sections on the secret world of the Gallo dynasty and Robert Parker' Richard Neill, Daily Telegraph.

Order now from Amazon UK or from Amazon US


THE OXFORD COMPANION TO THE WINES OF NORTH AMERICA

Edited by Bruce Cass; Consultant Editor Jancis Robinson, 2000


This is the main Oxford Companion's firstborn, a long-overdue, serious consideration of the world's fourth most important wine producer. Entries - on individual states, regions and wineries - are again listed alphabetically and easily navigable cross-references (how I have learnt to love cross-referencing!) make all the information easy to access. Bruce and a quiver of local experts have done a great job and are so candid that we started to receive letters from miffed producers several weeks before official publication.

'an important book' Frank Prial, New York Times

'this is a solid, admirable reference book that belongs on the shelf of anyone who is serious about wine' Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

'impressive, 300-page tome. Its encyclopedic format is less daunting than it might be, thanks to clear writing and the maps, color photographs and 15 signed essays' William Rice, Chicago Herald Tribune

Order now from Amazon UK or from Amazon US

JANCIS ROBINSON'S CONCISE WINE COMPANION

Jancis Robinson, 2001


The meatiest bits of the second edition of the Oxford Companion to Wine condensed and packaged in a convenient (if thick) paperback. It was horribly difficult to scrunch the OCW into a third the length - a job I couldn't even contemplate. But fortunately Julia Harding achieved this, with great rigour and sensitivity. We had to drop most of the history, all of the brandy and some of the more detailed bits on science and fortified wines, but it is a very high quality product! And has the most important appendices too.

'What a brilliantly simple and brilliantly obvious idea!...an absolute must-have.' Tom Cannavan, www.wine-pages.com

Order now from Amazon UK or from
Amazon US


JANCIS ROBINSON'S GUIDE TO WINE GRAPES

Jancis Robinson, 1996

A deceptively compact, pocket guide to the world's increasingly fascinating roster of relevant wine grape varieties. It was written a decade later than Vines, Grapes and Wines so is much more au courant.

It appeared in Danish in 1995, entitled Vin og Druer. It has also been translated into Italian as Guida ai Vitigni del Mondo by the admirable Slow Food movement (Slow Food Guide to Wine), something in Japanese by WANDS, Guia de Castas in Portuguese by Cotovia, and most spendidly in German by Hallwag with beautiful colour photographs of all the vines as Rebsorten.

'Robinson is to be congratulated for condensing so much information into such a tidy package, and for giving us, finally, a manageable book on wine grapes. We shall be using it often.' Quarterly Review of Wines

'lively, knowledgeable prose', Wine Spectator


Order now
from Amazon UK or from Amazon US