Friday, October 22, 2010

True Wine Lover 10.

Hugh Johnson OBE. Or, as he is known in Vinoland - just plain Hugh.
No, I've never met Hugh, nor are we likely to ever cross paths, but I feel I have come to know the man through his writing. Hugh is arguably the world's best wine writer, I personally believe he has no equal (although Ms. Robinson comes awfully close.) If you are a wine enthusiast who is reading this post and you do not know who he is I suggest you find out.
Cambridge educated, Hugh has been writing about all things wine since before I was born. But to simply call him a wine-writer is a gross understatement. Hugh's 1989, 13 part mini-series Vintage: A History of Wine, tells the story of wine from ancient times to the present (well, 1989 at least.) Vintage is probably one of the best television programmes I have ever watched, in fact Vinomaker and I own it on VHS.
Hugh's book, Wine, was the first serious wine book that I ever owned. Hugh's 2006 memoir, A Life Uncorked, is the most recent of his books that I have read. Fascinatingly, it was like Hugh was reading it to me, I don't believe I have ever read any other book in which the author's voice, and personality, resonated so thoroughly from each and every page.
I just love Hugh!

7 comments:

Thomas said...

I agree in general that Hugh Johnson is among the giants of wine writing, and I think the Video series was a wonderful achievement.

Having said that, I found A Life Uncorked too name-droppy for my taste. I read to learn and didn't find much to learn reading about escapades among the rich and famous. I do not count it among Johnson's best illuminations.

Vinogirl said...

I think your criticism is a tad unfair, but it is your opinion. 'A Life Uncorked' is a memoir, not a text book. How could Hugh write such a book without dropping names? In 40 plus years of being thoroughly immersed in his trade he has probably met more people than I could ever imagine. Only the rich (and famous) get to try some of the legendary wines that he tastes and writes about. And, an individual doesn't get to be the director of Chateau Latour if they happen to be poor and unconnected.

Lord Roby said...

Vinogirl.Your last blog has blogged off!!!

Vinogirl said...

Lord Roby: It was an apparition...caused by me trying to figure how to link Flickr to my blog!

Ron Combo said...

I'm with you Vinogirl. His writing about wine and wine tasting is almost as good as drinking the stuff itself. Not that I've drunk any Latour, but you know what I mean. A matchless writer.

Vinogirl said...

Alas, Ron, I too have not had the chance to taste Latour (only Margaux) but hope springs eternal. I make do with Hugh's descriptions of such things.

NHwineman said...

Vinogirl, your ability to appreciate is remarkable!