Hugh Johnson's Modern Encyclopedia of Wine Hardcover – February 25, 1998
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- ASIN : 068484589X
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster; Subsequent edition (February 25, 1998)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 592 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780684845890
- ISBN-13 : 978-0684845890
- Item Weight : 3.7 pounds
- Dimensions : 7.5 x 1.5 x 10.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,264,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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If you are like me, you keep a book like this, and periodically pick it up after buying a few bottles at your local shop to read his tasting notes, or some information about the winery. The book is perfect for that, he included small profiles and/or tasting notes for thousands of wineries in virtually all major wine-producing countries. The list of California wineries alone, and Johnson's personal observations about their varietals, is staggering. He doesn't simply profile the big, million case producers but has notes about small, "boutique" wineries like Groth, etc. And aside from tasting notes, the book has a whole lot more to offer.
Johnson explains how various types of wine are made (port and champagne, for example), includes maps as well as biographical profiles of some leading personalities in the wine world (like Robert Mondavi), and explains in layman's terms which glasses to use, when some "experts" like to decant, etc. This is a book to have lingering around, not for a sit down, cover to cover reading but as a source of information, that can be supplemented every couple of years by purchasing Johnson's excellent annual pocket encyclopedias (with more up to date tasting and winery info). I find myself picking up the book to look up something specific, and unable to put it down for a half hour or more while I browse. Pick it up, for the price of a single bottle of Montrachet, you will enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of wine considerably.
Johnson is an elegant writer in that old-fashioned way: one who can't resist an amusing digression, a man who wants to endear as much as inform, a polymath who will stack a drop of military history on top of a reference to the church which is buried in a bit of chemistry.
Still, the listings are exhaustive and this book is both an excellent emergency reference and an entertaining and edifying nightstand browse.
Lynn Hoffman, author of The New Short Course in Wine