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Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2016 Hardcover – September 1, 2015
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About the Author
Hugh Johnson is the world's pre-eminent writer on wine. First published in 1977, his Pocket Wine Book sells hundreds of thousands of copies a year. His winning formula of insight, critical appraisal of the world of wine, plus valuable vintage news and wine recommendations has been often-imitated but never bettered.
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A helpful feature is the 'what temp' chart. Most US folks serve reds too warm and whites too cold. Follow Mr. Johnson's temp guide and you will enjoy your wines more.
I have been buying this book for over 20 years and during this time it has proven to be a very valuable source of information at restaurants, wine shops and wine tasting events. By the way, every year as soon as it is published I buy several copies to give to friends.
Several very good wine encyclopedias and many other wine books and publications sit in my book case, but this little gem is the only one that fits in your pocket and at the same time provides the information you need most of the time, a great plus!
The quick vintage reference charts (ratings) covers German, Italian, Spanish, Australian, Californian, New Zealander, S. African and French wines for up to 18 years and 5 years for Californian wines where vintage year is not as important as European wines. The section on wine and food pairing is most useful when entertainig. Most of the book is devoted to fairly detailed information on major wine producing countries, local producers, specific labels, best years and other very useful recommendations and comments.
It is a wonder how much information the author was able to pack into such a small package.
By all means this is a must have for all wine lovers. Enjoy!
Wine lovers know of the rivalry between wine critics Robert Parker and Hugh Johnson, and Johnson fans the flames with two pages poking fun at Parker's 100 point scale. To be frank it is hard not to agree that Johnson's system is better. A simple four star system to rate quality coupled with a highlight to show his own preferences. This strikes me as the correct level of precision for the topic.
However, this trivial dispute about how to rate wine overshadows the real disagreement between the two men, which is about how to make wine. Johnson believes in terroir (geography) and technology while Parker believes in traditional manufacture and grape varieties. Unfortunately, Johnson hardly ever acknowledges that particular dispute with Parker and completely lacks generosity to opposite viewpoints on these two issues. That I tend to see things Johnson's way does not make it less of a pity to me. The last failing costs the book one star. Or perhaps I should give it 96.5 points.
Vincent Poirier, Tokyo