on 23 January 2004
I'd always been a bit doubtful about 'wine experts' but wanted to learn a bit more about wine, and chose this volume. It's written with a sense of humour and in an easy, accessible style. Importantly, although serious and informative, Jancis Robinson isn't at all pompous and doesn't take herself too seriously. She gives you the tools and guidance needed to improve your understanding and appreciation of wine, but doesn't try to tell you what to think.
An excellent starting point.
on 5 October 2000
Another faultless performance from Jancis Robinson. This is a readable, authoritative and nicely illustrated introduction to wine: highly recommended. The only possible criticism is that common to works of this sort, where space limitations mean that there's just too much compression of detail, and the author ends up trying to cram too much into too little space.
on 9 June 2011
For a start - I know it's irrelevant to a book review but - I really like Jancis's voice, when she's on TV/radio.
The USP of Jancis Robinson is that she clearly know her stuff and can write about it in a way that conveys maximum detail and description whilst not falling over into what James May called 'wine bollocks' on his TV tour with Oz Clark. Oz is often guilty of spouting 'w.b' on TV and in his books but you don't get this from Ms R.
Ms Robinson can hold the attention and interest of more experienced wine drinkers whilst not skipping the basics which someone who is new to wine-buffery needs. She does not condescend to the inexperienced but covers as much as anyone without specialist knowledge could wish to know.
It's all here, from storing and pouring to regions, grape varieties, tasting notes - very comprehensive. I find this book more practical and useful than Hugh Johnson's more magesterial but coffee-table tomes.
If there was only one book on wine that I was allowed to buy, it's this one.