I believe I learn more from memoirs than I do from classes of any sort. I get sucked in, following folks around, seeing things as they do. I do love to read. I will tell my husband, “Well, I’m off to France!” and will open the pages of a great cookbook by Mimi Thorisson or enter the diaries of a French Vigneron. Here are five great books I have read recently that I think you will enjoy!

I just finished this book. I. could. not. put. it. down! Off to New York to live and see the inside view of Michelin starred restaurants and fine wines. The good, the bad, the ugly, the inspiring are all told in Victoria James’ brave memoir, Wine Girl; The Obstacles, Humiliations, and Triumphs of America’s Youngest Sommelier.

Doug and I dream a bit about moving to the south. How nice would it be to grow prolific gardens where there is actually rain? Where a trip to the beach can be followed the next weekend with a trip to the Appalachians? Where bluegrass is king and our skin wouldn’t crack from being so dry in the west! But can you grow grapes there? Martha M. Ezzard shows us in her lovely book, The Second Bud; Deserting the City For a Farm Winery, that indeed you can. Her award winning winery in Georgia came after her and her husband’s departure from Colorado to live on her husband’s land. Together they create award winning wines with local varietals in this inspiring book.

Leaving the midwest and everything they knew to buy a winery in Oregon and make great pinot noir is the story that Linda Kaplan gives us in My First Crush. This funny memoir opens with Mrs. Kaplan not knowing a thing about wine when her husband suddenly buys a winery without a vineyard in a small town. Their heralding adventures will make you wish for a taste of pinot noir and a winery.

I’m currently in France each evening with a cup of tea before bed walking through the vines, feeling the warm sun, smelling truffles and other delicacies, and enjoying the company of the local characters. La Belle Saison by Patricia Atkinson is filled with sensory and delicious storytelling. I’m only half way through, but I am enjoying my journey very much as I follow this budding wine maker around across the pages of her large vineyard.

While we are France, we may as well pop in for a good fictional tale. I rarely read fiction, but when I do, this is just the sort of great story I love. Flashbacks to World War II, to present day, unraveling mysteries and finding bottles of wine and maybe finding love along the way too. The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah is hard to put down.

Grab a glass of wine and a book and dive in! What are you presently reading?