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95 Reviews
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the Beginner and the Expert
The 2014 edition of Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book is like its predecessors a true delight. This comes with the slight concern as to how long he can keep calling it a "pocket" book because at over 300 pages it is three times as thick as the one I first purchased in 1980.

As always it is packed with both general and detailed information on the wines of the...
Published 18 months ago by J. N. Bullock

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Glass half empty
This was quite interesting. The book itself is nice and sturdy and well produced.
From my limited knowledge it seemed accurate. Some of the information on the lesser known wine producing countries was interesting and I learned quite a lot.
However (and it is a big however) this seemed like a typical Christmas present book.
The type of unimaginative present...
Published 15 months ago by The Emperor


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5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive - an impressive little book, 11 Dec. 2013
By 
Uncle Barbar (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This is a must have for any wine connoisseur! At over 300 pages it is probably a little of a stretch to call it a "Pocket Book" but it is literally packed full of useful information.

Taking each country at a time and then each region within it, it goes on to describe literally hundreds of wines and their merits (in fact over 6,000 in all). It is unsurprising that around half of the book is devoted to the wines of France and Italy - and less than one hundred pages for wines from outside Europe.

My favourite section is what wine is best for each type of food (perhaps here I am showing my either ignorance of wines or my superior love of food!)

A great little book to help you decide which wine to pick up next from a vineyard abroad or a supermarket near home!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Pocket Guide to Wine, 18 Nov. 2013
By 
D. R. Fry (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This is THE pocket wine guide. All the most important wine producing countries are covered with vintage tables going back a decade. The individual country entries include more detail, including reports on recent vintages for the more well known regions and entries for individual producers etc. The French entry is the most comprehensive as might be expected, with Bordeaux having it's own section.

There are also sections looking back at the last couple of years and others with tips on food and wine matches.

I usually buy it every other year as the information remains current. I've bought or been given most of the better known alternatives but always come back to Hugh Johnson.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, concise and useful, 14 Oct. 2013
By 
Roland Cassard (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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I am not much of a wine expert, more of a 'I know what I like' drinker, so I chose Hugh Johnson's book as a way of expanding my horizons and learning more about wine.

The book is organised very well, with a dictionary of grapes at the start and also a simple 'if you like this, then try this' which was immediately useful in expanding my knowledge of different grapes. The rest of the book is laid out clearly by country (Bordeaux has its own section), with short, clear entries. Johnson's star system is also useful for identifying good (and bad) wines.

I am not sure I am brave enough to pull this book out in an off licence but it is very useful for online shopping.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable guide for the serious wine drinker/collector, 19 Dec. 2013
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This isn't a casual reference guide - it is dense, requires time to interpret and requires a strong basic knowledge of wines make sense of anyway.

As a result, the book is only really suitable for a someone who really knows their wines, either as a drinker or a collector. You would need to be seriously into your wine to consult this guide before making a purchase or investment. Having said that, for those who do fit into this category, the guide will be invaluable, providing in-depth information across a remarkable range of vineyards and countries.

So buy this with caution - its not for the wannabee wine aficionado!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wine not Pocket this book?, 15 Jan. 2014
By 
Flickering Ember "I need a break and I wanna ... (Once Upon A Long Ago.) - See all my reviews
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Oz Clarke Pocket Wine Book 2014: 7500 Wines. 4000 Producers. Vintage Charts. Wine and Food (Oz Clarke's Pocket Wine Book) by Oz Clarke ( 2013 ) Hardcover has always been my go-to wine guide, and to be honest, it is still the best annual wine guide out there.

If, however, you're looking for something a little less pricey, and perhaps a bit more beginner-friendly, then this is an excellent choice. I think that although this is a thick (300-odd pages) tome, it is slightly less intensive than Oz Clarke's offering, but that is not to say that it is not informative or useful because it certainly is.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Accessible with minimal wine-speak, 26 Sept. 2013
By 
John Boy (Bristol United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I will admit to scanning the shelves in Sainsbury's for a good reduction on Hardy's VR range or reading the Waitrose Weekend for an affordable selection, so I thought that this handy sized book might not be for me. I was wrong. There's even wine recommendations to go with hamburgers or curry - I'd rather have a German wheat beer with a curry - and Pedro Ximenez sherry with mince pies or over ice cream (try soaking raisins in the sherry beforehand). There's some suggestions on alternative wines in the "If you like this, try this" section.

A useful book that doesn't have wine-snob written all over it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Wine Guide, 7 Nov. 2013
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I don't have a pen name "the_metro_area" (West London) - See all my reviews
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My main concern with wine books is that they are stuffy and pretentious, but I'm pleased to report that this one is straightforward and informative. The first 40 pages are devoted to an introduction, information on grape varieties, 'if you like this, try this', and wines to pair with foods. The rest of the book is split by country and then alphabetically by producer with abbreviations for Mr Johnson's analysis. It's made interesting reading to see if the old favourites I buy are featured in any high regard.

For the price this is excellent buy and an ideal gift
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3.0 out of 5 stars Glass half empty, 10 Jan. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This was quite interesting. The book itself is nice and sturdy and well produced.
From my limited knowledge it seemed accurate. Some of the information on the lesser known wine producing countries was interesting and I learned quite a lot.
However (and it is a big however) this seemed like a typical Christmas present book.
The type of unimaginative present that I get people. It is very short and in this internet age I would really question its usefulness. It is a nice read but it is non-essential at best. It is just isn't detailed enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For people who prefer drinking wine to talking about it, 26 Sept. 2013
By 
Stephen Hampshire (Huddersfield, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love wine, but I hate most wine writing. This book really is different from most of what's out there, which either assumes you're a complete idiot or a navel-gazing oenophile.

Hugh Johnson's pocket guide is structured and written for people who understand and enjoy wine, but aren't obsessed about the detail. It's straightforward and no-nonsense, encouraging you to stretch yourself a little ("if you like this, then try this"), and amazingly comprehensive for its size.

Highly recommended, I was glad to update my 2010 copy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Small format with good depth, 4 Nov. 2013
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Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I find this a good guide to have when buying or tasting wine. Although small it packs a great deal of information within its 300 odd pages. It is 8 by 4 inches so needs a fairly large pocket to hold it and is targeted towards specific producers and wines in each country and region, including a brief overview of each and their best vintages. It is comprehensive, covering both Old and New World wines and the 2014 edition includes a special section on pinot noir. A very handy wine guide and compact enough to carry around easily.
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