Book sales surged to record highs in 2019 with sales up 20% from 2015. Though the popularity of e-books and audiobooks has grown substantially in recent years, physical print still dominates in excess of 80% of total book sales. Physical books are particularly popular in the case of books where the content is either educational, visually immersive or both. Interestingly a recent study by the Guardian found that readers recalled information conveyed to them in a printed book better than those reading the exact same book on an e-reader. Wine lovers are particularly fond of books, wines body of literature is rich, expansive and expands with admirable pace. Though a great deal of this body is dense and specific, of late a number of new releases find themselves at an interesting intersection between being alluring to both fanatics and casual drinkers, those amongst us whose interests may well be somewhat piqued by wine. With Christmas fast approaching and my review pile mounting, now seems the perfect time to share with you a trio of diverse recent releases. Noble Rot’s no-holds-barred guide to wine, Raul Diaz’s simple guide to wine and food pairing, and Jessica Dupuy’s exploration of Southwest U.S.A. These are the books that have piqued my interest in recent months.
Nestled discretely in the former home of the now-defunct Hambros bank, opposite Britain’s oldest wine and spirits merchant, Berry Bros & Rudd, you will find 67 Pall Mall. Spanning three floors, in a building imagined by renowned English architect Edwin Lutyens, the private members club has come to be a mecca of sorts for wine lovers the world over. While the decor is grandiose and traditional, the team, lead by Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn, is innovative, energetic, and dynamic. Facing a global pandemic, they’ve revolutionised wine tasting at home, shipping some of the worlds greatest wines around the globe to existing and newly-subscribed ‘digital members’. The club has demonstrated unparalleled resilience and commitment to delivering to members despite facing an existential crisis. Further expanding their repertoire, I was excited to receive word from Ronan of the imminent release of the club’s inaugural book. ‘Wine and Food: The Perfect Match’ sees Sayburn and head chef, Marcus Verberne, guide readers through an introduction to wine and wine service followed by 100 mouthwatering recipes and wine pairings. The book is available now, in this article I took a sneak peek prior to launch.