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Hugh Johnsonistas


I love Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book. It has enthused me to start a fine wine collection. I started about 18 months ago and I’m trying to give myself a good grounding in the classics. It’s also helped me fine under a tenner gems.

It’s a brilliant resource I take everywhere with me. My nocturnal consultations with Hugh have almost caused marital disputes and have caused me to miss trains!

One of the things I love about TWS is that so many PWB recommendations are available through the society.

Reading PWB has become something of an obsession. Hugh is very influential on my buying choices. I wouldn’t spend more than £20 on a bottle without consulting Hugh.

Note: that’s not to say that if it’s not in the book I wouldn’t take the plunge, I have and been pleased to. It’s just that I would prefer to see if it’s there first…

Does anybody else love this book and carry it with them wherever they go?

Is it influential with anyone else?

Has it made anyone else put Chateau Rayas on the top of their bucket list of wines (there’s another thread there…)?

If you are a fellow Johnsonista, what are your best (or most disappointing) finds based on a PWB recommendation?

Does anybody have a similar affinity for any other wine reference books?


Indeed carry it always and always referring to it. I go to a decent local wine auction near me and most professional buyers for small wine shops have a copy to hand also. It’s amazing how much info about producers is in that little book. We buy the new version every other year.


I have a number of old copies of it but tbh haven’t bought one for a number of years.


Certainly found it an imperative in early days. Have the kindle version now.
How about if you could electronically link from the guide to buy from TWS, like Shazam and Apple Music?


I’ve never actually used the pocket guide but recently read his book collecting some of his articles from the last few decades. I do love his tone - it inspires a real sense of endearment at the same time as a very great feeling of envy that he’s been able to try such wonderful wines over the years (especially when you see the prices pre Chinese interest in Bordeaux in the older articles).


Hi @DrEm is the Kindle edition searchable?

That would be great if so. Often thought it would be great in an electronic format to find things a bit quicker although I do love my battered and annotated hardback!


There is a search facility in the electronic version, as well electronic index too.


I’d love to read this - what’s it called? :slight_smile: Especially interesting to see how the tone may have evolved as the decades progress and the nature of wine writing has changed so much.


It’s just “Hugh Johnson on Wine” - certainly worth a read.


Also read & refer to the pocket guide regularly. Now tradition that my wife’s aunt buys me the new edition every Christmas.