Book Review: The Wine List by Grant Reynolds

The Wine List
The Wine List

Grant Reynolds is a sommelier in the USA who worked for top restaurants that cared about the wines they served.  This helped push Grant to travel to Europe to meet with winemakers and learn more about exceptional wines. Grant’s “The Wine List” is his accounting of what he asserts are the most remarkable vintages of wines going back to the late 1700’s, although most of those wines no longer are available to taste, except for Madeira. His experiences cover mainly wines from Europe, predominantly France and Italy, plus the United States.  

The book is divided into four sections of historical time: Pre-War 1787-1940, Postwar to 1989, 1990 to 2008, and 2009 to present.  Each section is logically grouped by Grant based on things such as groundbreaking winemakers, global wines, climate change effects, and consumer curiosity.  Each page covers one year, such as 1787 and typically one or two wines from that vintage, with a description of the wine, why it is notable and/or the winemaker and their methods.  Also included on the sidebar of the page are other non-wine interesting tidbits of events that happened that year, such as the British setting sail to Australia to establish a penal colony in 1787.  Each page is easy to read and the description of the wine or winemaker does not necessarily fill up the entire page.  You can quite easily read several pages at a time.  

Grant’s list does not cover every year between 1787 to the present as he only covers exceptional wine vintages.  It is better that way than to try and pick a wine that is from a mediocre year worldwide.  I wish that Grant covered more exceptional wines from places like Argentina, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand as there are wines that made worldwide statements and are viewed as iconic.

Overall, there is a lot you can learn from Grant’s “The Wine List” about the history of wine in Europe and how things like climate change, war, wine ratings, and customer preferences changed wine over time.  Cin cin.

Where Can I Buy This Book?

This book will be available for sale on November 7, 2023.  Amazon carries this book for pre-sale at the moment and then for sale starting November 7.

Author: mywinepal
Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.