on 25 November 2002
Clarke's book is organised alphabetically, regardless of whether the entry is the name of a wine, a producer, a region or a grape variety - which makes it easy for newcomers to wine to use. The entries, too, lean more towards the New World (for example, no Chateaux Beauregard, Fonroque or Hosanna, no Tardieu-Laurent - though you may find them referenced in other entries).
As for the content in entries themselves - as in any other guide, the personal preferences of the author show through. To Clarke's credit, he is not afraid of "critiquing" the occasional wine.
This year's guide is sold (in the UK)with a free buying guide for the UK, with a shortlist of wines to buy this year, and a valuable directory of wine retail outlets and merchants.
Overall a good reference, although for French wines I prefer Hugh Johnson's guide.
on 9 February 2002
Clarke does it again - reliably helping the keen amateur through the maze, with hunour and enthusiasm. There's nothing like it on the market - the hands-on, no nonsense approach is a genuine boon to help the buyer find value.
Only one quibble - limited space means, of course, that Oz can't cover every major producer in a given sector, and sometimes he omits star growers whilst including some of the more mundane. However, this detracts little from the benefits of the book - go buy it.