For everything there is a season, and in the world of wine the calendar is defined by bud break, fruit set, harvest, and the arrival of the latest edition of Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book. Celebrating the sale of more than 7 million copies of editions spanning a quarter century, the 2002 publication provides an updated addition to the prestigious and prolific wine writer's popular series of pocket-sized reference books. With delineated chapters--some merely a page long--Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book: 2002 follows a standard format: wine trend prognostication, a brief description of the current vintage (here the 2000 harvest), a reexamination of 1999, glossary of grape types, and food and wine matches. The book's bulk is composed of an alphabetical listing of short entries--mostly wineries--subdivided within geographical chapters. Johnson can be stylish, even witty (a lively Vernaccia pairs well with a dish of grey mullet: not the one "on the heads of aging rock stars"), but aside from the opening few pages, there's a decidedly ghostwritten feel to the proceedings. Indeed, the acknowledgments list over 40 "kind friends," including several regionally based wine writers, for their "special knowledge," most notably of some smaller producers. But for someone of Hugh Johnson's stature, to allow, once again, in the 2002 edition the Syrah grape to be identified as identical to Petite Sirah--friends, kind or not, shouldn't let friends get away with that sort of thing. --Tony Mason
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Now in its 26th year of publication, this book offers up-to-date news on more than 6,000 wines, growers and regions. With comprehensive vintage information and recommended wines for current drinking, this is the only annual wine guide anyone really needs.
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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