If you are holding this catalogue in your hands or you are browsing through the online version of it, chances are that 1) you love to read about wine, in which case we have a lot in common and 2) you prefer to get the best available wine for your money and in this case too we share a common ground. This choice means that you may well be interested in learning more about wine and there are some excellent resources that can make your journey in its world a remarkable one.

1. Wine Tasting or How to Get to Know Wine, (Дегустацията или как да опознаем виното) by Neda Prodavova

This book is not available in English but a great substitute would be a book covering the aspects of wine tasting in some detail. Even if you have had a fair share of tasting and you feel experienced in the process, there are things even great tasters tend to overlook, especially if they have established some serious preferences based on their experience. If you are new at this, do not forget to cover the basics of tasting. The principles apply to much more than wine and you can be sure this is a skill you can build upon for life.

2. Wine Grapes by Jancis Robinson and Julia Harding

This is an amazing reference book listing all 1368 wine varieties used in commercial production today along with their origins and fl avours. This work follows the latest development in the DNA analysis of grape varieties, pointing out the mistaken identities and synonyms for many of them. Did you know that Cabernet Sauvignon is the off spring of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc? This is an easy one but did you know that the Californian Zinfandel is genetically identical to the Primitivo of Puglia (not to mention that they are both identical to the Croatian Tribidrag)? This edition is also available as an e-book and if you have it on your mobile device, you will never have to wonder what is in your glass again.

3. The Oxford Wine Companion (4th edition) by Jancis Robinson

The latest, 4th edition of this amazing book is already available and there is no need to apologize for having two entries by the same author in the top 10 list. This Wine Companion has kept company to almost all wine professionals and many Masters of Wine or Master Sommeliers claim that they can recall sections of it by heart. It is a comprehensive work that defines wine terms, explores wine styles and regions and yes, it is like an encyclopaedia, only much more enjoyable to read.

4. Secrets of the Sommeliers by Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay

A great read that a sommelier recommended to me wholeheartedly just recently and I have been unable to put the book down ever since. It gives you access to an array of information where pairing food and wine is just a scratch on the surface. You will learn how to approach wine tasting in order to get the most of it and you will fi nd out what true sommeliers really do for a living. Most of what they do, surprisingly, coincides with what you do on a daily basis as a wine lover, meaning that they choose, buy, taste, serve and store wine, so getting better at it would not hurt anybody. The book is a cocktail of principles that will get to you head and contains an amazing mix of recommendation for both Old World and New World wines. It leaves you with the clear message that you need to fi nd a circle of people to taste wine with and the better they are, the more you can improve.

5. Wine Science by Jamie Goode

A great book by a great wine author that can easily be read cover to cover. It starts at the vineyards with viticultural practices, goes in the winery where it explores winemaking techniques and ends with our own interaction with wine. Do not let the word “science” scare you. Jamie Goode has made theory comprehensible and anything but boring. If the book is not enough and you get addicted to his style of writing, Jamie is a successful blogger who explores the topics in the book and much more in his blog The Wine Anorak.

6. Land and Wine: The French Terroir by Charles Frankel

regions is an inexhaustible yet obligatory part of the journey. Why not start with France? It is a country that may seem too complicated and intimidating when it comes to wine… and everything else, especially if you do not speak French, but once you cover that without the pressure of having to instantly become a connoisseur, you will know how to approach any other wine region that sparks your interest and your taste buds. This book is also a great starting point on the topic of terroir.

7. The History of Wine in 100 Bottles: From Bacchus to Bordeaux and Beyond by Oz Clarke

Finally! An entry with more pictures in it for a good reason! This book has made the thousands of years of wine history accessible, visual and memorable. It will help you decipher the noteworthy milestones in the evolution of wine as we know it today. Here is a question I thought I’d never ask but did you know that “Blue Nun” was one of Germany’s most widely known wine brands after World War II in an attempt to substitute the long, incomprehensible names with Gothic script on wine labels for the international market? Fantastisch, right? And yes, there were nuns dressed in blue on the label.

8. Natural Wine: An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally by Isabelle Legeron

You will defi nitely be hearing more on the topic of natural wine in the future and this book is a great place to start. As an increasing number of the world’s population meditates towards living in unison with nature, natural wine become a lifestyle choice. In terms of wine and its history many people perceive this as going back to basics and simplicity: fermenting grape juice into wine. Could it be any simpler? The book gives you a chance to meet some of the growers who have adopted this philosophy without leaving your room and recommends wines that off er a great start in getting to know natural wines and deciding for yourself how you like them.

9. Anthology of Bulgarian Wine (Именник на българското вино) by Iliya Zaykov

The book is not available in English, so unless you have a really great friend willing to translate it for you, do look for a book that will tell you more about the history of indigenous grape varieties of a region you are interested in such as Native Wine Grapes of Italy by Ian D’agata (if Italy makes your heart go “olé, olé, olé, olé-é-é”). These books are rare fi nds because they require tons of research and dedication on behalf of the author but they are one of the ways to learn more about the regional and authentic gems of the wine world if on some days you fi nd yourself looking for ABC (“anything but Cabernet or Chardonnay”).

10. Catalogue of Bulgarian Wine 2016 by Tzveta Tanovska and Katia Iontcheva

when recommending books is to have a common ground with the reader and I am happy that is the book you are now holding in your hands. A catalogue such as this one is a must when you take on a country’s wines. If used correctly, it can save you time and money. This edition even provides you with the basic information you need if you desire to visit the listed wineries. Congratulations, just nine more books to go!

that will increase your knowledge on the subject of wine and bring a smile on your face as you read them as value added. If for some reason this is not your top 10 list of wine books, do dig in and explore the topics that you are interested in, read, re-read and recommend to anyone on a similar journey.

Elena Neykova