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Hugh Johnson's Story of Wine [Hardcover]

Hugh Johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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The Story of Wine (Mitchell Beazley Drink) The Story of Wine (Mitchell Beazley Drink) 3.0 out of 5 stars (2)
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Book Description

1 Sep 1998
This fascinating history of wine is written with all the characteristic enthusiasm and wit of its famous author, Hugh Johnson. Unlike many comprehensive histories, this book is easily "digestible" and explores the cultural history of wine in enthralling chapters. The colorful prose makes the book a joy to read from cover to cover and a delight to dip into at leisure.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley (1 Sep 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840001208
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840001204
  • Product Dimensions: 26.2 x 18.9 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 799,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hugh Johnson began acquiring his wine knowledge as a member of the Wine and Food Society at Cambridge University. When he came down from King's College in 1961 he became feature writer for Vogue and House & Garden, writing, among other things, wine columns for both magazines. In 1963 he became general secretary of the Wine and Food Society and succeeded the legendary gastronome André Simon as editor of Wine and Food. At the same time he became wine correspondent of The Sunday Times and started work on his first book Wine (1966), through which he established himself at the age of 27 as one of the subject's foremost writers. His rare talent for making the most complex subjects readable has led to a remarkable sequence of books.

After a year as travel editor of The Sunday Times he became editor of Queen, and in 1969 James Mitchell of the newly founded publishing house Mitchell Beazley asked him to write The World Atlas of Wine. First published in 1971, this book has been translated into 14 languages and sold over four million copies. The sixth edition, fully updated and co-written with Jancis Robinson, was published in October 2007, and a concise edition is to be published this September.

Hugh Johnson's vast knowledge of wine is condensed into his Pocket Wine Book, an annually updated guide to everything worth drinking, which, year by year, is the world's best-selling wine book. This year the 33rd edition of the book is published. In 2005 he penned his memoirs, entitled Wine - A Life Uncorked, which became another best-seller.

In 2007 Hugh Johnson received an OBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours list. His OBE was awarded for services to winemaking and horticulture. In April 2004 Hugh was honoured with the title of Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite, one of the highest tributes bestowed by the French Government. The medal was presented to Hugh for his significant contribution to the appreciation and understanding of France and its wines.

Product Description

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. With the publication of his first book, Wine, Johnson established himself at the age of twenty-seven as the most refreshing and authoritative voice on the subject. During the past four decades he has written books that have become landmarks on the subject, including his classic The World Atlas of Wine, co-authored with Jancis Robinson, his Wine Companion, first published in 2003, and The Story of Wine. In his spare time he writes about gardening from his home in Essex.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star 18 Aug 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Every wine drinker should know this tome.....period..
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What every wine-tasting-snob shoul own! 24 Jan 2010
Format:Hardcover
This book tells it very straightforward, from the past to the present - the story of wine. There is hundreds of books about modern wines - including Oz Clarke, but not very much about history of wine. I honestly can say that all you need is this book, and something about Clarke, that covers it all.
It is interesting to read, its illustrations are plenty.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Normally I dislike Hugh Johnson's work 24 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Writing 27 Dec 2002
By William R. Franklin - Published on Amazon.com
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.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most delicious wine book 26 Aug 2006
By Lynn Hoffman, author:Radiation Days: A Comedy - Published on Amazon.com
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.

Johnson's book, a slimmed down version of the earlier Vintage , not only reminds us that the question of wine's importance needs to be asked, it goes a long way to providing an answer. His range of reference is impressive and his writing-witting and incisive-is impeccable. When you're ready to try to understand how wine attained its place in the modern world, there's no better place to start than this book.

Lynn Hoffman, author of The New Short Course in Wine
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great! 1 May 2008
By elfdart - Published on Amazon.com
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book 17 Feb 2013
By Douglas C. Haldane - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If your interested in all aspects of wine it is an amazing story. The Bible for the wine true lover.
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