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Hugh Johnson's the Story of Wine Hardcover – July 28, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: MITCH; Ill edition (July 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840009721
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840009729
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 9.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

First published in 1989 in an illustrated 480-page edition, Johnson's sweeping chronicle of the making, merchandising and drinking of wine has been considerably pared down but remains brimful of fascinating information. Beginning with what we know of oenology in ancient Egypt and Greece, the text travels up to the 21st century, citing, for example, countries that produced the "most exciting wines" of 2003. Along the way, famed wine writer Johnson revisits the ongoing debate of who is responsible for introducing vineyards into France, reveals that the coupling of bottle and cork in the 17th century allowed wine to age properly and recalls Thomas Jefferson declaring that wine was "the only antidote to the bane of whiskey." Sidebars throughout relate sprightly anecdotes, such as the story of Magellan stocking his ships for the 1519–1521 circumnavigation of the globe (he spent more on sherry than he did on armaments—and then got himself killed en route). Some 125 maps and illustrations in lush color and b&w depict everything from a 5,000-year-old panel that is the first known illustration of wine drinking to a striking photo of a hyper-modernistic winery in Spain. While necessarily less comprehensive than the initial edition, this version is a thorough survey of the elixir that, as Johnson says, owes its popularity to its power to banish care.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Hugh Johnson is recognized as the world's favourite wine writer. Hugh Johnson's first book and internationally bestselling Wine was published in 1966, and subsequent award-winning titles, including Story of Wine and Wine Companion, now in its fifth edition, have established him as one of the subject's foremost writers. He then went on to write The World Atlas of Wine, also now in its fifth edition and co-authored with Jancis Robinson. His annually updated Pocket Wine Book sells over 400,000 copies each year. Hugh lives in Essex. Margaret Rand, Editor of this edition, is an award-winning wine writer and a former editor of Wine International. She is the co-author (with Oz Clarke) of Grapes & Wines and the General Editor of Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book and Mitchell Beazley's Classic Wine Library series. Margaret also contributes to a wide range of international publications. Margaret lives in London.

More About the Author

Hugh Johnson is acclaimed as the world's favorite wine writer. Since his first book, Wine, appeared in 1966, he has been making the subject of wine approachable to all with his witty and humorous style. His other books include the bestseller "Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book." He is also President of The Sunday Times Wine Club. Jancis Robinson is internationally renowned for her witty, authoritative wine writing and her books Vines, Grapes and Wines, and Oxford Companion to Wine are among the most important in wine literature.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
However, I must say that I did enjoy this book. While one reviewer here didn't seem to be too interested in the history of wine, I found it very interesting, so interesting in fact that I am giving my paperback version to a friend and purchasing the hardback version for myself.
What I enjoy about the historical approach is that it helps me understand just how modern wine styles evolved. For example, seeing the influence of the Napoleanic wars on British purchasing and subsequent development of new wines (like Port) was interesting.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By William R. Franklin VINE VOICE on December 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most comprehensive and certainly one of the most enjoyable books on wine in any language. Combining excellent prose with impressive scholarship, Mr. Johnson offers a scintillating and often enlightening history of the world's best beverage. Strongly recommended for the historian or wine enthusiast.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Hoffman, author:Radiation Days: A Comedy VINE VOICE on August 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hugh Johnson's marvelous book in a partial answer to a question that few of us have had the sense to ask. While many of us will spend valuable hours wondering: `which wine?' we rarely ask `why wine?'

What's the big deal? Why so many books, why such intense feeling? Wine is just the fermented juice of grapes. Yes, and music is just organized noise and sex is merely one of the ways in which organisms ensure perpetuation of their type.

The reason for the passion isn't to be found in alcohol alone. Almost any sugary solution will support fermentation, and it seems that just about every possible sweet liquid has been fermented from time to time. An amateur winemakers' guide in my library lists recipes for the production of wines from almonds, apples, bananas, barley, beetroot, birch sap, cloves, clover, eggplant, guava, lemons, oak leaves, orange juice, parsley, parsnips, peapods, squash, tea, tomatoes, wallflowers, yarrow and yes, to complete the alphabet, zinnias.

These 'wines'are all possible, but none of them exist. In fact, we restrict our winemaking to just a few varieties of grape. Why?
Aside from the many economic advantages, the fermented juice of grapes is delicious. At its most common, it's a fresh and fruity drink that quenches the thirst and gladdens the heart. At its most exalted, the basic flavors of the grape are transformed by fermentation and aging into a symphony of aromas and tastes and lingering associations. Both the bountiful nature of grape vines and the enormous appeal of their fermented fruit's juice has led civilized man to attach a lot of meaning to wine.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By elfdart on April 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
a comprehensive guide to the history of wine. grape wine that is, they don't go much into sake or wines made from other products, though some are mentioned. it goes through many countries and time periods and was overall very readable for a history text.
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