Poll: judge these books by their covers!

Book authors may not always envision their book covers the same way the publisher’s graphics team sees them. Sometimes a manuscript that the author has spent hundreds of hours on can be diluted by slap-dash cover art. And sometimes the graphic designer really “gets” the book and the image is good for a thousand words–or more!–of the book.

Here are some notable wine books and/or covers from 2007. Hopefully, we’ll judge them by more than just their covers soon. Check them out–then vote for the best cover art, after the jump! (And if you think they’re all “ick,” feel free to say that too.)

House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty by Julia Flynn Siler ($28, Gotham Books)
hom

The World Atlas of Wine, sixth edition Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson ($50, MITCH)
bookatlas

Questions of Taste: The Philosophy of Wine, Barry Smith, ed. ($27.95, Oxford University Press)
bookphill1

Wine and Philosophy: A Meritage of Vintage Ideas. Fritz Allhoff, ed. ($19.95 paper, Blackwell)
bookphil2

To Cork or Not To Cork: Tradition, Romance, Science, and the Battle for the Wine Bottle, by George Taber ($26, Scribner)
bookcork

New Classic Winemakers of California: Conversations with Steve Heimoff, by Steve Heimoff ($27.50, University of California Press)
bookheimoff

The Red Wine Diet, Roger Corder ($15.95 paper, Avery)
bookwinediet

First Big Crush: The Down and Dirty on Making Great Wine Down Under, by Eric Arnold. ($24, Scribner)
firstbig

Screen shot 2011 05 31 at 3.29.07 PM

Poll now closed
Note: the links on this page to amazon.com are “affiliate” links. In the event that you click through and buy a book, I would receive a tiny referral fee.

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8 Responses to “Poll: judge these books by their covers!”


  1. For overall design and mass commercial appeal THE RED WINE DIET wins for me (but really, isn’t it more of a diet book?) followed fairly closely by THE WORLD ATLAS OF WINE and THE HOUSE OF MONDAVI. FIRST BIG CRUSH is my least favorite cover (although it seems like they were going for a resonance with SIDEWAYS). That’s a shame really because after visiting the author’s website it sounds like a really fun read. In the end, though, these all (with the possible exception of the two seemingly competitive books that explore wine and philosophy of which my nod goes to the Allhoff book)target a fairly specific wine geek niche so I bet content will trump design as far as sales decisions go with the possible exception of some gift purchases.


  2. I actually think all of these fall into the “expected” when it comes to wine graphics. Would have been nice to see something a little bit more modern and less conventional. While FIRST BIG CRUSH at least goes for something illustrative rather than the stock photos of vineyards or corks, it’s a pretty uninspired looking drawing. Oh well.


  3. Judging books by the cover:

    worth a look:
    To cork or not to cork – A well done twist on a standard theme, curious
    First big crush – retro guidebook hippy funk, stands out
    The classic winemakers of CA – elegant graphics, probably the best looking
    World Atlas of Wine – beautiful green, nice abstraction/realism balance

    pass it by:
    Questions of taste – Questions of stock photography
    Wine & Philosophy – Philosophy is a tough word for book sales and not helped by a dull cover
    House of Mondavi – exactly as expected
    The Red Wine Diet – graphic garbage – couldn’t the stock photographer find a better glass? Do not pass go, go directly to Walmart


  4. One of the best graphic covers for a wine book I’ve bought is Wine Science by Jamie Goode(http://www.amazon.com/Wine-Science-Mitchell-Beazley-Drink/dp/1840009683); the Mitchell Beazley edition not the University of California Press edition whos cover is disappointing.


  5. [...] engrossing, you can pick up a copy of George Taber’s new book To Cork or Not to Cork, which, judging by its cover, will be the most successful wine book this holiday season. If you don’t have time, [...]


  6. [...] engrossing, you can pick up a copy of George Taber’s new book To Cork or Not to Cork, which, judging by its cover, will be the most successful wine book this holiday season. If you don’t have time, [...]


  7. [...] Romance, Science, and the Battle for the Wine Bottle, by George Taber ($26, Scribner) Related: Judge these books by their covers “Bringing closure: a screwcap-cork [...]


  8. Who knows what happens next… All I know is:

    Be safety conscious. 80% of people are caused by accidents. :)


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