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Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2006 Revised Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Without snobbery, Johnson discusses grape varieties, food pairings, and the individual character of different wine regions, from France to California to Australia - even to South Africa. While the food recommendations are more guidance than rules, they still provide a solid base for the novice. Connoisseurs will head straight to the easy to read wine listings to discover the best vintages and the characters of individual labels, as well as Johnson's overall starred ratings.
The book is small enough to fit inside a purse or jacket pocket, perfect for taking to a restaurant or wine store. If you are serious about wine, you really do need to buy an updated edition every year. People who have only a casual interest might get away with one every other year.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who appreciates fine wine or who wants to learn more about it. You won't be disappointed.
Obviously, the wine connoisseur who can afford to drink the best and lay in extensive stocks to age will seldom be caught out, having done great research in the past. The person who is trying to drink well on a budget will be the primary beneficiary.
Restaurants in particular often stock what they got a deal on, and may offer vintages that are not yet ready to drink or are undistinguished.
The section on foods and wines will give you some new ideas on how to more closely complement a specific meal.
If you do find yourself with a magnificent wine list in front of you (and can afford it), there's a brief list of the ultimate wines to drink in an ideal world.
The book also has directions for ideal temperatures to serve the wines, so when the sommelier asks you about preparation you can have more definite ideas.
Most of the book is divided into geographic region, winery, wine type, quality, vintage information (including which ones are ready to drink), and limited notes about specific characteristics. It's a very broad and superficial source, but takes you past what you would know without it. The advice is based on Hugh Johnson's tastings and those of over 40 friends whom he acknowledges.
Mr. Johnson also comments on the 2000 vintage, which he says was good in Bordeaux. So, you may wish to consider laying some wine away from there.
By the way, I think this book would make a marvelous gift to someone who is often treating you to rather bad wine at expensive prices. Then, you both will get a gift.
A votre sante!
The enormous American market for highly charged alcohol driven wine, largely the work of Parker's scores, which in recent years seem roughly proprotional to alcohol content, has fueled a tremendous response among wine makers, almost driving good subtle, low alcohol wine out of existence, and even in france driving up alcohol levels to a height where the untutored wine beginner can immediately taste something powerful.
The irony is, that as more of us ignorant Americans learn more about wine, and become more sophisticated, we gradually learn to appreciate the kind of wine that Parker is running out of business. Hugh Johnson seems almost wistful as he comments on the parker phenomenon, as if the cause is essentially lost, but he does not give up.
Parker's confidently precise numerical scores for wines barely out of barrel, are completely unreliable in the long run, hence are dishonest, even as he claims such great incorruptibility. Maybe he isn't being bribed to say what he says, but his ego or his marketing sense still allows him to claim virtues and high prices for wine so young no one can truly say it is going to be wonderful in 10 years.
Do you really think a bottle of 2003 latour is worth over 800 dollars? the price was set years ago by parker and his ilk, whereas in 1979 I bought a bottle of likely very superior 1970 latour for $50.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A WONDERFUL ANNUAL TREASURE, I HAVE THEM ALL FOR 36 YEARS AND CANT WAIT FOR THE NEXT YEAR TO BE DELIVEREDPublished on March 31, 2012 by Antony Jacobs
For the last several years I've bought this little book for my husband's stocking, and he always loves it. Read morePublished on December 15, 2009 by rainy day woman
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... Read morePublished on April 14, 2009 by John Twain
Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2009 is a terrific wine book to have when you go into a restaurant or wine store anywhere. Read morePublished on April 4, 2009 by A. Krug
This handy pocket size wine book is chock full of information that will help you to select just the right wine for any occasion. Read morePublished on February 27, 2009 by Theresa Runkle
A concise, very helpful guide to the world's principal over. My "bible" for well over 20 years.Published on February 14, 2009 by Claude Jones
Comprehending Johnson's myriad codes, symbols and abbreviations is a little daunting, but there is a ton of information here. Read morePublished on February 12, 2009 by Richard L. Sadowsky
This is a great little book. It has a lot of good information in it, and it's very conveniently sized. Read morePublished on January 3, 2009 by Brian Berry