We all could learn a new thing or two about wine, myself included. This urge comes up for me in the summer, once my summer drinking habits have passed and I'm back to drinking more reds and generally paying more attention. The Concise World Atlas of Wine (Octopus Publishing Group) by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson is one place to start.
The World Atlas of Wine is the seminal volume by the same pair of writers, but it's giant. I don't own it and I probably never will. The Concise edition is a different story. More of a field guide, this paperback is becoming my go-to reference for information on regions I've traveled to, wines I've tried at restaurants, and bottles brought to me as house-gifts. It answers all my embarrassingly simple wine questions.
Its place is in your kitchen or near your dining table, not collecting dust on a shelf. This is a book to use every time you sip, not to stare at from below, quivering over your glass, which, come on admit it, is what many wine books do to the majority of us.
• Buy the book: The Concise World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson (Amazon, $19.79)
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