Oz Clarke's Pocket Wine Book 2001
Hardcover - 297 pages (14 September, 2000)
One of the most useful portable all-round guides to wines, vintages, producers, grapes and wine regions, Oz Clarke's Pocket Wine Book has always been a fount of down-to-earth wisdom and good sense. The 2001 edition comes along and is no exception. Seasoned punters who have gone the course with Oz will know what to expect--trenchant views, clearly expressed; encyclopaedic knowledge lightly worn; and second-hand access to what is said to be one of the finest noses in Europe. For an expert of his standing, Oz Clarke can be very refreshing at times. (On fizz: "I sometimes think it doesn't matter what it tastes like as long as it's cold enough and there's enough of it".) Ease of use is among the great virtues of this little book: there's no point flicking back and forth among the cross references when you're standing in a crowded supermarket wine department. It's simple to find what you want among the 1,600 entries once the single page of How To Use rules has been absorbed. New sections added for 2001 include a fascinating and highly eclectic selection of personal favourites, and a series of Wines of the Year categories--in effect, Top Tips, such as "World Class Wines that Won't Cost the Earth", "Regions to Watch" and so on. Self-recommending, therefore, as always. --Robin Davidson
Hardcover - 144 pages (14 September, 2000)
You've seen him doing it on telly, all that swirling and sniffing and slurping and spitting, you've flicked through a few of his books, but you really aren't that interested in wine. The idea doesn't do much for you. But Oz Clarke won't give up. He still has designs on you and your palate. The latest manoeuvre in his campaign to educate the world's taste-buds is Oz Clarke's Introducing Wine, an ungainly title for an elegant little book. Subtitled "A Complete Guide for the Modern Drinker", it offers a simple, but not simplistic, entry into the pleasures of wine. Oz Clarke takes something of a Year Zero approach to wine: forget the mystique, the reputations, the inflated prices, the snobbery--all that matters is the quality. Consequently he approaches all wines in the same spirit, asking the same questions in a kind of catechism. Part I covers briefly but incisively the major grape varieties, an essential starting point in this wine world view, grouping them in flavour categories such as Spicy, Warm-hearted Reds or Green, Tangy Whites. Amusingly, and effectively, the special flavours of each class are illustrated rather than described at length, the Green, Tangy Whites being accompanied by a skewer of gooseberry, apple, mint, lime, asparagus and green pepper. Part II deals effectively with the practicalities of enjoying wine--opening the bottle, serving wine etc. Part III is the meat of the book, dealing with the major wine-producing countries, divided into regions as appropriate. For each, he provides a Quick Guide, describing location, principal grape varieties, top vintages and label recommendations; then asks his standard set of questions: Do regions matter? Do vintages matter? When do I drink them? and Can I afford them? As ever with Oz Clarke, the answers are honest, reliable, utterly without prejudice and invigoratingly written. --Robin Davidson
Here, at last, from Oz Clarke, the UK's most popular wine writer, comes the ultimate no-nonsense guide to wine. No jargon. No frills. No previous knowledge assumed. Just how to enjoy the kind of wine that is actually in the shops at the moment.
Oz Clarke's Introducing Wine features:
Grapes - Find the key to every taste and style
Regions - Use the Quick Guides for essential know-how
Actual recommendations - Avoid expensive mistakes from the start
Wine terms - Understand the terms you need to know
Food and wine matching - Get it right every time
Practical details - Select, buy, serve and taste wine with confidence
In this volume, wine jargon is explained in simple terms, expert tips give you the inside track, and wine snobbery and wine myths are put firmly in their place. Straightforward explanations detail what wine is, how it is made and why both flavour and quality vary so much from one wine to the next. A guide to the most important grapes (Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay) describes their characteristic tastes and styles and the sorts of foods they go well with. All the key elements of enjoying wine are included: how to taste, buy, store and serve wine, how to choose wine in a restaurant and how to match wine and food. A virtual tour of the shelves of a wine shop gives essential information on the wines of each country and region: the flavours, the styles, the quality and affordability. The guide is aimed at those who want to know about wine and how to make the right choices, without being overwhelmed with information.
From the Author
I begin by grouping wines into 'flavour families' - they're all based on flavours you'll know and recognise and you will have a pretty good idea if they sound enticing to you or not - do 'juicy fruity reds' or 'intense nutty whites' sound good to you? They do to me! - and this section is your starting point for finding wines you really want to drink. Then, paring away technical details, I introduce you to the all important subject of grape varieties (grapes are what wine's made of after all - and the majority of modern wine is labelled by grape variety these days), then a bit of non-technical stuff about winemaking techniques, and then the practical business of serving and storing wine - and all in as straightforward a way as I know how, by linking everything to how it affects the flavour of the wine in your glass.
Most wine books look at the wine-producing regions of the world, and I haven't entirely broken with that tradition, but I've taken a new approach. Yes, I tell you where the wines whose names you see on bottles come from - and it's fun and instructive to know that - but more importantly I try to answer the questions I'm most frequently asked. Do vintages matter? Well, sometimes they do, sometimes they don't, but either way I'll tell you why. Can I afford it? Even if the wines of a particular region are expensive or overpriced, I'll suggest some good-value options that will give you a taste of what it's all about. All in all through the book, I've recommended 300 wines for you to try. Start with the ones you like the sound of and introduce yourself to the exciting modern world of wine. Cheers.
Oz Clarke's Wine Buying Guide 2001
Paperback - 509 pages (14 September, 2000)
From the Author
We call ourselves a Wine Buying Guide, and we intend to interpret 'guide' in as open and friendly a way as possible. We're not scouring the country trying to pinpoint every town's fleeting and profit-strangling 'best-buy'; we're not interested in one-off 'special offers' which are sold out a week after we go to press. No, what we want is to give everyone the confidence to know what a given wine should cost; to say that just because it's cheaper doesn't mean that it's necessarily a better bargain, and to point out the areas which seem to us to be particularly good or bad value. With the tremendous range of wines available we have no need to buy bad wine. Every shop will have better wine at the same price - or less - if we know what to ask for. It's our job to make that choice easier - to make sure we all know where to find good wine, and what we should pay. That's why Oz Clarke's Wine Buying Guide is here
The Wine Atlas
Hardcover - 304 pages (12 October, 1995)
A cynic might accuse Oz Clarke and his publishers Websters of blatantly ripping off Hugh Johnson's winning formula. This book follows exactly the format of Johnson's classic 'World atlas of wine', with introductory chapters leading through to an atlas-style survey of the world of wine. However, Websters have given an intruiging twist to their Atlas, by producing a series of beautiful handpainted panoramic vineyard maps of each of the major wine regions, which succeed in bringing to life the various vineyard areas. In addition, Oz Clarke writes well in a lively style, and the layout and accompanying photographs surpass even the high standards set by Johnson's fourth edition. Hugh may have been here first, and both atlases are of a very high standard, but if forced to choose between them, Oz Clarke wins by a whisker.
Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator, 15 December 1995
William Leith, Mail on Sunday, 17 December 1995
Roger Voss, Wine Magazine, February 1996
Fundamental to the understanding of wine is a sense of place. Knowing which country, which region, which hillside and even which vineyard a wine comes from adds enormously to the pleasure of drinking it. Through its unique cartography and Oz Clarke's lively prose, this revolutionary atlas illustrates and explains the vital connection between the land, the winemaker and his wine and shows how different landscapes as well as the skills of the winemaker contribute to the extraordinary range of flavours found in wine.
From the Author
Initially I wasn't sure I could face writing this huge book, but as soon as my publisher showed me the prototype panoramic map of Chablis, I knew I had to. This is the only wine book that puts you right in the vineyard - and that's where it all begins, in a way what it's all about. And this instant conversion led to 300,000 words of passionate description of the world of wine I love.
Clarke and Spurrier's Fine Wine Guide
Oz Clarke, Stephen Spurrier
Hardcover - 352 pages (12 November, 1998)
Decanter, December 1998
'...an excellent country by country, personal guide to some of the world's best [wines]. Better still, the producer entries give some of the most descriptive impressions of what you'll actually find in the glass.'
For no more than the price of just one decent bottle of red Bordeaux or a California Cabernet Sauvignon, Clarke & Spurrier's Fine Wine Guide takes you every step of the way. It's the best wine investment you can make.
Includes all the names to look out for - best growers and estates, key wine zones
Pinpoints existing superstar producers and those wines and producers with star potential
Includes personal recommendations from Clarke and Spurrier for each major wine style
Offers up-to-date profiles of producers, wines and regions
Contains detailed vintage and maturity information including at-a-glance charts and year-by-year assessments
Organized by country and wine region, this guide aims to cover only the world's best wines - though not necessarily the best-known. A straightforward format of at-a-glance lists of the best wines, best vineyards, best producers and other essential information is followed by more detailed A-Z lists of the top wine names and top producers within each region or country. The information is cross-referred within each section, so that a wine recommendation can be located by way of the wine name, the cru, the grower or the year. There is also a comprehensive index of thousands of recommended wines and producers.
From the Author