Wine Buyers' Guide 2005 (May 26, 2005)
by Dean Tudor
Wine Buyers' Guide 2005 (Mitchell Beazley, 2004; distr. McArthur, 368
pages, ISBN 1-84533-090-0, $14.95 paper covers) is by the noted UK wine writer Robert Joseph. It is a guide based on the 2500 wines judged by over 500 experts at the annual International Wine Challenge (UK), which is run by Wine International magazine (www.wineint.com). The bulk of the book, about the 2500 gold-silver-bronze medal winners, is bracketed by an introduction to the basics (written by Joseph) and a list of UK stores which carry stock. The winners are all listed by country and region, award, and price and not by style. The descriptions have been culled from tasting panel notes.
The competition started in 1984, and in April 2004 (twentieth anniversary), there were 9000 wines entered for the 400 tasters to judge. Joseph has a section on the "best" wines, such as Champagne (Charles Heidsieck Brut 1989), Port (Taylor's 40 Year Old Tawny), Sweet White (Inniskillin Oak Aged Vidal Icewine 2002), plus the best wines by country, grape, and so forth. All prices are in sterling.
Audience and level of use: For the serious winelover, although agents and suppliers in Canada can use the list to ensure that they derive marketing value or even import wines that are not currently listed by the LCBO.
Some interesting or unusual facts: Expensive wines don't enter competitions.
What I don't like about this book: For North America use, we don't need a list of UK stores, nor do we need wine basics. There is no overarching index, so the book must be perused.
What I do like about this book: Pocket sized, cheap enough for the list and short notes alone. A great listing of wines that should/could be in the Canadian marketplace.
Quality/Price Ratio: 88.