One of the ongoing arguments I tend to have with other commentators on the wine scene concerns the interest – or rather the lack of interest – the general public has in wine. I’ve made my point elsewhere and don’t plan to use many words to reiterate it here. Instead, I’ll merely offer a set of pictures taken on my phone today in the Wandsworth branch of the Waterstone’s bookshop chain.
Books on military matters: 12 shelves
Books on politics: 6 shelves
Books on food and drink: 36 shelves!
Wine books: 11 titles. Less than 1/3 of one shelf.
Birds & bird watching: roughly 3 times as many titles as on wine.
Every picture, they say, tells a story… If more people wanted to read about wine, bookshops like Waterstone’s would put more volumes on their shelves. (Unless of course you want to make a case for the book chain to have some kind of bias towards military history, politics and cake baking and against wine…)
These pictures are typical of the UK and not atypical of the US. In France, there are more wine books, but not nearly as many more as one might expect. Anyone looking for greater presence of wine books in shops should head for Japan.