The enthusiasm for wine-drinking in America has reached a fever pitch and with that increased popularity comes a host of magazines, web sites, books, DVDs and television programs that can expand your knowledge and your enjoyment of wine, no matter your experience level. Obviously, there are far too many to mention them all in 60 seconds, so we’ll hit a few favorites.

Magazines like Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and Food & Wine are excellent resources, and all three also have comprehensive web sites (but the first two require paid subscriptions to access complete information). Also on the web, has a very active wine forum with knowledgeable members weighing in on everything from tasting notes on a 1947 Cheval Blanc to a discussion of Trader Joe’s “Two Buck Chuck.”

Foremost wine guru Robert Parker has a content-packed web site as does Andrea Immer, who leads a mini-empire that also includes a variety of books, a television show on the Fine Living Network and a DVD series of wine courses designed to be used interactively.

Some great books to check out are “How to Taste: A guide to Enjoying Wine” by Jancis Robinson, “The Wine Bible” by Karen MacNeil and the “Wine Lovers Companion” by Ron and Sharon Herbst. The latter is invaluable, with its dictionary-style listings of thousands of wine-related words and terms as well as phoenetic pronunciations of some of the more foreign ones.


Speaking of wine books, the DWO is launching a new book club that will focus on wine-related books, both fiction and non-fiction. The group’s first meeting will be April 18 at 7 p.m. at Vinotecca in Royal Oak (417 S. Main St.) and the book slated for discussion is “The Merlot Murders: a Wine Country Mystery” by Ellen Crosby.

This quirky murder-mystery set in a Virginia vineyard seamlessly weaves details about wine making and interesting historical tidbits about Thomas Jefferson’s (unsuccessful) efforts to establish a wine industry in early Virginia. For more info, email

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