From the encyclopedic to the personal, five books to help you uncork the mysteries of wine.



The Accidental Connoisseur

By Lawrence Osborne


"Nothing requires more taste than wine," says Osborne. It is the genius of his "irreverent journey" through the world of vines and vintages to take taste itself as his muse and to chase it -- "as solid as a soap bubble" -- through Italy, France, and California in this singular, shrewd, very funny book.




Judgment of Paris

By George M. Taber


For most of the history of winemaking in America, California wines were considered mere bumptious colonial cousins of their sophisticated European counterparts. But in 1976, when several Californian wines shockingly triumphed over the finest French vintages in a blind tasting, a new era in viticulture was born.  George M. Taber, the only journalist present at the momentous event, turns the story of the upset, and its consequences, into a tale to be savored.



Windows on the World Complete Wine Course

By Kevin Zraly


Frank Prial of The New York Times got it just right when he said, "If you have never bought a wine book before, start with this one." From grape varietals to bottle labels, vineyards to store shelves, Zraly's easygoing authority will help you master the fundamentals and have tasty fun while you're learning.



Inspiring Thirst

By Kermit Lynch


Since the early 1970s, when he opened his now famous Berkeley shop, wine merchant and importer Kermit Lynch has been waxing eloquent, erudite, and cantankerous in his monthly store brochure. This selection from his legendary communiqués is the most delicious browsing book a wine lover can discover.



The Billionaire's Vinegar 

By Benjamin Wallace


When a scion of the Forbes family paid a record $156,000 for a single bottle of wine at auction in 1985, he thought he was getting a 1787 Chateau Lafite Bordeauxone that had been owned by Thomas Jefferson. The truth proved far murkier. Delving into the controversy provides author Benjamin Wallace ample opportunity to explore the fervor at the heart of wine collecting.

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.