I don't have any affiliation with any of the following. I provide absolutely no representation about the value, worth or usefulness of any reference. Most of the information here is the opinion of others. Where known, I've provided price/publication information. Please feel free to send me information on these and any other publications.
Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch. "Lively, somewhat nonconformist, and passionately devoted to good wine, full of fascinating characters and interesting insights. A great read, even if you aren't particularly interested in wine. Warning: Lynch, while American, does not look kindly on the American emphasis on rating wines and on favoring "big" wines. But even if you don't agree, it's good to hear a different point of view."
American Wine Society Publications. Source for technical wine publications. In the U.S., call (716) 225-7613.
California Wine Atlas by Bob ???. "Considered by many to be the best reference for California wines."
The Game of Wine by Forrest Roberts and Gilbert Cross. "Charming, witty and full of anecdotes, recipes and advice." Sounds like fun reading about the entire concept of drinking wine, not just another tomb about wine drinking.
How and Why To Build a Wine Cellar, by Richard M. Gold. Most often recommended on Usenet as the authority on the title subject. Second Edition (1986) is 272 pages, self-published by the author (so no ISBN number, so I'm told) under the name SandHill Publishing, North Amherst, MA (413-549-0841 ?) and apparently available at selected wine stores.
How To Test and Improve Your Judging Ability by ? Marcus. 97 page booklet. Describes common wine flaws.
Assorted books by Hugh Johnson. Several classic and well-regarded works, including the annual Pocket Guide containing varietals, terms, regions, producers and vineyards, vintages, wine and food, etc. One poster did mention about the pocket guide: "not recommended for the extremely myopic." Non-pocket version available at a higher price. "Hugh Johnson's Modern Encyclopedia of Wine" "is a excellent book talking about all wine regions around the world. It is very indepth and well written." Also, "Hugh Johnson's Atlas is a classic, with detailed maps of winemaking areas around the world."
Kellgren's Wine Book Catalog, Specialty Books Company, P.O. Box 616, Croton-On-Hudson, New York, 10520-0616, 1-800-274-4816. Book store or service. Free catalog may be available at the phone number shown.
Masterglass, Jancis Robinson. Contains (I'm told) an excellent, unpretentious list of wine terms.
Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide, Robert M. Parker, Jr. (Simon and Schuster/Firestone): Notwithstanding negative comments one might hear about "Parker," this is an excellent reference. It lists 7500 wines from around the world and can give you a very good idea of what is good or bad (though, as always, you may not agree with the tastes of the author). There is introductory information on, among other things, how to buy and store wine and aging of the wine. There is an overview of wine growing areas, ideas about the quality of the wine in recent years from those areas and commentaries about specific wines. A numerical rating system is used. Over 1000 pages, my latest copy (1993, 3rd edition) was US $21.00.
Sotheby's World Wine Encyclopedia by Tom Stevenson (1988, 480 pages.), US $40, Bulfinch Press, Little Brown & Company; 25 British Pounds, Dorling Kindersley UK. Glossy format with colored pictures. Wine regions, producers, maps, aging, varieties. Comprehensive wine reference. Probably dated if no new publication since 1988.
The Wines of France by Steven Spurrier, Steven. "Great addition to any library, and his section on the grapes used in wine is excellent, comprehensive and to be trusted."
University of California at Davis Book Catalog contains a number of books about wine.
Vines, Grapes and Wines by Jancis Robinson. Publisher Mitchell Beazly of London, England. "More concentrated information covering all major wine producing countries than anything else I have read."
Vintage Time Charts by Jancis Robinson. Descriptions of how long to age particular wines. Described as the "classic" work.
Windows on the World Complete Wine Course by Kevin Zaraly. Sterling Publishing Company. My copy printed 1993, marked at US $22.95. "Helpful for people getting started."
Wine Appreciation Guild Catalog. Wine Appreciation Guild, 155 Connecticut Street, San Francisco, California 94107. Large selection of books; retail and wholesale orders. Catalog has blurb on each book and therefore is a good reference all by itself.
The Wine Book by Oz Clarke.
Wine Appreciation Guide Catalog. 155 Connecticut Street, San Francisco, California 94107. From a correspondent: The catalog lists (and describes) just about every English language book on wine published in the last 30 years.
Wine Spectator's Ultimate Guide to Buying Wine, Wine Spectator Press, a division of M. Shanken Communications. (212) 684-4224 or fax (212) 684-5424. US $19.95.
Wine Tasting by Michael Broadbent (Fireside/Simon and Schuster; my copy reprinted 1990, marked at US $10.95). This pocket sized book is very nice, small (with tiny print), yet in-depth. It isn't about particular producers, its about WINE. What it looks, smells and tastes like. How to taste. Color plates to show how wine changes. Nice section on how to put on a serious wine tasting.
MAGAZINES AND NEWSLETTERS
Best Bottles Wineletter. Box 21011 Stratford, Ontario Canada N5A 7V4. Written and produced by William Munnelly, who purchases and tastes all the wines reviewed. About 30 to 40 pages double-sided. The focus of the publication is wines around or under $10--the idea being you don't have to pay a fortune for a good bottle of wine. Published every other month, by subscription only. Annual subscription fee is Canadian $40 (including GST).
The California Grapevine. 6 issues/yr. Approximately 20 pages per issue, U.S. $30/year. P.O. Box 22152, San Diego, CA 92192, (619) 457-4818. Focus on California wines, particularly Cabernet and Chardonnay. Some coverage of classified Bordeaux. Book reviews by Bob Foster. Articles by Dan Berger. Wines are evaluated by a panel of 10 to 12 on a modified Davis Scale (20 point scale). Due to the large panel size, the wines that are recommended tend to have wide appeal. [Note: Dan Berger is the wine writer for the Los Angeles Times. This household tends to agree with his palate and writings a great deal of the time!]
Connoisseur's Guide to California Wine. Monthly, no advertising. Approximately 16 pages per issue, $42/yr. P.O. Box V, Alameda, CA 94501, (510) 865-3150. Focus is strictly on California and U.S. wines. Each issue reviews two to three classes of wine, with 20-40 wines per class. Wines are evaluated by a panel of two on a 5-point scale (0-3 Puffs + Pour it down the drain). Reviewers are said to have "California palates", which means they like big, intense, chewy wines. [Opposing comments welcome!]
Decanter. Glossy British wine trade publication recommended by some. U.S. $75 to $80 per year. Available at some large bookstores and magazine racks in the U.S.
The Fine Wine Review. Approximately 16 pages per issue. U.S. $28.93 per year. 2449 Jackson St., San Francisco, CA 94115-1324, (415) 922-2755. International in scope, each issue tends to focus on one wine type, for instance, Northern Rhones. An individual reviewer, Claude Kolm, evaluates on a 100 point scale ("objective, no context scale"), and also A/B/C/D/F ("how good the wine is compared to other wines of the same type"). Some feel Mr. Kolm is more reliable than some of the other wine critics.
La Revue du Vin de France. 9 issues per year. 70p+8p per issue, 430FF per year. 18-20 rue Guynemer, 92441 Issy les Moulineaux Cedex, France; telephone: 33 1 40 95 86 00; fax: 33 1 40 95 18 81. Mainly French wines. Two special issues per year, one devoted to the new vintage (usually in June), and the last of the year called "les 500" which featuring the 500 best wines tasted during the year. Each issue contains 8 pages of tasting notes called "le cahier de degustation." Also articles about a special regions, a chateaus. Wines are either given a note (out of 10) or evaluated using a 5 stars notation for hard to judge wine.
New York Wine Cellar. Tanzer Business Communications, Inc. P.O. Box 392, Prince Station, New York, New York 10012. Interviews, ratings. Bi-monthly US $48; foreign air mail US $60.
The Quarterly Review of Wines. 4 issues per year. Approximately 70 pages per issue. U.S. $13.95 per year. P.O. Box 591, Winchester, MA 01890-9988. Glossy magazine. Mostly articles, few reviews. Doesn't give ratings.
Underground Wine Journal. Wine Journal Enterprises, 1654 Amberwood Drive, Suite A., South Pasadena, California 91030. (818) 441-6617. U.S. $48/year. International in scope, with good coverage of German and French wines, vertical and horizontal tastings of individual wine producers. Wines are evaluated by two or three reviewers on a modified Davis scale (20 point scale). Some say "very reliable reviews."
The Vine. British newsletter by Clive Coats.
The Wine Advocate. From Robert Parker, Jr., an "independent consumer's guide to fine wines" published 6 times a year. The 1993 Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide says that The Wine Advocate costs $35.00 for delivery in the continental United States, $45.00 in Canada and $65.00 by air-mail delivery anywhere in the world (I'm assuming all prices in $US). For subscriptions or a sample copy write to The Wine Advocate, P.O. Box 311, Monkton, MD 21120, or fax to 410-357-4504. Mr. Parker is said not to be afraid to take a stand on a controversial wine, but some don't agree with his conclusions (why should they, to each their own!).
Wine Enthusiast Magazine. 6 issues per year. Approximately 52 pages per issue. U.S. $17.70 per year. 800-356-8466 to subscribe. Published by Wine Enthusiast Companies which consists mainly of a wine gadgets store and the magazine. Mostly articles and a few reviews. Web site at http://www.2way.com/food/wine.
The Wine News. 6 issues per year, approximately 40 pages per issue. U.S $18 per year. 353 Alcazar Avenue, Suite 101-B Coral Gables, Florida 33134. Includes review magazine "Inside Wine" Said to be similar to "The Wine Spectator" with large format and the same coverage.
The Wine Spectator. A large, glossy format with lots of pictures. While considered by some "serious" (too serious?) types to be a lot of fluff ("the National Enquirer of wine"), it can be fun to read and is every bit as informative as a handbook at least to someone with little experience, and to the experienced as well. Lots of wine buying guides, reports from vertical tastings, and even restaurant recipes. Some have speculated about the cause and effect of advertising on ratings. 1994--Cover price: Canada $3.95; US $2.95; UK Pounds 2.50. Subscription Price US $40/year, $75/2 years. Call 1-800-752-7799 or send to P.O. Box 50463, Boulder, CO. 80321-0463. Web site at http://www.winespectator.com.
Wine X Magazine. A "new wine magazine targeting Gen X." A publication aimed at people aged 21-40 dialoguing with them on their terms" published bi-monthly by Wines International for $14.95 US/$30 Canada/$40 UK/$50, other International. Visa and Mastercard accepted. 1-888/2 C WINE X (1-888-229-4639) or 707/545-0992 to start a subscription or to receive a sample issue ($5).
Wine Tidings. 8 issues per year. Approximately 30 pages per issue. U.S. $35 per year. 5165 Sherbrooke St West, Montreal QC H4A 9Z9. Mostly articles. Some reviewers felt that it was a bit expensive for what you get.