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9 Reviews
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm never without a copy, November 11, 2008
This review is from: Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2009: 32nd Edition (Hardcover)
I buy this book every year and still have a copy of the original 1977 edition. It is amazing how much information is contained in a "pocket" book. I own a retail wine store and recommend this book to my customers (and send them to Amazon as I can't match the price!). Of course I do not agree with all the information/ratings in the book, but I'm just one palate. However I love Hugh Johnson's comments about "scores". The thought anyone can really taste the difference between an 89 point wine and a 90 point wine is ridiculous, but I know it makes a big difference in retail as many people are "point buyers" and do not rely on their own palates.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent wine book, April 14, 2009
By 
John Twain "B" (Glen Allen, VA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2009: 32nd Edition (Hardcover)
The 2006 didn't let me down from a good friend's recommendation and this one has even more info. Gives you the basic guides through each regions wines and is easily taken into the Wine store without drawing attention to yourself. Use the book as a guide and don't fully rely on the # of stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dense, but Interesting, February 12, 2009
This review is from: Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2009: 32nd Edition (Hardcover)
Comprehending Johnson's myriad codes, symbols and abbreviations is a little daunting, but there is a ton of information here. The actual wine notes are less specific than I was hoping, however.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Gift that's Sure to Please, December 15, 2009
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This review is from: Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2009: 32nd Edition (Hardcover)
For the last several years I've bought this little book for my husband's stocking, and he always loves it. He finds it really useful and informative, and often consults it before buying wine. It's great to buy a gift that is small, not expensive, and that you know the recipient will love!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2009 - a must have, April 4, 2009
By 
A. Krug (Dallas, TX USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2009: 32nd Edition (Hardcover)
Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2009 is a terrific wine book to have when you go into a restaurant or wine store anywhere. Wherever you are worldwide, you are prepared, Texas or Australia. For example, Hardys was on al our restaurant menus during business trips to Australia. We learned which vintages of Hardys wines are ready to drink, Hardys wines are from several areas, Hardys is part of the world's largest wine group, and which series of Hardys wines are best. The book tells beginners which wines go well with various dishes such as Beef Stroganoff, and why local wines and local food are a good choice. 10 million copies of Hugh Johnson's pocket wine books have been sold and for good reason.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem of a book, February 27, 2009
By 
Theresa Runkle (Melrose Park, IL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2009: 32nd Edition (Hardcover)
This handy pocket size wine book is chock full of information that will help you to select just the right wine for any occasion. We take it with us when we go to the local wine merchant and we refer to it quite a bit while we are in the store. If you love wine (like we do) and are confused on which one to buy, then this is the book for you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hugh Johnson's wine guide, February 14, 2009
This review is from: Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2009: 32nd Edition (Hardcover)
A concise, very helpful guide to the world's principal over. My "bible" for well over 20 years.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great little wine gide, January 3, 2009
This review is from: Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2009: 32nd Edition (Hardcover)
This is a great little book. It has a lot of good information in it, and it's very conveniently sized.

Since there's a lot of good about this book, I'll start with what I don't like.

First of all, the dust jacket gets in the way. The book has a chart inside the front cover that gives a snapshot of various wine vintages. The dust jacket covers them.

The book is fairly comprehensive, but it omits wineries from the midwest. There may not be a lot of wineries that are any good in the midwest, but I don't think they should be dismissed out of hand.

Okay, that was it for my complaints.

Now on to the good.

I like the size of the book. It will easily fit into a coat pocket or a purse. Lacking either of those, the book is small enough to be easily carried with you to the wine shop.

The book covers an amazing number of wineries given its small size. Granted, each winery only gets a couple of lines, but the information it gives is straightforward and useful.

The book is intelligently laid out. It is organized by country (and region, where needed). It also has indexing on the spine to delineate the country/region.

I did a little bit of spot checking to compare the book's impressions of wineries with my own observations. Of course, I had to start with Sokol Blosser. Johnson says, "superb wines throughout with an esp outstanding Pinot N..." Good to know he agrees with me. Oh, and he gave them 3-4 stars. I next looked at Viu Manent, which I recently reviewed. Johnson gave them 1-2 stars, which pretty much sums up my feelings for them.

I won't bore you with further details, but I found Johnson to concur with my assessment of every winery I looked at. That's either good for me, or bad for Johnson. Either way, I will be using this book as I shop for wines.

Besides providing information on wineries, the book also has a convenient section on wine/food pairings. This alone is worth the purchase price.

Whether you're a wine aficionado or a neophyte, I highly recommend this book.

This review originally posted on [...]
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By far my favorite pocket wine guide, October 24, 2008
By 
New England Yankee (Northern New England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2009: 32nd Edition (Hardcover)
This is the latest and greatest from the very long-running series of pocket guides from Hugh Johnson. Johnson has long been known as authoritative by any measure, but many value him most for his down-to-earth approach to wine. When it comes to this guide, "Pocket" is beginning to be a stretch. This edition runs 320 pages and the guide is now nearly an inch thick!

While you would think the extensive coverage would be sufficient, trying to cover available wines in a pocket guide in a world where ever more wine is available in ever more places is a losing proposition. Take it to a restaurant and, chances are, a fair number of the available mainstream wines will be listed. If the restaurant has a deep list, however, or if it's a specialty restaurant, many will not be.

This guide is still worth having and toting along, particularly if you do not have ready access to an alternative. Shortly, such portable print guides will go the way of the world in favor of online guides and those adapted to mobile devices, however. Wine Spectator has their Wine Advocate Mobile software, with full access to their 200,000 wine listings, for example. Parker has his website subscription service. There are many others. Johnson himself had software at one time, though I don't know if it has been kept up-to-date. The barrier for most people is the device and their current cell phone service.

If you are getting ready to update your cell phone or service, have a look at the newer alternatives. I can personally attest to the usability of the iPhone for internet access. If you are not up for such a change, in hard copy pocket guides, there are none I like better than this one.
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Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2009: 32nd Edition
Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2009: 32nd Edition by Hugh Johnson (Hardcover - October 7, 2008)
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