The Life and Wines of Hugh Johnson


In this unique approach to understanding wine, Hugh Johnson, the world’s best-loved wine author, weaves the story of his own epic wine journey with an embracing view of everything he has discovered along the way. Almost without realising it, the reader is drawn into a fascinating world; with each page turned, knowledge is gained and wine wisdom absorbed. Hugh takes us from the teetering ledges of the Mosel and majestic châteaux of the Médoc to the sylvan slopes of Windsor Great Park with a spring in his step and a tasting glass at the ready.

No one writes so infectiously on every aspect of wine, whether human or cultural, technical or historical. This book is peppered with anecdotes and personal recollections, infused with the sheer delight Hugh finds in his subject. It is a book with a story to tell and a mastery of wine to impart.

  • First published in 2005 as Wine, A Life Uncorked, this new edition has been updated by Hugh to take in two decades of change in the wine world.
  • The First Duty of wine: getting to know the luxury red wine icons Bordeaux and Burgundy (which has the lion’s share in Hugh’s cellar).
  • Technical Stuff: Hugh learns about winemaking the hard way: by growing and making it his own French Sauvignon Gris.
  • The Wilder Shores of Wine: tracking wine’s origins in Georgia, the cradle of viticulture.
  • The Bordeaux Persuasion: from the Médoc to Martha’s Vineyard – Hugh seeks out the world’s great Cabernet Sauvignon-based reds.
  • NEW Foreword by Eric Asimov
  • NEW Digestif! In this new chapter, Hugh reveals the wines that give him the most pleasure – the bottles he keeps in his cellar today.
  • NEW On ‘Bubbly’: Hugh finds sparkling wine perfection among the grandes marques of Champagne and the fashionable new fizz of our own English vineyards.

Publication date August 8, 2022


Brilliantly written… no one writes tauter, tighter springier and fresher sentences about wine than Johnson.’
Andrew Jefford

‘Part memoir, part travel writing, and deeply imbued with the love of the vine’
Independent on Sunday

‘A masterpiece…’
Evening Standard

‘Johnson has always been the master of the pen.’
Giles MacDonogh, Decanter

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