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on 19 August 2008
Firstly - I think it amazing that Mr Stevenson should review his own book, not spell out the fact that he is the author, and give the book five stars.

Secondly, it is pretty shoddy to suggest that Amazon customers should thumb through copies in bookshops, when they intend to buy the book from Amazon.

Thirdly, it is quite true that hardly any of the wines can be found in the UK. What is wrong with pointing this out?

Fourthly, I am not at all sure that chasing after 'cutting edge' wine is altogether a good thing (unless, as Mr Stevenson and some of the commentators rather sneeringly suggest, money is no object). Is wine an appropriate medium for high fashion?

In all, I find this book rather less impressive than the author does.
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on 3 July 2008
As Tom Stevenson points out in his reply - this book is not and was never intended to be a wine buyers guide. What it does do is provide an invaluable annual update on the world of wine for people who are seriously interested in the subject - not just those in the trade.It is a unique, ground breaking annual that should be on the bookshelves of all those with more than just a passing interest in the world of wine.
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on 30 June 2008
My experience with this book is that it is more or less useless as a guide to what to buy. It's really a wine industry yearbook - yields, hectalitres produced here, hectares under vine there - all sorts of stats and reports from the wine-producing and marketing world.

For a wine buying guide, give this a wide berth and head in the direction of Oz Clarke.

Better still, DIY. I've given up buying wine guides.

If you have a PDA, phone or other handheld that you always carry around & will do spreadsheets or text, save yourself the cost of a book and make up your own guide. Just rate the the stuff that you actually buy from the shelves of the shops you go to regularly or wine you get a taste of from someone else's bottle. Score XX/20 plus a brief note is all you need, along with the i.d. from the label. Dig your gizmo out as you stand in front of all those bottles ... this way I have discovered loads of wines that I now buy over and over again that have never featured in any guide. They can't taste them all, can they?

The merit of this DIY system is that if you buy a BOGOF, 2fer or, particularly, one that is usually priced more than you like to spend, you can note it [if it's any good] and build up a data base that will provide you with a list of wines that you like that are, from time to time, temporarily in your price range. A great eg of this is Nero d'Avola Sicilian red from Tesco. This is usually £8. Priced at £3.99 I was happy to give it a go. It was terrific. Well, I've just discovered it's an IWC Silver Medallist - at £8. At half price, it's a steal.

So now it's in my data as one to buy when they run another offer on it, which they will. A book will not give you this info. Worse, they often feature a wine - or even a whole range of wines - that never actually make it onto the stock list of the supermaket. One of Oz Clarke's Supermarket Superheroes suffered this fate at Morrisons. His purple prose was wasted on a range of wines that didn't exist! The replacements were plonk.
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on 2 July 2008
If Messers Merritt and Nation do not know the book they are buying, they should browse the shelves. Wine Report is not - repeat not - a wine buyers guide. Under ABOUT THIS BOOK it states "This is not a buyer's guide". In the introductory passages to The 100 Most Exciting Wine Finds it states that "A number of these wines will be available on certain markets, but many are so new, restricted in production, or downright obscure that the only way to get hold of them would be to visit the producer - if he has not already sold out. The entire raison d'être of this section is to bring to the attention of serious wine enthusiasts the different and most surprising wines being developed in classic areas, the best wines from emerging regions, and other cutting-edge stuff."

As Wine Report states on the back cover, this is a book for those who want to keep up to speed with the constantly changing, ever expanding world of wine. It is for those who want to discover the up-and-coming names BEFORE they hit the shelf. A typical Wine Report reader would have pre-ordered the very latest edition of Johnson & Robinson's Wine Atlas, rather than buy the previous edition because it "can be bought for a song".
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on 12 July 2008
Browsing your wine section and was interested to read these comments. I also initially thought these reports would be a guide and then realised they were for more `knowing' wine buyers. However, I believe they can (and have) serve both roles. Two very good examples, I travel to Europe very often and am very pleased when I can find the wines in the report, especially in the `up & coming' and `best value' sections. Secondly, my favourite white wine variety (when I can afford it!) is Alsace Riesling but have to agree with Tom Stevenson that these are now too sweet and have looked at Luxembourg whites instead, very good value. Overall the reports give interesting facts, contain some useful information on vintages etc and is a boon for the more adventurous wine drinker. Cheers `Wine Report'!
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on 7 December 2009
I was disappointed, but this needs to be qualified. I am hugely influenced by Tom Stevenson's opinions on Alsacian wine. I bought this hoping it would update his fabulous 1993 tome. (This was in preparation for a wine-buying trip to Alsace.) Rather less of Tom than I had hoped. I have no reason to consider that the guide is not otherwise good at what it purports to do.
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on 24 July 2008
Having just returned from a family visit in Switzerland I am delighted to be able to report back that the "Wine Report 2008" is of paramount importance when searching for Swiss wine in Switzerland. For the length of time that I was over there it wouldn't have been practical to keep a checklist of wines drunk. The guide was in this respect invaluable as a shortcut to knowing what wines to choose and price level, my cousins being a rather frugal bunch, knowing the price of the tipple up front is a must. Also, they being somewhat less discerning than me as to an appropriate wine to accompany a meal, allowed me to select something to go with the cheese fondue,"Muller-Thurgau 2005" at Sf14 absolutely spot on, "Cabernet Sauvignon / Cornalin 2004" perfect with the fondue Bourguignonne, needless to say I had to pay for that one, my uncle went into raptures (about the wine) that is! The only bad news is that unhappily I left my copy of the "Wine Report" at my cousin's place in Villars, so if anybody out there has a copy unused, and would like to send it to me free, postage and package paid, I will be delighted to take it off their hands? Later this year I am going to make an around the world trip, without this excellent wine report for a quick reference, I might be all at sea!!!
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on 19 September 2008
I think HIgham and Merritt are badly misguided, but not by the Wine Report. One of them is not interested in anything that doesn't tell him where the next and nearest discounted sale of plonk is going on, the other one is too famous and knowledgable. I always like it when people introduce themselves with " I am an authority on" it;s usually because nobody has ever heard of them. What do you know about Luxembourg wines , Mr. Merritt?
Stating the bleeding obvious about well thumped regions like Bordeaux does not prove a point, that's not where the guide is at ist strongest. Ever heard of aby Duhr? Daahh. This book never pretended to be the guide for Beavis and Buthead, and that is why it's so excellent!Wine Report 2008
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on 3 July 2008
This is an authoritative, collectable and highly readable annual publication offering the broadest conspectus of the state of the world of wine of that year. A highly recommended publication taken at leisure with a glass of your current favourite.
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