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Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2005 (Mitchell Beazley Drink) Hardcover – 16 Sep 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley; New edition edition (16 Sept. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840008954
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840008951
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 1.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,818,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

If anyone should know what he's doing with a work of this kind, it's Hugh Johnson. Not much bigger than a bar of chocolate, his Pocket Wine Guide 2001 packs an extraordinary amount of highly organised information into its 280-odd pages. First published in 1977, this was the prototype for such miniature works of reference and it remains among the very best. Encyclopaedic in format, it concentrates on the major wine-producing countries, listing for each practically all the terms a wine drinker or buyer is likely to come across, be they grape varieties, appellations, significant wine towns, vineyards or wineries, major wine dealers and shippers or common items of local terminology. Of course, the main value of the guide lies in the thousands of pithy, authoritative assessments of individual wines and vintages. Johnson has evolved an easily apprehended system of rating by stars, with accompanying vintages printed in bold (for drinking now) or red (especially recommended for drinking in 2001) for emphasis. Although the lion's share of the guide is devoted to France, it is probably now true that most of the wine bought for everyday drinking is now from the New World or perhaps Eastern Europe. The extraordinary upheavals in the world of wine in recent years, and the overall world-wide improvement in quality, are as always reflected in this guide. It's fascinating to watch Hugh Johnson as it were scanning the horizon for change. --Robin Davidson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

This special edition of a much-loved (and much-thumbed) guide celebrates the new millennium with predictions for the future of the wine world. Now in its 25th year of publication, this invaluable companion offers up-to-date news on more than 6,000 wines, growers and regions, plus detailed vintage notes revealing which wines to drink and which to keep. There is all the information you'll need to select anything from a weekday wine to a prestige vintage for investment. Also included are vintage charts, maps and unique insider tips on where to buy and consume wine when travelling. Expert tasting notes and hints on serving wine and matching wine with food complete the picture. Hugh Johnson's authorial voice is, as ever, warm, authoritative and enthusiastic - what bibber could resist? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
An excellent guide for buying 'reasonable' to 'ultra-premium' wine. Thousands of wines are covered in short informative paragraphs along with ratings and vintage guides.

It's less detailed than "Wine Behind the Label" but at pocket size is totally portable. This is a thoroughly practical book and is genuinely helpful in making wine buying decisions, (mine has been everywhere from the supermarket to the caves of Burgundy). Hugh Johnson manages to combine a careers-worth of expert knowledge with a down-to-earth, sensible and non-stuffy approach.

If you already have the 2008 guide and were going to skip this one (like I was), there are multiple changes and updates to the individual entries, as well as rewritten country introductions. (And yes, last year's gremlins have fled the publisher and they've sorted out the mishaps before sending it to print).
It's also (to me) easier to read with maroon and black type, rather than last years gold and black, and the maps are recoloured and clearer.

It's only a tenner, the price of a bottle of wine, and it might help you to get more bouquet for your buck!
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Format: Hardcover
I bought the guide this year after a few years of not buying it. It is generally helpful in knowing when to drink good wine. It also helps get a better understanding of wine the world over. In this it is ambitious and this does lead to a lack of detail once we leave France in general and Bordeaux in particular behind. Spain gets 13 pages plus a general feature at the end of the guide. This is just simply inadequate for arguably Europe's most dynamic wine-making nation. Germany gets 21 pages. Personally I think that balance is the wrong way round. Much of the focus throughout the guide is on quality, and expensive quality at that. We learn the merits of Petrus, only to be told it is all allocated to the world's millionaires. Not much use to the rest of us then. I think there is now a gap in the market for a guide that goes beyond the mass produced brands of the Supermarket, but does not think that fine wine starts at £30-£50 a bottle. The Good Beer Guide has done this type of service successfully for many years for real ale, if we had the same type of Guide for wine then we could let Hugh glug his Petrus in peace while we go out and buy great wine for £10 a bottle or less.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nothing beats this for sheer depth & brevity. Do you need each edition - YES, certainly since it is remarkable how much new information is squeezed into each revision. If you're serious about wine, you probably need Oz Clarke's A-Z as well - if only because Oz has the most incredible palate & is not averse to making very firm judgments [invariably correct, in my experience!].

If forced to decide between them, it will be HJ - but by a very small glass of claret.
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Format: Hardcover
Presently I am buying each year the Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book, as each year it brings the latest information on the state of art with respect of all better wines made worldwide. It is neither for beginners nor for persons not familiar with better and often more expensive wines. But if you are a wine lover and want to be kept up to date on the latest developments and vintages, this handy pocket book is certainly a must. The strongest features are the French and especially the Bordeaux wines, the latter having a special section. Each year has also a different colour supplement at the back of the book, this time an interesting essay on the reinvention of vinous Spain.
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Format: Hardcover
I have never had a wine book before, but having developed an interest in what wine I'm drinking I'm delighted with this handy guide! At first I looked on it with bemusement, as I opened it to a series of names and descriptions..note to anyone new..do read page 10 - the how to use guide! I found the book easy to use, especially the charts at the front - great for 'what to avoid!'. There are also tips on the best temp to serve certain wines, and a brief references to the relevance of regions. Ideal for anyone interested in learning a bit more about what they're drinking!
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Format: Hardcover
The 2015 edition of the Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book brings again the latest information on the state of art with respect of all better wines made worldwide. If you are a wine lover and want to be kept up to date on the latest developments and vintages, this handy pocket book is certainly a must. The Agenda 2015 and latest the vintage reports are of special interest. As always the strongest feature is the information on the French and especially the Bordeaux wines, the latter having a special section. As I have mentioned earlier for the 2014 edition, there is still no mentioning of the wines of the Netherlands. Since their quality has improved considerably in recent years, they could also be given a page like Luxembourg, or perhaps within a section BeNeLux together with Belgium and Luxembourg. Each year has a different colour supplement at the back of the book, this time on Grapes and Flavours. This section is however rather general and is covered better in other books. I liked much more the earlier stories on wine regions and makers. Compared to the 2014 edition there are many updates, so for a few pounds you are kept well informed on the latest vintages and the ever changing wine industry.
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