Learn to Imbibe Better with Tom Stevenson’s ‘The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia’ [REVIEW]

Discover the best wineries have to offer in The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia. (Photo courtesy Canva)

There are few things as relaxing as uncorking a delicious bottle of wine at the end of a long day, sipping it as you watch the sunset with someone special. Unless, of course, you get to travel to a winery on a languid afternoon and sample both new flavors and old vintages surrounded by the unrivaled beauty of wine country. But what wine should you try? Which vineyards are worth visiting? And how do you know how to stock that wine cellar you’ve always dreamed of filling? These are all questions wine expert Tom Stevenson helps you answer in The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia.

National Geographic

Whether you’re a true oenophile, or simply aspire to become one, Stevenson’s fully updated and expanded sixth edition of his original 1988 classic will help you navigate the wonderful world of wine. Here you’ll learn about its history, where its grown, and how it fits into various cultures.

If you think the wine section at your local grocery store is extensive, you have no idea what you’re in for. In this edition, National Geographic maps give you a lay of the land, taking you across 108 wine-growing regions around the world as Stevenson introduces you to more than 14,000 different wines. You’ll find out which vintners you should know, and which years they produced the best of the best.

If you’re just learning about wine, Stevenson shows you how to find the best wine to perfectly complement your food. You’ll meet up-and-coming producers, and find out where you can find the best quality wines in each region around the globe. Here you’ll also fine vineyard profiles, grape know-how, tasting room knowledge, and marvelous recommendations for the best wines available.

But Stevenson didn’t compile all of this material alone. He had help from more than 30 expert sommeliers. Together, they have put together a volume so well respected, it is recommended as the go-to resource for the master sommelier course.

California boy that I am, I thought I knew a thing or two about wine, or at least the wines grown in the Golden State. But after perusing this definitive reference book—and let me tell you, this book is expansive and heavy—I quickly discovered that my wine education has only just begun. For not only does he delve deeply into the vineyards of the Napa Valley and both ends of the Central Coast, but he also takes us into Mendocino and Sonoma Counties as well as the Central Valley. Still, there is so much more to explore. We are literally transported from one region of the world to another, through Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and Germany, to name a few) to Africa, Australia, and even Asia where the interest in winemaking continues to spread.

We learn why things like soil and climate are key factors when it comes to growing a great grape, and how other details including which wood the barrels are made out of and which corks are used make a difference in taste and longevity. By the time you finish studying this book, at the very least you will be able to surprise your friends and awe your boss with your seemingly vast understanding and appreciation for some of the best wines on the market. And because the demand for and cost of wine only continues to grow, you’ll also discover which wines are the best investment for collectors and connoisseurs alike. Big, bold, beautiful, and most of all, educational, this book has earned its right to be called an encyclopedia. Learn to imbibe better. Add The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia to your book shelf today.

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Tom Stevenson
Tom Stevenson


Tom Stevenson has been writing about wine for more than 40 years. He has won 34 literary awards, including Wine Writer of the Year three times and The Wine Literary Award, and America’s only lifetime achievement award for wine writers.

In 1998, he was the first person to publish a 17th-century document proving that the English invented sparkling Champagne six years before Dom Pérignon set foot in Hautvillers. This ensured his Christie’s World Encyclopedia of Champagne & Sparkling Wine also made history as the only wine book to warrant a leader in any UK national newspaper (The Guardian, October 14, 1998).

In 2011 he was inducted into the New York Wine Media Guild’s Hall of Fame. He has written 28 books, the most important of which have been published internationally by more than 50 publishers and translated into over 25 languages. Additionally, he conceived and was the contributing editor of Wine Report.

His Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia (now The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia) has sold over 700,000 copies worldwide. Stevenson has judged major wine competitions in France, Germany, Greece, Australia, and the United States, and has been the chair and founder of The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championship (CSWWC) since 2014.

For more information, visit Tom’s CSWWC website at www.champagnesparklingwwc.co.uk, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Orsi Szentkiralyi
Orsi Szentkiralyi (Photo by Csaba Villányi)


Orsi Szentkiralyi is the tasting and database manager at Wotwine. Previously, she worked in the glamorous world of posh restaurants and luxury wine shops, including the Michelin-starred Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and award-winning Hedonism wines. She is preparing for her Master Sommelier exam.

By Tom Stevenson
800 pp. National Geographic. $75.

TLC Book Tours Tour Host

Purchase The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target or Walmart.

The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

2 Responses to Learn to Imbibe Better with Tom Stevenson’s ‘The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia’ [REVIEW]

  1. Pingback: Tom Stevenson, author of The New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia, on tour October/November 2020 | TLC Book Tours

  2. Sara Strand says:

    Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

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