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Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2006 Revised Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Without snobbery, Johnson discusses grape varieties, food pairings, and the individual character of different wine regions, from France to California to Australia - even to South Africa. While the food recommendations are more guidance than rules, they still provide a solid base for the novice. Connoisseurs will head straight to the easy to read wine listings to discover the best vintages and the characters of individual labels, as well as Johnson's overall starred ratings.
The book is small enough to fit inside a purse or jacket pocket, perfect for taking to a restaurant or wine store. If you are serious about wine, you really do need to buy an updated edition every year. People who have only a casual interest might get away with one every other year.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who appreciates fine wine or who wants to learn more about it. You won't be disappointed.
Obviously, the wine connoisseur who can afford to drink the best and lay in extensive stocks to age will seldom be caught out, having done great research in the past. The person who is trying to drink well on a budget will be the primary beneficiary.
Restaurants in particular often stock what they got a deal on, and may offer vintages that are not yet ready to drink or are undistinguished.
The section on foods and wines will give you some new ideas on how to more closely complement a specific meal.
If you do find yourself with a magnificent wine list in front of you (and can afford it), there's a brief list of the ultimate wines to drink in an ideal world.
The book also has directions for ideal temperatures to serve the wines, so when the sommelier asks you about preparation you can have more definite ideas.
Most of the book is divided into geographic region, winery, wine type, quality, vintage information (including which ones are ready to drink), and limited notes about specific characteristics. It's a very broad and superficial source, but takes you past what you would know without it. The advice is based on Hugh Johnson's tastings and those of over 40 friends whom he acknowledges.
Mr. Johnson also comments on the 2000 vintage, which he says was good in Bordeaux. So, you may wish to consider laying some wine away from there.
By the way, I think this book would make a marvelous gift to someone who is often treating you to rather bad wine at expensive prices. Then, you both will get a gift.
A votre sante!
Why? Because it will pay for itself the very first trip you make with it to the liquor store. Think I'm exagerating? Then keep reading.
Hugh Johnson is the Roger Ebert of wines. In other words, he knows his subject thouroughly but without ever being snobby or pretentious. He knows you don't find the perfect wine -- whether for cheap pasta, or coq au vin, or to lay down for a decade -- by price. Trying to decide between the 80 buck Cabernet Sauvignon or the simply labelled "red table wine" at ten dollars -- and you've never tasted either? Hugh can tell you the better value. Not to mention which one is just plain better.
With that one purchase, you'll have more than paid for the book.
Hugh has a wonderful sense of humor, and takes great joy in his work -- and it shows.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Last weekend my wife asked that I clear some of the debris out of the bookshelves in the library, and as I made my way through my wine books I found an edition of Hugh Johnson's... Read morePublished on May 23, 2006 by Bevetroppo
This pocket wine book reviews wines that are not readily available in the Midwest. If you live in California or New York, it may be a better option for you.Published on March 21, 2006 by Judith A. Westman
At its price and size, unequalled, year after year. I only wish the sections on states such as New York, Virginia, and North Carolina were more extensive, but one can only pack can... Read morePublished on March 11, 2006 by Samuel F. Long
As a book, Hugh Johnson's annual Pocket Wine Book is a model of clarity. Wine buffs will find a long list of short but distinct entries, organized geographically and alphabetically... Read morePublished on February 20, 2006 by Vincent Poirier
I have been buying this book for many years and I am always impressed with how much information is in such a small book.Published on July 24, 2005 by Todd J. Germano
There is an amazing lot of information in this book. It is very exhaustive and reliable, with a specific focus on Bordeaux wines. Read morePublished on January 6, 2002 by Daniel L