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Hugh Johnson's Story of Wine Paperback – 20 Oct 1992

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley; New e. edition (20 Oct 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185732997X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857329971
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 17.9 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 767,979 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 recognized as the world's favourite wine writer. Hugh Johnson's first book and internationally bestselling Wine was published in 1966, and subsequent award-winning titles, including Story of Wine and Wine Companion, now in its fifth edition, have established him as one of the subject's foremost writers. He then went on to write The World Atlas of Wine, also now in its fifth edition and co-authored with Jancis Robinson. His annually updated Pocket Wine Book sells over 400,000 copies each year. Hugh lives in Essex. Margaret Rand, Editor of this edition, is an award-winning wine writer and a former editor of Wine International. She is the co-author (with Oz Clarke) of Grapes & Wines and the General Editor of Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book and Mitchell Beazley's Classic Wine Library series. Margaret also contributes to a wide range of international publications. Margaret lives in London. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ari Kiiskinen on 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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By graham smith on 18 Aug 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every wine drinker should know this tome.....period..
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Normally I dislike Hugh Johnson's work 24 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on
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
Vintage Writing 27 Dec 2002
By William R. Franklin - Published on
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
The most delicious wine book 26 Aug 2006
By Lynn Hoffman, author:Radiation Days: A Comedy - Published on
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
great! 1 May 2008
By elfdart - Published on
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.
Coffee Table Textbook on Wine 5 Nov 2014
By Mark Herwick - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a classic text on the history of wine, and it is out-of-print! Though required for a college class, it is well written by one of the few people who the subject good enough to get it right. The illustrated edition is worth the extra cost not only for the informational photographs, but also for the history of wine as told through artwork from around the world! Many classic paintings are reproduced in the volume, which makes this book at home on the coffee table not the library!
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